Legal Business Blogs

‘Rationalisation and upgrade’: CMS UK sublets legacy Nabarro and Olswang headquarters

Six months into the UK’s largest ever legal merger, CMS has signed deals to sublet most of legacy Nabarro and Olswang’s London offices.

Lloyds Bank has today moved into Nabarro’s former premises at 125 London Wall, while University College London (UCL) and US law firm Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan have taken four of Olswang’s five floors at 90 High Holborn.

CMS said the deals mean the firm will have no ongoing financial obligations on the sublet spaces. The firm’s lease for 120,000 sq ft on London Wall and 91,000 sq ft at High Holborn run until 2025 and 2022 respectively.

While UCL and Quinn Emanuel have taken up about two thirds of Olswang’s former premises, one floor at the building is still to be sublet, although CMS said there was ‘positive interest’ in it.

A spokesperson for the firm told Legal Business discussions with Lloyds started in August, while negotiations for 90 High Holborn had been under way since the beginning of the year.

CMS UK managing partner Stephen Millar said the ‘rationalisation and upgrade’ of the firm’s property portfolio was one of its strategic objectives. ‘It is a remarkable achievement to complete such an extensive amount of rationalisation and improvement in this short space of time, and a credit to the teams involved who have worked hard to deliver this project on time and well within budget.’

He added there will be no redundancies as a result of these agreements and the firm was recruiting.

Staff of legacy Nabarro and Olswang agreed to move into CMS UK’s offices at Cannon Place in November 2016 after the firm agreed a deal to take further space in the building.

The move was completed within days of the merger going live in May 2017 , with Nabarro staff leaving the premises they had occupied for the previous two years and Olswang people moving out of the building where the firm had been since 2002.

Staff have also moved in together under one roof in Dubai and Singapore, meaning all CMS employees across the world now work together.

In UAE, CMS and Nabarro teams moved to a new office at the Burj Daman building in the Dubai International Financial Centre in October, while in Singapore 28 lawyers from Nabarro and Olswang have joined forces in the Marina One complex in the Marina Bay financial district.

For an analysis of the three-way merger, see ‘Sale of the century – Has Camerons picked up a bargain with Olswang and Nabarro?’ (£)