Freshfields is setting up shop in the purpose-built offices of Gouldens.
Desperately short of space in its two London offices, the firm has struck a hurried deal for Gouldens' 22 Tudor Street premises and will move in when the firm relocates to offices in November.
The move will provide Freshfields with 37,500sq ft extra space; it has 220,000sq ft at 65 Fleet Street and 22,000 sq ft at 10 Bouverie Street.
Freshfields property partner Chris Morris says the urgent need for space is due to expansion in London and internationally.
He says the London base acts as a head office so that space is often needed for meeting rooms with European partners.
The Tudor Street premises was built for Gouldens in 1988 and houses its 250 employees. Freshfields is likely to use it as a base for a single department.
The two firms have been in talks for months as Gouldens has also been hunting new office space. It has secured a seven-year lease for 7-10 Old Bailey which, with 66,000 sq ft, will allow all employees to be housed on one site.
Partner Andrew Gumpert, who handled the transaction, says Gouldens aims to build new offices. He hopes these will be ready in three to four years and will boast 75,000 sq ft of office space.
He admits moving the entire firm is a logistical headache, but says it is necessary to move now rather than wait until the permanent premises became available.