Charles Russell Speechly
Legal & Professional Services
Charles Russell is a top 50 full service legal practice with offices in London, Guildford, Cheltenham, Cambridge, Oxford, Geneva and now Bahrain. Its clients range from international FTSE and AIM listed businesses to governments, not for profit bodies, private individuals, trustees and intermediaries.
Its services include: Corporate and Commercial; Real Estate; Litigation and Dispute Resolution; Employment and Pensions; Private Client; and, Family. Charles Russell is known for its client care, expertise, and cost effectiveness. It focuses on dealing with matters quickly, cost‐effectively and in the best interests of its clients.
Due to rapid growth in the Middle East, Charles Russell decided to expand its office network to the region. Bahrain was selected as it has minimal barriers to entry, competitive start‐up costs and provides a tax efficient environment. Charles Russell initially occupied a small serviced office in Bahrain. In early 2007, Charles Russell had plans to relocate from its existing premises into a prestigious new ‘Charles Russell’ office in the Bahrain World Trade Centre by the fourth quarter of 2008.
The company required local expertise in the Middle East to help manage the preparation of and Relocation to its new office facility. The main challenge was that the Charles Russell local project team based in Bahrain would have to collaborate with its Facilities team based 3,500 miles away in London. PTS was enlisted to provide construction and IT project management support for the Relocation. Carol Roberts, General Manager at Charles Russell Bahrain explained: “We chose to employ PTS not only to ensure that the Charles Russell Relocation project went smoothly, but also to bridge the geographical gap between our UK and Bahrain operations. PTS has a world‐class pedigree in the Relocation sector as well as the local expertise on the ground in both country locations.”
Due Diligence and Programme Management: As Charles Russell had limited supplier and project resource and its London facilities team had little experience in the Middle East, PTS represented Charles Russell as its ‘eyes and ears on the ground’. PTS was involved in the business case development and conducted independent due diligence and analysis
surrounding contractor selections and the IT and Communications budget. Once the project was given full sign off PTS were required to establish negotiations with local contractors to initiate a design and build form of contract. The project programme and reporting, cost control and quality management fell under the PTS banner and communication with the client team was conducted by way of regular conference calls and meetings.
IT, AV and VoIP Infrastructure procurement and project management: The majority of the infrastructure design needed to replicate the Charles Russell global standards. PTS was able to help make sure that consistent standards and technology were employed within the Middle East region. The procurement of WAN connectivity proved particularly challenging as the terminology and connectivity availability in the region differs greatly from mature markets such as the UK. A high-performance LAN infrastructure was implemented incorporating a VoIP solution. PTS managed the implementation of a video conferencing system mirroring that installed in London.
With fast track fit-out projects in the Middle East, it is essential to micro‐manage both the programme and the risks and issues. PTS provided daily liaison with both the client and contractor teams coupled with weekly reporting in a concise and clear format to enable the steering committee to update the UK senior management on the progress of the Bahrain fit out.
Robust cost management and an ability to adapt to the local market saved Charles Russell both time and expense in terms of adopting market practices when selecting and designing solutions for the office. As with all projects the close management of the change control process was fundamental to the success of the project, it enabled a swift completion and minimised design changes therefore reducing abortive work and additional costs.
Key features of the project include:
- Fit-out of Relocation to brand new premises in Bahrain World Trade Centre
- Due diligence of the IT and Communications budget and contractor selections
- Implementation of a resilient IT/AV infrastructure incorporating VoIP in line with global Charles Russell Standards
- Ongoing project and programme management to liaise between London and Bahrain
- Local knowledge from planning to implementation reduced project risk to the client
With PTS’s support as IT Consultancy partner for the Relocation project, the IT requirements of Charles Russell in the Middle East were fully accounted for and incorporated into the design and build programme from the outset. Thanks to PTS, the IT and AV infrastructure was delivered to specification, to budget and most importantly, ahead of the deadline.
Carol Roberts, General Manager at Charles Russell Bahrain concluded: “We selected PTS to manage our office fit-out on the 31st floor of the Bahrain World Trade Centre because of their proven track record and also because they have an office in Dubai, as local experience is, in our view, essential. They understand the needs of a law firm and were particularly helpful in ensuring that our requirements were met. We have been delighted with their professional and very pro‐active approach. PTS Middle East has provided invaluable support not only to our team in London but also our people on the ground in Bahrain.”
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