Legal Business Blogs

Moving in: Camerons, Olswang and Nabarro ink deal for Cannon Place

Soon to be merged firms CMS Cameron McKenna, Nabarro and Olswang are to move in together into CMS UK’s current Cannon Place headquarters.

Property database CoStar reported the firms agreed a deal to occupy about 80,000 sq ft that remains vacant in the building covering one and a half floors, conditional on the merger completing on 1 May 2017.

Landlord Hines is preparing the building for sale at a guide price of £510m. The property has been listed to lease at £67.5 per sq ft.

One Nabarro partner said: ‘of course the intention is to pull everyone together in one location but you’ve got leases, floor spaces – practical issues. You’ve had situations in the past where firms have merged and they’re sitting in their own offices. What sort of merger’s that?’

Speaking to Legal Business yesterday, Olswang chief executive Paul Stevens said the ‘day-to-day mechanics’ of the union are yet to be worked out including property arrangements alongside client conflicts, staff consolidation and office overlaps.

It is unclear whether Camerons will continue to reap the benefits of its long-term lease dubbed the ‘deal of a century’ reached in 2014 which included a six-year rent-free period on its 140,000 sq ft let, taking up three floors in the eight-floor Cannon Place.

It was confirmed Camerons, Nabarro and Olswang had voted to combine yesterday (11 October), taking on the CMS brand and giving Camerons revenues of around £450m in the UK.

The merger is due to complete next year, Nabarro and Olswang will join the CMS Cameron McKenna UK LLP partnership.

A statement said the partners of all three firms voted ‘overwhelmingly in favour’ of the union to ‘create a new powerhouse’ and the sixth-largest law firm by headcount. It was revealed that the three firms were in merger discussions less than two weeks ago.

Read more on CMS’ earlier merger with Dundas & Wilson in: ‘The Programme – how Dundas & Wilson fits into the CMS masterplan