International firm Simmons & Simmons is to expand its Bristol office by nearly 70%, in another sign that City firms are continuing to put their faith in centres outside London.

The firm announced that it had agreed a 12-year lease for 27,000 square feet of office space in the city’s Aurora office building, which is due to open in six months.

At the moment Simmons owns 16,000 square feet of office at its base Linear Park. The firm said the move will allow it to ‘nurture and grow’ its workforce in Bristol.

Mahrie Webb, head of the Bristol office and a financial services regulatory partner, said: ‘Since opening our Bristol office in 2012, we have attracted some of the brightest and best lawyers the market has to offer - but we see this as just the beginning. If we are to continue to attract and retain high quality people to do premium work for premium clients we will need an office environment and location that is modern, inspiring and suited for the way people wish to work now and in the future.’

The firm will take up the top two floors of the building. UK and Germany-based intellectual property specialist firm Mewburn Ellis has agreed to take the first floor of the building on a 15-year lease.

Last year, global law firm Clyde & Co said it would open an office in Bristol in an attempt to capitalise on its reputation as a ‘hub for financial and legal disputes’.

Away from Bristol, the Gazette reported this week that top 60 firm Browne Jacobson had outlined plans to more than double its Manchester workforce after moving to the 20-storey No.1 Spinningfields building in the city centre.

Global firm Squire Patton Boggs will also move into three floors of the building, while national firm Weightmans will bring its two Manchester offices and their 150 staff together on the site later this year.