"My name is Maximus Michaelas Davidsus, commander of the Holborn Viaduct."  

Hogan Lovells' office move, planned for late 2026, could potentially be delayed due to the discovery of rare Roman relics at the new site.

The firm's London office is at Holborn Viaduct, and the planned move to new premises is just a stone's throw away. But before building works can get underway at the new site, the ground is being excavated by a team from the Museum of London Archaeology (MOLA).

The archaeologists said that the dig had revealed Roman skeletal remains and "an incredibly rare" Roman funerary oak bed, which is the first of its kind, in complete form, found in Britain. Other items such as beads and a decorated lamp have also been uncovered.

MOLA said the site was likely used as a cemetery during the Roman period (AD 43-410). The funerary bed was probably intended for "use in the afterlife", as the Roman deceased were sometimes depicted in their graves as "reclining on a couch or bed and eating as if they were alive".  So sweet dreams for any solicitor who takes a nap in a sleeping pod in the new office and hears something go bump in the night. 

Heather Knight, project officer at MOLA, said: "It is very unusual to discover wooden objects on archaeological sites, but because this site is on the banks of the River Fleet, they have been preserved in the damp mud." The dig will continue as the archaeologists search for other artefacts.

RollOnFriday asked Hogan Lovells if the excavation would delay the move date, but a spokeswoman could only say that the firm is "not currently in a position to confirm any potential impact on the timing of our build."

Regarding the excavation, the spokeswoman said: "Holborn Viaduct has been part of our heritage for many years and this was an important factor in our decision to stay in this location. We are fascinated to learn we are part of this significant archaeological discovery and we look forward to seeing what new stories emerge about life on this historical site that borders the River Fleet, based on these findings." 

For history buffs, more details about MOLA's discovery can be read here

And in a distant future of a drone-patrolled City, MOLA archaeologist robots might gather data as to what City lawyers got up to at Holborn Viaduct, while digging up an ancient window.

Tip Off ROF


Poltergeist 16 February 24 08:59

HL insider here - shotgun not having the office haunted by some random Roman kid looking for his camp bed.  

I saw Poltergeist, this doesnt end well. Don't look at the telly. 

Gladiator/Solicitor 16 February 24 09:02

Maximus: [after swiftly dispatching another gladiator] Are you not delayed?

PerfidiousPorpoise 16 February 24 09:05

They must be wishing they had thought about the Roman Empire more often.

Question Man 16 February 24 09:59

They have a few ancient relics in their partnership as well that require excavating. Last time one particular 'senior' litigator won a case you could still buy a pizza in Rome using lira. 

anon 16 February 24 15:21

Question Man 16 February 24 09:59: yes - he was flushed down Holborn Viaduct from Tower 42.

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