NHQ worked with international lawyers, Smith Stone Walters, to develop a workplace design brief which would strengthen commercial performance through increasing flexibility and breaking down knowledge silos.  The nature of the office relocation project required a comprehensive strategy-design-delivery package to ensure that the evidence gathered in the design process could be effectively implemented in the new space.


Smith Stone Walters is a specialist immigration practice with offices in New York, Mumbai and Hong Kong as well as two UK offices. Challenging our clients working model meant understanding the interactions between individuals and departments and reviewing how these adjacencies could be organised to enable teams to group and re-group depending on the project or client in-hand. Lawyers need to focus, but with an average age of 30 across the office staff, the client’s ‘workday rhythm’ dictated hospitality, collaboration and interconnectivity as key elements in the final hybrid design blueprint.


We developed a design recommendation which discarded a traditional legal office model in favour of a largely interconnected space where staff could intuitively interact across practice groups and specialisms. The collaboration space was juxtaposed the meeting rooms to enable staff and clients to workshop, focus or break-out as needed. Splashes of colour were added to clean-lines and a non-fussy palette of finishes to strengthen the branding in an open and bright environment. To deliver the process seamlessly, NHQ were invited to project manage the entire process to completion.