- What Another five law firms have activated London HQ requirements totalling 450,000 sq ft
- Why Upcoming lease events are driving the searches
- What next A handful of major law firms will soon begin shortlisting options
Another five major law firms have activated requirements for office space in London totalling 450,000 sq ft, React News can reveal.
The new requirements now mean that London law firms are collectively looking for around 1.7m sq ft of office space, as they look to secure long term headquarters buildings in the capital.
Us law firm Latham & Watkins has launched a search for around 200,000 sq ft of offices in the City. The company occupies space at 99 Bishopsgate, EC2 on a lease which expires in 2024. Latham & Watkins has been steadily expanding in the building since moving there in 1999 and extending its leases.
UK law firm Watson Farley & Williams has begun a review of its London headquarters, appointing Squarebrook to advise it on options for around 80,000 sq ft driven by a 2022 lease break at its current base, 15 Appold Street, EC2. The review will explore options linked to the break date, as well as its lease expiry in 2026.
Separately, Washington-based law firm Covington & Burling is looking for between 70,000 sq ft and 80,000 sq ft of office space in central London as it contemplates a move away from its long-standing headquarters, 265 Strand.
London-based lawyer, Kingsley Napley is understood to have instructed BH2 to look for between 50,000 sq ft and 60,000 sq ft and is already looking closely at Endurance Land’s The Bailey development at 16 Old Bailey, EC4. It is currently based at nearby Knights Quarter, 14 St john’s Lane, EC1.
Another UK law firm, Shoosmiths, has instructed BBG Real Estate Advisers to source a London office of between 20,000 sq ft and 30,000 sq ft.
Corporate and insurance law firm, Reynolds Porter Chamberlain (RPC), advised by CBRE, had been actively considering relocating its London headquarters to around 100,000 sq ft at Devon House in St Katherine Docks but it now thought to be favouring a regear of its lease at the nearby K2 development.
Charles Russell Speechley, advised by Cushman & Wakefield, had also been considering options for a 120,000 sq ft relocation but is now understood to be more likely to renew its lease at 5 Fleet Place.
The firms join other law firms currently actively looking for HQ options in the capital. US law firm Kirkland & Ellis, advised by Savills, is edging closer to making a decision on its 150,000 sq ft search for offices. It has a lease expiry in 2023 in The Gherkin, 30 St Mary Axe, EC3.
As reported by React News earlier this month, magic Circle law firm, Linklaters, has instructed Capital Real Estate Partners to test the market for options in London that could accommodate between 400,000 sq ft and 500,000 sq ft of office space. The search, which is the largest to be activated in London this year, is being driven Linklaters’ lease expiry in 2026 at 1 Silk Street, EC2, in the City of London.
Linklaters pays an annual rent of around £18m on its Silk Street base, where it occupies the entirety of the 453,474 sq ft of office space.
Last month, London and Washington-based law firm, Hogan Lovells kickstarted a review of its London offices as a precursor to launching a requirement for a 300,000 sq ft headquarters building in in the capital.
The law firm has been taking presentations from agents on the available options in London that could accommodate all staff based in its two offices in Midtown.
Hogan Lovells has re-engaged with Cushman & Wakefield, the firm’s retained adviser, which is handling the requirement.
Hogan Lovells’ leases at Atlantic House and 21 Holborn Viaduct both expire in 2026 but the law firm has opted to begin a review of the London market now given the long lead time required to implement future corporate real estate decisions.
Also in June, Chicago-based law firm Baker McKenzie began a search for new headquarters in central London of up to 150,000 sq ft. The practice instructed Savills following a competitive pitch to look for options ahead of its 2023 lease expiry at 100 New Bridge Street, EC4.
They follow a host of other major law firms that have signed for new offices in the City of London this year, including Cooley at 22 Bishopsgate; Cadwalader at 100 Bishopsgate; Millbank Tweed at 100 Liverpool Street; Squire Patton Boggs at Premier Place; and Mills & Reeve at 24 King William Street.