Deloitte closes Gatwick, Liverpool, Nottingham and Southampton offices

21 October 2020 3 min. read

Big Four firm Deloitte has confirmed that the leases of four of its UK offices are set to lapse, as the firm looks to make cost savings amid the current recession. Staff based at the four locations slated for closure would continue to be employed by Deloitte under permanent work from home contracts.

With the consulting industry famously relying on travel to reach clients all over the world, professionals in the sector are especially vulnerable to Covid-19, meaning many firms have had to take evasive action to minimise their infection rates. In the UK in March, this saw Deloitte close its London office for deep cleaning following its first case of coronavirus, before encouraging its staff to work from home where possible.

In the months since, Deloitte has been constantly looking to reposition itself to limit the damage of Covid-19 to the firm’s profitability. Despite reporting growth in its latest annual results, Deloitte saw big hits to its distributable profit in the quarter closest to the Covid-19 outbreak, and has subsequently trimmed its global headcount by thousands, while also widely re-evaluating the necessity of office space amid an international pandemic.

Deloitte closes Gatwick, Liverpool, Nottingham and Southampton offices

With this in mind, the news that Deloitte, which employs 19,000 people in Britain, has become one of the first large UK companies to decide not to renew leases on a number of its properties is not especially surprising. Amid the mass shift of office workers to homeworking during the pandemic, Deloitte has hatched plans to shutter four of its 50 UK offices in the coming months, impacting hundreds of employees.

Deloitte UK Managing Partner Stephen Griggs confirmed that the closures will not constitute job losses, and that “any proposed change is to our ‘bricks and mortar’, not our presence in these regions.” As such, the roughly 500 employees work in Deloitte’s offices in Gatwick, Liverpool, Nottingham and Southampton will all be offered the option of full-time remote working.

Deloitte’s Liverpool office is part of its North West presence, underpinned by 700 dedicated professionals across the Manchester and Liverpool areas. The firm’s Gatwick and Southampton offices are meanwhile part of its South East wing, with 1,200 members of staff also based in the Reading, Cambridge, St Albans and Milton Keynes offices. Deloitte Nottingham is currently paired with Birmingham in the firm’s Midlands presence.

Griggs told The Financial Times, “Covid-19 has fast-tracked our future of work programme, leading us to review our real estate portfolio and how we use our offices across the UK, including London.”

Deloitte is not alone in its closing of physical offices amid the transition to a more digital working model. In August, Capita, a major government outsourcer, revealed it was planning to close more than a third of its British offices to allow thousands of its staff to work from home for good.