Eversheds has signed an 18-year contract for a new 165,000sq ft office close to St Paul's Cathedral, with fit-out costs estimated at £20m, which represents nearly a third of Eversheds' 2005 net profit of £57.4m.
As part of the firm's growth strategy, it is kicking off an aggressive expansion campaign in London, announcing a plan to double in size in the capital within five years.
London managing partner Cornelius Medvei said that Eversheds would focus on hiring banking and corporate lawyers to boost numbers and profile during the next few years.
The plan is to replicate the recent growth of the real estate team, which has doubled in size in the past two years.
"To be strong in London is the most important thing we can do," said Medvei, adding that he believed the firm's "excellent" client base was its strongest asset and would attract lawyers keen to help build up the business.
"If you have a slightly egotistical view of life, joining a firm like Eversheds, which has a treasure trove of clients, is a great opportunity," Medvei added.
Medvei said that growth in London would help drive the development of the firm's international network.
The new offices, at One Wood Street, are currently being built and Eversheds hopes to make the move from its current home at Senator House in Queen Victoria Street in 2008.
The lengthy lease agreement includes an option to lease back 20,000sq ft of floorspace to landowners Land Securities. The lease is estimated to be worth around £7m.