Gilbert + Tobin managing partner Danny Gilbert has told Lawyers Weekly that the firm’s move to Sydney’s burgeoning Barangaroo development does not signal a change in direction.
Gilbert + Tobin will move into “Tower 2” in the 7.5 hectare Barangaroo South precinct in 2016.
The firm has been at its current Sydney premises on Park Street for 13 years.
“We are looking for a refresh,” Gilbert + Tobin managing partner Danny Gilbert (pictured) told Lawyers Weekly.
Gilbert said that although the firm’s new address comes with resplendent views of Sydney harbour, it did not preface an image makeover for the firm.
“No, this does not signal new focus areas for us,” he said. “We will be doing the same sort of work [that we do now] and presenting the same image to the market.”
The developers, Lend Lease, are hoping to attract around 23,000 office workers and over 1000 residents to the site.
G+T is the first law firm to sign up to the towers and the fourth organisation to commit to the new development.
Tower 2 is the centrepiece of three major buildings in what Lend Lease has dubbed International Towers Sydney. G+T will occupy four high-rise floors in Tower 2, with Westpac taking the majority of the floor space.
G+T is the latest large law firm to move or signal that it is moving offices in Sydney.
In August Herbert Smith Freehills (HSF) moved into the ‘ANZ Tower’ on Castlereagh Street and Corrs Chambers Westgarth moved into a new building at Chifley Square in October.
In a Burrows Legal / Lawyers Weekly panel discussion on law firm office design in late November, HSF partner Peter Dunne said HSF sought to address cultural problems within law firms, such as lawyers working in isolation, in regard to his firm’s move.
“We are in the business of people, that’s it, full stop, and for a long time we all worked in premises that had no regard to that,” said Dunne. “The premises now seek to address that.”
Gilbert said that G+T would be looking to move towards more of an open plan environment that fostered collaboration at its new office.
G+T currently has around 460 staff in Sydney.
Gilbert did not disclose how much it would be forking out once it moves into its new premises, but said the rental fees were similar to what it would be paying if it remained in Park Street.
In November last year, James Packer’s plans for a high-roller casino resort at Barangaroo received final approval from the NSW Government.
While G+T has long-standing links with the Packer family, Packer’s Crown consortium used Ashurst in gaining development approval.