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This article, like many others, was first published exclusively for long-term supporters, 1 hour before everyone else got to read it.

CAM to move from 40k sq ft Delhi to 80k Noida office

CAM to move out of Saket home in Delhi to Noida
CAM to move out of Saket home in Delhi to Noida

Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas (CAM) will be moving out of its South-Delhi office of six years and instead has leased a nearly double-the-size office space in nearby Noida to move in from June 2021, Moneycontrol first reported in an article about businesses increasingly opting for more flexible office space set up to save on outgoings:

New properties are also being taken on lease to ensure hot desking. Legal firm Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas (CAM) is taking up a new property in Noida on lease from Max Estates, where new concepts of office design will be adopted.

Cyril Shroff, Managing Partner at Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas, said that CAM Delhi will be shifting to this property in June 2021.

“This is a newly built, ultra-modern building and our office will incorporate the latest concepts in office design. These include special spaces for informal exchanges and hot-desking for lawyers mainly working from home,” Shroff told moneycontrol.

Update 17:32: Shroff told us: “We are moving from 40,000 square feet (in Delhi) to 80,000 square feet [in Noida].”

Not more than 20% of the office would be for hot-desking, and the total size available would enable the firm to grow from its current tally of 200 fee-earners in Delhi/NCR to 500, said Shroff.

The Max office in Noida was near the DND flyover, where other firms such as Khaitan had also recently moved.

Besides more space, the location was also more accessible. “It’ll bring us closer to the courts and central Delhi, just in terms of driving distance,” explained Shroff, noting that the courts could be reached in 20 to 25 minutes.

Partner Vandana Shroff added that before leasing the office they had tested the travel times and the Noida office had actually brought them “close to the heart of Delhi”.

CAM’s move in Delhi follows an announcement made in October 2020 by the firm that it hoped 80% of fee-earners would take up a revolutionary flexible working policy post-April 2021.

The roll-out of the policy had seen the closure of the physical Hyderabad and Chennai offices from 1 January 2021 (though fee-earners would remain on the books of the physical Bangalore office).

From Saket to Noida (+ virtual)

CAM had opened in Delhi in 2015, in the Saket District Centre mall complex in South Delhi.

Hot desking has become especially popular in the pandemic, with many offices having been deserted to staunch the spread of Covid-19.

Hot desking usually entails a smaller overall office space, coupled with staff being able to work from home more easily.

But if they do turn up to the office, the idea is that they can sit at more or less any desk and just hook up their office laptop and begin work.

That may be easier said than done in more paper-heavy legal departments such as litigation but a lot of companies already work on that basis.

Shroff said that the initial expectation of up to 80% potentially choosing to work flexibly, may eventually turn out to be much lower once the pandemic was over.

“A lot of people want to come back to the office, after everything stabilises,” he said.

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