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SOM allays fears as London base faces uncertain future

SOM's London office has moved to calm increasing speculation over the future of the international firm's presence in the capital.

The company has announced how the office will be structured following the departure of Larry Altmann and the secondment of Mark Regulinski to New York.

Responsibility for the office - which is understood to have lost up to 50 per cent of its staff since the beginning of last year - will be taken by a new steering group together with former director Roger Kallman, who will act in a consultative role.

Problems first emerged at the beginning of the year when the firm's competition-winning designs for NATO's new headquarters appeared to be sidelined.

However, a spokesman for the company said the office's future was secure: 'SOM London has undertaken a recent reorganisation as a result of an ongoing firm-wide review. This will allow a higher level of interoffice collaboration.

'SOM is committed to the future of the London office, which is working on many largescale, mixed-use schemes for clients in the UK and Europe.

These projects demand the harnessing of all firm-wide resources and broader talents, allowing more partners to be involved with the London office, ' he added.

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