Allen & Out of here

As any estate agent or aspiring couch potato will tell you, there are three things that are important when choosing your dream pied-a-terre: location, location, and where the damn thing is.

But Allen & Overy’s swift exit from its Canary Wharf annexe – taking with it some 200 staff (see story) – demonstrates just how quickly a trendy hotspot can turn into yesterday’s new potatoes.

The move – five years back and in a distant age when financiers spent their evenings lighting Havanas with rolls of used fifties – was all about getting A&O closer to the masters of the universe from the omnipotent banking world.

But whither the banks now? Panhandling for coppers outside West India Quay DLR? Perhaps not, but their relative inactivity (coupled with the fact that A&O’s winter home amid the fashionistas of Spitalfields has a few spare chairs after last year’s redundancies) means that Docklands no longer seems like the Xanadu it once did.

So, good news for any A&O partners who enjoy some decent shopping at lunchtime and for any poor hacks who had to schlep out to the island for meetings. Bad news for Clifford Chance, which might come to miss the sight of one of its magic circle buddies on its manor.