We have had a LOT of VERY HELPFUL answers to the questions put forward by members.

No names mentioned, but members are all corporate law firms and investment banks in the City.

Since COVID especially, have people noticed lots more non-hosted meetings; ie clients using a room at your firm for the day (but doing this regularly). Does anyone have some governance around this in order to refuse a client and prioritise fee paying meetings?

  • We are having the same struggles every day and it has become difficult. The partners book the rooms as client meetings but never come and when we ask the visitors they were never meant to come.
  • We are pushing back and asking management to reinstate and enforce Mondays and Fridays only for client meetings.
  • We currently allow clients to host meetings at our offices but under the following stipulations: 1. Mon & Friday’s are preferred days as they are our quieter days (although they can book Tues-Thurs if quiet). 2. Rooms are subject to client demand. Meetings can be cancelled at the last minute if a client meeting that the firm are involved with is taking place. 3. We are noticing the demand Tues-Thurs is shooting up, so we are currently collating data. I think the firm will clamp down should this number continue to rise!
  • We only have the odd client requesting a room. If the department head signs it off, and we have space, we offer a room.
  • We do have clients using our rooms, we have had to refuse them if no rooms are available but haven’t had to ask them to cancel.
  • Our meeting rooms are only hired for Firm clients meeting with our people.
  • Yes we have seen a marked increase in client relationship meetings with no hosts attending where the clients no longer have their own office space. We monitor this closely and priority is always given to fee earning client meetings. We would not hesitate to push back with no availability if this compromised our client meetings. We are fortunate that we have quite a lot of meeting room space though.
  • It happens rarely to us although we do have a few each year. If we run out of space, we would move internal meetings/training from our client floor to an internal room. It usually works well.
  • We have a lot more un-hosted meetings these days, but we’ve never been in a position that we’ve used up all rooms. Also, all meetings are clients but depends on what you prioritise in your firm. All requests are via the fee earners teams.
  • We have a few clients wanting to use our meeting rooms without the host and they don’t always turn up! Have now set a policy around if they don’t show we won’t just hold the room for them. If we were caught short and unable to host another client meeting then I would go back to the person who booked the room to say we no longer had availability as needed to host a client meeting.