Shoosmiths Takes Pride Of Place At 103 Colmore Row

13 June 2023

Nicola Fleet Milne Colmore BID Beth McArdle and Alex Bishop Shoosmiths Shoosmiths Takes Pride Of Place At 103 Colmore Row

Law firm Shoosmiths has opened the doors to its new home in the heart of Birmingham’s business district at 103 Colmore Row, 20 years after the firm first established a presence in the city.

Mayor of the West Midlands, Andy Street, and more than 140 stakeholders attended Shoosmiths’ opening in the city’s highest office space on Thursday, 8 June, to celebrate the firm’s new home, which has reimagined old ways of working and ensures accessibility and inclusion are at its heart.

Working together with local design consultancy Office Principles, office heads Alex Bishop and Beth McArdle have transformed the 32,900 sq ft of BREEAM ‘Excellent’ Grade A space into the ideal, hybrid ‘workplace destination’ for more than 350 Shoosmiths’ colleagues and clients across its 11th, 12th and 20th floors.

Storytelling, purpose and meaning are at the heart of the law firm’s design concept. The space pays homage to the region’s rich history and incorporates details that represent Birmingham’s position as a city of a thousand trades, having more miles of canal than Venice, the most parks in Europe, and being a global centre for jewellery manufacture. 

The floors are divided to offer a range of workspace options across The Retreat (11th Floor) – a zone for concentrated work; The Co-Lab (12th Floor) a collaborative, social space; and The View (20th Floor) a cutting-edge client suite with unparalleled views of the city.  

The hospitality-led design offers flexible client hosting areas and event spaces including The Lounge, The Gallery, ‘Spaghetti Function’ and The Raging Bull Bar. 

The 11th and 12th floors are also seamlessly connected by a grand staircase and the entire space is tied together with the symbolic Shoosmiths ribbon sculpture, which runs through to the 20th floor. At the heart of the design concept is agility, collaboration and a drive to innovate – offering a choice of work settings to inspire creativity, connections and togetherness. 

Supporting Shoosmiths’ ambition to be carbon net zero by 2025, sustainability is a key feature of the design. Planting features prominently across the space, with sunset and sunrise gardens on the uppermost floors that take inspiration from the Botanical Gardens and offer panoramic views of Birmingham’s skyline. 

Shoosmiths has incorporated a host of innovative features, many of which support the diversity, inclusion and wellbeing of the firm’s people and are designed to be visible and non-visible disability friendly. These include a wellbeing room, a multi-faith contemplation pod and washing facilities, a platform lift between floors to provide disabled access, brail signage for those with impaired vision, sit and stand desks, dressing rooms and a mindful colour palate.

Alex Bishop, co-head of the Birmingham office and head of Shoosmiths’ national dispute resolution and litigation practice, said:

“This year marks Shoosmiths’ 20th anniversary in Birmingham. What the firm has achieved in this time to become a leading firm for what matters to clients is nothing short of remarkable – the deals this firm has done for the Midlands has changed its skyline, and transformed businesses regionally, nationally and internationally.

“Creating a space like this is not only a homage to our amazing people, but also a toast to our future. We have a new space, a new brand, and a clear vision: to be the law firm that clients turn to for what matters.”

Beth McArdle, co-head of the Birmingham office and real estate partner, said: 

“It’s been a privilege to be involved in the creation of a truly inspirational, thoughtful and purposeful space. It breaks the mould of the traditional ‘office’. Our new home has been designed from the ground up to serve the diverse of needs of our people and our clients and, above all else, to be the embodiment of Shoosmiths’ amazing culture. 

“Shoosmiths has always had a reputation for innovation and doing things differently and we truly believe that this new, state-of-the-art space really sets the standard for diversity, inclusion and flexible working in the years to come.”

Andy Street, mayor of the West Midlands, said: 

“With this investment, Shoosmiths has displayed their commitment to our region and its future – recognising that today’s workforce talent seek out innovative new spaces that foster wellbeing and creativity.  

“The firm’s new home is a stellar example of the workplace of the future – with a focus on inclusivity and sustainability. I look forward to seeing Shoosmiths continue to advance the prosperity of their business, employees and our wider economy in the months and years ahead.”  

Tina Batham, joint managing director of Office Principles North, added: 

“This exceptional workplace successfully blurs the lines between work and home and delivers a truly memorable experience for Shoosmiths’ colleagues and clients alike – with lots of places and features to discover across all three floors. 

“We’ve thoroughly enjoyed working with Alex Bishop, Beth McArdle and Simon Taylor at Shoosmiths to design and deliver a modern, flexible workspace that truly has people, hospitality and choice at its heart. It’s a warm, accessible and inclusive environment that reflects and celebrates the very best of Birmingham’s past and present.”