Addleshaw Booth & Co will lose £1.5m in rent fulfilling the lease on its London office after moving in with its City merger partner Theodore Goddard.
The merged firm, Addleshaw Goddard, will keep around 100 staff at Addleshaws' London base for the next two years, but the lease on the building does not run out until mid-2006.
The new firm will be reorganised into five divisions and the London staff from two of them will work in Cannon Street until 2005, by which time the Theodore Goddard building will have been reconfigured to house the whole firm.
Addleshaws' landlord, US law firm Shook Hardy & Bacon, did not give the firm a break clause when it leased it the 28,000sq ft at £74.50 per square foot, including rates, when the commercial property market was at its height in June 2001.
Luckily for Addleshaws, Shook Hardy is taking back 8,000sq ft, but the firm is still saddled with the remaining 20,000.
Addleshaws and Theodore Goddard face another huge property bill to reconfigure Theodore Goddard's Aldersgate Street office to provide space for all the Addleshaws London staff.
Theodore Goddard senior partner Paddy Grafton Green said that when the two firms are united in Theodore Goddard's office, they will probably need to seek extra space nearby.
An Addleshaws spokesperson would not comment on whether Theodore Goddard would share any of its property liabilities after the merger.
As revealed on www. thelawyer.com/lawyernews on 16 April, Addleshaws and Theodore Goddard voted unanimously to merge last Wednesday 16 April.
Addleshaws managing partner Mark Jones and senior partner Paul Lee will become managing and senior partners respectively of the merged firm, while Grafton Green will be partnership chairman.