Lawrence Graham has finalised its deal for new premises at More London just days before the firm is expected to announce whether merger talks with Tite & Lewis have been successful.
The firm has ended its long-running search for new premises by exchanging a lease agreement with More London for 125,000sq ft in a new Foster and Partners-designed 150,000sq ft building at 4 More London Riverside.
Head of real estate Stephen Stephens led the negotiations, with assistance from Clifford Chance partner Tony Briam. Chris Field and Patrick Holmes from Macfarlanes acted for More London. Lawrence Graham is also expected to confirm this week whether the five-partner Tite & Lewis practice, which split from accountancy giant Ernst & Young (E&Y) in April, will join the firm.
The two firms have been in advanced negotiations, which are understood to have focused on remuneration. When Tite & Lewis was linked to E&Y, the partners were paid £650,000 a year plus bonuses, while top of Lawrence Graham’s equity is £625,000.
Tite & Lewis insiders said reports that Richards Butler had also expressed an interest in linking with the former E&Y tied firm were “misguided”.
Lawrence Graham’s choice of new home could see the firm become a neighbour to Norton Rose, which is still in protracted talks with More London for around 300,000sq ft after entering exclusive negotiations on 2 April.
Lawrence Graham is expected to move to the new premises in summer 2007.