Davis Polk plans London expansion

Davis Polk & Wardwell, one of Wall Street's largest US firms is expanding its London practice after it moves to new buildings in the City.

The firm, which has been based in 1 Frederick's Place for the last 12 years, will move into 99 Gresham Street in the autumn.

Keith Kearney, managing partner of the firm says: “We are currently cramped in the existing offices and we needed more office space.”

The US firm has seen a growth rate of three to four lawyers a year. Kearney says the firm plans to build its London practice: “There are some 33 lawyers in the London offices; seven years ago, there were less than a dozen.”

Kearney says the firm is not going to be competing for work with the large City firms, as Davis Polk & Wardwell practises New York law only. Kearney comments: “The move is not tied in any way to a particular business philosophy.”

The property has been one of the largest empty properties in London. The rent charged is understood to be £48.50 per square foot.