Matthew Neville

Leeds law firms lead drive for “super-prime” sustainable offices, according to report

Leeds law firms are leading the drive towards best-in-class offices as competition for talent creates record demand for “super-prime” sustainable offices, according to the latest research from global real estate advisor Knight Frank.

Knight Frank’s Law Firm Report, published this week, revealed that the office space taken by law firms in Leeds was 100,743 sq ft last year, a 202 per cent rise on 2020.

This was primarily due to DLA Piper’s 83,000 sq ft pre-let at City Square House, a new highly sustainable, best-in class building, close to Leeds City Station, which is being designed to support the wellbeing and productivity of employees.

Eamon Fox, partner and head of Knight Frank’s office agency department in Leeds, explained: “The legal sector is Leeds is currently turbo-charged, driven by a combination of a focus on talent attraction and employee wellbeing and a need to align law firm’s real estate with post-pandemic workplace strategies and sustainability commitments.

“Apart from the DLA Piper deal, which is a game-changer in the Leeds office market, other leading law firms such as Knights, Lupton Fawcett and rradar have moved, or are just about to move, to superb new modern and sustainable offices with a brilliant working environment. Gone are the days of stuffy, uncomfortable, rabbit-warren type offices.

“There is no doubt that attracting and retaining the very best talent there is, is crucial to law firms in Leeds. During the past 20 years the legal sector in the city has flourished, providing an attractive and viable alternative to London.”

Jennifer Townsend, partner, cccupier research at Knight Frank, added: “Law firms remain committed to the office, recognising its role in supporting, facilitating, and portraying business strategy.

“Looking at the drivers of leasing transactions in 2021, there were common themes of sustainability, health and wellbeing, and the flight to quality, with occupiers investing in amenity-rich, highly connected spaces.

“Law firms are creating workplaces with new ways of working in mind, centred around collaboration, innovation, client-centricity and learning and development.”

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