Our bi-annual global partner meeting hosted in London in January 2020 inspired this amazing historical account of our London office through the design of a coffee table book, paying homage to the Firm’s many accomplishments over the decades.
This is a story of an operation that grew from a small office in 1971, comprising just two lawyers, to the largest U.S. law firm located in the London market today. By the 1960s, there was a strong rationale for opening an office in London. The UK had begun to emerge from the doldrums of the post-World War II recovery and change was in the air, politically, commercially and culturally.
Partner Jim Hurlock lead the initiative to open in London. Hurlock was a pioneer not afraid to make change and seek innovation. He rose to become managing partner of our Firm, succeeded by Duane Wall who lead this story telling project from beginning to end.
There is one simple word that describes a special quality of our Firm. Human. With this in mind, we created a visual narrative from a human perspective through quotes, imagery and artefacts which support the authentic account of events.
We collaborated with colleagues around the globe, to capture their memories, as well as artefacts and photographs, to share their perspectives of the London office as it unfolded over the past five decades. In addition, we worked with clients, libraries and photographers to track down authentic imagery and artefacts to weave into the design structure.
The design of course needed a nod to the past but designing a history book for an office that began in the 70’s meant it had to have a retro flair, not a historic sense of style.
The challenge was to keep a sense of structure and rhythm to the pages but not over complicate the design. This would allow the quotes, images and artefacts to take centre stage.
Early on in the design process we worked with the print vendor and explored a ‘lay flat’ binding technique which would allow the beautiful images to be presented across spreads without losing anything in the binding and maintaining the premium feel to the book.
Continuing the premium feel, we also gave careful consideration to the cover materials – as well as high quality, we needed the book to be durable and tactile and we achieved that by using a litho printable book cloth material called Flaxprint.
We see this piece of art as a vehicle for investing in our future while strengthening our culture of engagement with our clients and our people.
We launched the book at our global partner meeting through a life size exhibition of images and stories. This generated excitement which lead to online book orders, hand delivery to the entire office and copies displayed in our client conference center. And finally, as the 50th anniversary approaches, the book will become another pillar to celebrate the bicentennial occasion.