Major pre-let office deal signed in the City, as law firm Latham & Watkins commits to London


aw firm Latham & Watkins has shown long-term confidence in London, by agreeing a major pre-let for a City office it plans to occupy from 2026.

The company expects to occupy a minimum of 200,000 square feet at 1 Leadenhall from early 2026.

That 430,000 square foot development will be adjacent to the historic Leadenhall Market, and is Canadian investor Brookfield’s latest City of London development.

Latham & Watkins  currently has a office in the capital at 99 Bishopsgate, and it is home to nearly 500 lawyers.

The letting comes despite some concerns about what future office occupier demand will look like post-Covid in London.

Scores of people have worked from home since the first lockdown started in March 2020, and some companies are expected to look at embracing remote working longer term.

However, a number of bosses have said the office remains important.  Some firms are expected to look at a mix of home and office working.

Stephen Kensell, office managing partner of Latham & Watkins in London, said: “The state-of-the-art building at 1 Leadenhall affords all the amenities, benefits, and flexibility of a modern building in the heart of the City, and will be designed with the firm’s signature values of collaboration and teamwork in mind.”

Kensell said: “While the move remains some way off, it marks another key milestone in our growth and history as one of the leading global law firms in London.”

Zach Vaughan, managing partner and head of European real estate at Brookfield, said: “There is continued demand for high-quality, modern and flexible office space, and 1 Leadenhall’s design ensures it is adaptable and fit to cater to future working needs.”

Tom Sleigh, chair of the property investment board at the City of London, said: “1 Leadenhall represents the first major City pre-let lease signing this year, demonstrating the long-term conviction that leading global firms hold in the resilient and vibrant City of London as an international business hub.”

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