EN | PT
Law firms move to consolidate their European property requirements
21 Nov, 2005, London
Law firms accounted for 135,000 sq m of office take-up across 15 key European cities in the first six months of 2005, according to Legal Business Briefing, a publication by Cushman & Wakefield Healey & Baker (C&W/H&B).
That 135,000 sq m of take-up is equivalent to 5 per cent of total take-up, and is 21,000 sq m up on the space let in the same period in 2004. "Law firms are currently among the key players in the office letting market in Europe's top cities, with many firms seeing the softer office market as an ideal time to identify buildings and fix future real estate costs", says James Young, Head of C&W/H&B’s European Law Firm Practice Group.
The total office space occupied by the legal profession is now around 10 million square metres in Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain and the UK - the equivalent to Madrid's total office stock.
Four markets account for 75 per cent of take-up by law firms in the 15 top cities – London (30,600 sq m), Paris (27,100 sq m), Frankfurt (22,500 sq m) and Amsterdam (18,600 sq m).
The average unit size in the key cities of Brussels, Paris, Frankfurt, Milan, Amsterdam, Madrid and London was around 1,500 sq m, with individual city averages ranging from 2,800 sq m in London, the biggest, to 700 sq m in Brussels, the smallest.
This year, Paris has recorded the biggest deal in the legal profession with a 13,000 sq m pre-let to Clifford Chance in Place Vendôme. Frankfurt has recorded the second biggest, with a pre-let to Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer of 12,200 sq m. And Amsterdam, the third with a 9,500 sq m letting to Baker & McKenzie.
James Young continues: "Legal firms are increasingly looking at their property portfolios and asking themselves: 'Does this space work for our business?' This is why we are seeing law firms across Europe consolidating their property requirements into one functional, flexible building to help them be more productive and more cost efficient. That is what is driving demand."