The thought of siloed workers in Canary Wharf and his native Harbour Exchange bothers Kidd Rapinet Solicitors managing partner Graeme Bellenger.

"I hate the idea of people walking into their organisations and walking out again at the end of the day without ever speaking to one another,” he said.

But rather than sit back and leave it there, he and his colleagues have decided to do something about it. They have set up a networking group.

“We came to South Quay just over a year ago, moving our headquarters from the City,” he said.

“We have six offices in total with the other branches in the Thames Valley, Surrey and Buckinghamshire.

“Although they are much smaller, what they have done is they’ve gone and have really got involved in the community and it’s been a great success.

“When we arrived at Harbour Exchange, we looked around and thought ‘Why don’t we make this a community?’.

"When you start to think about Canary Wharf itself – those ginormous buildings where nobody speaks to one another – we’ve gone with the attitude that that’s not quite right.”

As an engine for change Kidd Rapinet Solicitors’ first In And Around Canary Wharf Networking Group event will take place on Monday, January 30, from 12.45pm to 2pm at Hilton London Canary Wharf on South Quay.

Aimed at establishing “mutually beneficial contacts which can generate business and help organisations integrate into and with the Canary Wharf community” it includes a buffet lunch (at a cost of £25 per person, plus booking fee) and the chance to meet professionals and businesses based in and around the Wharf.

Together, apart. Kidd Rapinet is on a mission to get business people in and around Canary Wharf talking to each other

Graeme said: “Over the last year we’ve been going out and speaking to lots of contacts, primarily towards Harbour Exchange – because it’s easy as it’s right on our doorstep – but also going into Canary Wharf itself.

“Whenever we’ve spoken to people, they’ve always been really receptive and they like the idea of a business community speaking to one another.

“On the back of those meetings we now want to bring it all together for the business contacts that we’ve made.

"On our list we’ve got a couple of the banks various accountants, payroll companies, other well known institutions and an estate agency. As we get the group to be larger we’ll probably expand.

“We want to make sure we get all those small to medium size businesses but also representation from some of the larger businesses too.

On-site services

We all have our respective needs whether it’s a big corporate or the hundreds of thousands of people who work in this area that require services in their domestic life – needing a lawyer, accountant or estate agent, for example.

“These services are right on their doorstep. Rather than having the inconvenience of having to contact businesses where people happen to live, there’s all this available and it’s all competitive in terms of providing a good service as well as financially.

“Just because we happen to be in the centre of town it doesn’t mean to say we can’t compete with businesses outside of the town centre at all.

"We will often be cheaper, whether it’s Kidd Rapinet or the accountants and so forth – everybody’s there trying to do business.

“My mantra is just to be an excellent service provider but also to bring everybody together.”

To arrange your attendance at the event email inandaroundcanarywharf@kiddrapinet.co.uk or call Kidd Rapinet Solicitors on 020 7925 0303.

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