A major US firm is to take on 65,000 square feet of office space in one of London’s newest skyscrapers, as investors say that businesses are increasingly seeking new premises.
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP and Affiliates is to move its 250-strong London team to 22 Bishopsgate late next year. The firm – which currently has an office in Canary Wharf – has agreed a 15-year lease and will occupy the 38-40th floors of the building.
22 Bishopsgate was completed in December and contains a food market, gym, restaurant and bar, public viewing gallery, and London’s first ‘sky-wall’ climbing window at 125 metres above ground. AXA IM Alts, the investment management company which developed the skyscraper, said it has seen an increase in occupier enquiries since the government began to lift lockdown restrictions.
‘Since restrictions began to ease in March, we have seen a material uplift in occupier enquiries, as businesses reflect on the lockdown-experience and seek adaptable space with best-in class amenity and smart technology,' said senior asset manager Phillip Shalless.
‘ 22 Bishopsgate, with its emphasis on providing excellent amenities and smart technology that enable the highest levels of wellbeing and productivity, is ideally suited to Skadden. This letting to such a prestigious global law firm as Skadden is both a further endorsement of the appeal of 22 Bishopsgate, and highlights the crucial role that the centre of London continues to play in creating the right space for talent and business to thrive.’
Just 60% of the building is currently let, however, and many City law firms have indicated that they will reduce their office space in the coming years. DWF and Gowling WLG have both reviewed their real estate portfolio to cut costs, while Allen & Overy said its need for office space will ‘reduce considerably’ as a result of homeworking.
Meanwhile, a host of practices have introduced flexible working policies, allowing staff to come into the office as little as one or two days a week.