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Goodbye Fleet Street: Freshfields picks 100 Bishopsgate for new headquarters

After doubling space at its Manchester low cost-hub last year, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer is to sign a new lease in the City at 100 Bishopsgate.

The firm has been looking for 300,000 sq ft as its Fleet Street lease in London will expire in 2021. The leasing deal is expected to be one of the biggest this year.

Having been at Fleet Street for almost 30 years, the Magic Circle firm began assessing its options earlier this year and had considered subletting part of its Fleet Street premises. The firm whittled down its shortlist to two locations around July with 60-70 St Mary Axe the second option.

A partner at the Magic Circle firm told Legal Business: ‘It will have the effect of cutting costs, but with all the moves we made moving people to Manchester the firm needs a lot less space.’

Freshfields opened the doors to its low-cost Manchester services hub in July 2015. Later that year the firm selected a permanent location, One New Bailey, located by Spinningfields in Salford, doubling the size of its current office to 80,000 sq ft. It is expected to move into the new premises next year.

In April the firm confirmed it would open a second low-cost hub. At the time Freshfields chose Vancouver, Canada as its favoured location.

Freshfields currently occupies 221,000 sq ft at its Fleet Street base with an additional 150,000 sq ft at its nearby 28 Tudor Street offices. 100 Bishopsgate is to be completed in 2018.

Other firms on the move include Ashurst, which is to relocate its entire London operation to 1-10 Brushfield Street in Spitalfields in 2019. On a 20-year lease, Ashurst will take up the entire office space, around 275,000 sq ft, in the London Fruit & Wool Exchange when the building is completed.

Freshfields declined to comment.