A high-profile law firm is set to relocate in Leeds in what is said to be the largest professional services relocation in the city for almost 15 years.
Walker Morris is to relocate to 33 Wellington Street, with the building currently undergoing a £10m refurbishment.
The firm, which was advised by specialist property consultancy Fox Lloyd Jones, will move from its current locations split across two buildings on King Street into 76,000 sq ft of fully renovated, grade A office space at the heart of the Leeds business district in summer 2019.
The move will bring all 500 of Walker Morris’ staff together under one roof.
Malcolm Simpson, incoming managing partner of Walker Morris, said: “This is a very exciting time for the firm. Walker Morris is a fantastic firm, with the best people, superb clients and a great future. The move is a significant investment by the partners and underlines the confidence we have in our future growth plans for the firm.
“We are also investing heavily in our IT infrastructure, and the overall aim is to inspire our staff, and enable them to work more collaboratively and effectively; whether they are in the office, working remotely at home, with clients or on the move.”
When complete, the refurbished building will also feature a floor to ceiling glass façade to the offices, and a unique south facing outdoor courtyard area.
The move will be underpinned by a number of ongoing IT infrastructure investments, which have been preceded by a multimillion-pound investment in a new practice management system during 2017.
The property, which was bought by Knight Frank Investment Management for Lancashire County Council Pension Fund from MEPC in 2010 for £20m, was occupied by PWC for 20 years before it moved to new headquarters in the city at Central Square in October 2016.
Eamon Fox, partner and head of office agency at property consultancy Knight Frank in Leeds, who advised KFIM, added: “This is one of the most significant office deals in Leeds during the past 12 months. The property is a flagship office building in a superb city centre location and it is fitting it will be now be home to one of Yorkshire’s finest law firms.”
Construction work on the Wellington Street property has started through appointed contractor GMI Construction and it is expected that building will be handed over to Walker Morris for internal fit-out in early 2019. Fox Lloyd Jones is retained to project manage the internal phase and internal design workshops are ongoing.
Published by Insider Media, 27th March 2018