Manatt, Phelps & Phillips

Professional Services Future-Proofing.

business Model Transformation

The Opportunity.

Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP, a boutique law firm headquartered in Los Angeles, is known in the marketplace for its quality, commitment to clients, range of capabilities, and innovative offerings.  Their strategic intent of being the "Professional Service Firm of the Future" suggested that change in their operations was required.

Unlike the trajectory typical of law firms at the time, Manatt DC had outgrown its office in Washington, DC. Since the old design had the trappings and challenges of a traditional law firm - including multiple-sized offices, too much paper storage, fluctuating support staff resulting in open case rooms – the old offices were not flexible to adjust to the future.  The office was filled to capacity and lacked proper meeting, touchdown, and support areas to accommodate the work processes. After a space analysis and market exploration, Manatt opted to relocate and hired OPX to design a new, modern workplace.

business Model Transformation

The Process.

At the time, Manatt DC was moving toward implementing and growing a consulting model focused on health care and supporting the federal government. This new model suggested a new way of working. Through a modified version of our IOE process and scenario planning, OPX solicited feedback and input from both Manatt leadership and staff, and used the scenario planning process to help Manatt see the possibilities of the new operating model. OPX also modeled growth options and gave Manatt’s leadership a broader look at possible futures - one that led to "future-proofing" the offices by equipping them to be doubled up as the consulting model grew - and as law firm design evolved. Some of the growth scenarios demonstrated involved doubling up some of the offices, resulting in being able to grow 30% and not take anymore space!

The Impact.

The new space has enhanced the firm’s efficiency and encapsulates Manatt’s progressive brand. Attorneys are housed in same-size offices, with the potential to double up; each office is fully equipped to house two attorneys, supporting increased efficiency, managing future growth, and high-lighting Manatt’s use of a consulting-based model for some of its offerings. Both individual and shared offices have glass fronts, maximizing visual transparency and natural light throughout the space. Each practice group is housed together, including administrative assistants, to enhance workplace efficiency and flow across the floor plate.

Unlike the old space, the new space features an array of meeting and conferencing rooms with full video-conferencing capabilities. The lobby opens up to a large multipurpose room which houses flexible furniture that can easily be arranged for large conferences, seminars, business development, and firm-wide events.

Manatt was so pleased with the result that OPX has since been engaged on Manatt’s headquarters in Los Angeles – While the Los Angeles office is currently under construction, the new workplace reduced Manatt’s footprint by almost half.

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