Case Study

  • universal-commercial-relocation-case-study-icon-duration
  • Duration
  • 38 Days
  • universal-commercial-relocation-case-study-icon-phases
  • Phases
  • 19 Move Phases
  • universal-commercial-relocation-case-study-icon-people-moved
  • People Moved
  • 1,250
  • universal-commercial-relocation-case-study-icon-buildings
  • Buildings
  • 1
  • universal-commercial-relocation-case-study-icon-legal
  • Sector
  • Legal

Executive summary

Linklaters LLP is a multinational law firm headquartered in London. Founded in 1838, it is a member of the Magic Circle of elite British law firms, employing in excess of 2,300 fee earners with 29 offices across 20 countries.

Universal has a longstanding relationship with Linklaters and has worked on small moves together with the larger, phased in-occupation relocation during the refurbishment of the international law firm’s global HQ.


Having occupied their Silk Street premises for many years, leading global law firm Linklaters started to debate about whether to relocate to alternative premises or remain within their current premise. After numerous building searches, Linklaters decided to stay at One Silk Street and embark on an extensive refurbishment project, focusing on infrastructure works for the whole building and refurbishments to client and staff amenity areas including the main reception, meeting and dining rooms, the auditorium, staff restaurant, gym and health and wellbeing suite.

Universal were instructed to assist with the in-occupation relocation of the partner, lawyers, paralegals and support staff. A key challenge was that the building had to remain in full occupation for the duration of the works and disruption kept to an absolute minimum.

How Universal delivered

Through meticulous planning, Universal was able to ensure that the relocation took place around the client’s teams who remained working throughout. The moves largely took place outside office hours and over weekends, with packing being done during the working day to minimise disruption. Libraries were moved after 6 p.m. to further minimise disturbance to staff and ensure facilities remained available to lawyers and support staff throughout the working day.

All items to be moved were labelled during the week and packing was undertaken by Universal of all staff belongings and filing, to minimise chargeable time lost by lawyers. Photos were taken of all offices so that filing and personal items could be placed in the same order and position once relocated as in the lawyer’s previous office.

Over 600 sheets of hardboard were laid to ensure carpet was protected during the move.

Completing moves by close of play on Saturday allowed Sundays to be used solely for a client walkthrough, so areas could be checked and thereby ensuring offices were ready for staff to begin work immediately on arrival on Monday morning.

Throughout the move, weekly progress meetings were held to ensure that the programme of moves remained on schedule.

Results, Return on Investment and Future Plans

Universal used file trolleys rather than crates for the majority of the move thereby reducing client downtime, minimising crate hire charges and avoiding the need for fee earners to pack. Where crates were utilised, quick unpacking and recycling kept crate hire costs to a minimum. Re-use of hardboard and protection material on each phase helped to resduce material costs.

By keeping moves to weekends and out-of-hours, Universal was able to ensure that client downtime and disruption to fee-earners was minimised.

Universal continues to work with Linklaters LLP as their sole provider for relocation and churn work on an ongoing basis.