Law Firm Hogan Lovells Seek New London Headquarters

London’s Commercial Property Market Gets A Timely Endorsement

In what will be considered a timely endorsement for the London commercial property market, the firm wants to consolidate its three current offices into one giant HQ, with approximately 350,000 square feet.

It has appointed Cushman & Wakefield to find a suitable location to house its 3,000 staff and has cast a net across all of the capital’s major office markets.

“The timing and size of the requirement is a real fillip for London and is confirmation, if it was needed, that London’s fundamentals are more attractive to corporates than any offered in other cities in Europe,” one London leasing agent said.

The firm, which is ranked as the seventh biggest practice in the UK by revenue, currently occupies a similar amount of space across three separate office buildings on Holborn Viaduct in London’s Midtown.

Its leases on the three buildings, which include its current London HQ at Atlantic House, 50 Holborn Viaduct, are due to expire in 2023. Given the size of the requirement, the firm is thought to be focused on pre-let options.

Hogan Lovells has been one of a number of companies to have undertaken ‘near-shoring’ exercises – moving back-office staff to regional locations – in recent years as the cost of renting in the capital hit record highs.

It opened a 7,620 sq ft office in Colmore Plaza in Birmingham in 2014, following in the footsteps of fellow law firms Allen & Overy, Herbert Smith Freehills, Ashurst and Axiom, which have also set up operations in regional cities. A wider efficiency drive at the firm, which is co-headquartered in London and Washington DC, has also seen some back-office functions moved to Johannesburg.

However, this new HQ requirement is confirmation of the company’s commitment to the capital.

Rival law firm Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer is also in the market for a new London HQ of up to 300,000 sq ft and earlier this year whittled its shortlist down to two options: TH Real Estate’s 60-70 St Mary Axe, also known as ‘The Can of Ham’, and Brookfield Property Partners’ 100 Bishopsgate.

Other large office requirements in the London market include Boston Consulting Group, which has appointed Cushman & Wakefield to search for up to 150,000 sq ft of space; the European Bank of Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and television channel ITV, which is back on the hunt for around 260,000 sq ft for its new HQ.