In February, it was announced that leading law firm Lewis Silkin is to take two floors of office space on a 15-year lease at Arbor, the first building to complete at our landmark Bankside Yards development in SE1.
Lewis Silkin will occupy floors 6 and 7 of Arbor. The new 19-storey workspace will help to meet high levels of demand from media, technology, and forward-thinking professional service firms wanting to be based in Bankside and SE1 – an area rapidly becoming a key innovation cluster for London.
Following the announcement, The Native Journal interviewed Lewis Silkin’s Joint Managing Partner, Richard Miskella, on the firm’s move to Arbor.
What were the main qualities of Arbor that made it an attractive relocation option for your business?
When looking for our new London home, it was key that we found somewhere that reflected our culture and who we are as a firm. The brief was to find an office fit for the 21st Century, one that supports our move to hybrid working, our sustainability goals and our desire to continue playing an active part in the local community – and the move to Arbor will tick all these boxes.
How do you see the building/location/wider Bankside Yards development aligning with your values – “Ideas, People, Possibilities”?
Bankside Yards will provide our teams with a cutting-edge working environment and the wellbeing benefits of the wider development. That can only help our people continue to develop the ideas that create endless possibilities for the future success of our clients.
The building is certified Platinum by WiredScore, rated Excellent by BREEAM and is ready to achieve a Gold WELL Building Standard. How important was its sustainability credentials in making your choice?
Moving to Arbor is a key stepping-stone on our long-term journey and commitment to significantly reduce our carbon emissions as a business. The climate challenge is one we all share and it is of critical importance to us that our physical footprint helps contribute to addressing that challenge. Our firm has set ambitious carbon reduction targets for the coming years, including a target to reduce emissions from gas and electricity by 21% between 2019 and 2025, and has committed, as part of the Legal Renewables Initiative, to source 100% of electricity for UK offices from renewable sources by 2025. The new office will play a major role in achieving this ambition.
Arbor will form part of the new Bankside Yards estate, a five-acre mixed-used campus which will deliver 1.4m sq ft of retail, office, cultural, leisure, f&b and residential space – what are you most looking forward to?
Bankside and Southwark more widely has established itself as a location of choice for innovative and creative businesses, including dynamic media and tech enterprises. This closely mirrors our own focus areas as a firm, and when we make the move, we will feel very much at home in what is a thriving business community.
Why do you think physical offices are still important?
We want our people to have a strong element of flexibility over where they work but also the face-to-face time needed to strengthen relationships, foster innovation and maintain our culture and community. While the pandemic allowed us to reimagine how and where we work, getting together in person in our own London home will always be a vital element of hybrid working at Lewis Silkin.