St Philips’ expansion costs tenants £700K

St Philips Chambers is raising £700,000 from its 140-plus tenants to fund the set’s continuing expansion.

The Birmingham mega set is hiking the investment required from each tenant by £5,000 to £18,250 to help pay for the purchase of 13,500sq ft of office space, linked to its existing city centre premises by a bridge.

The remainder of the £3.4m purchase price is being met by £2m in borrowings and an existing cash surplus of over £600,000.

St Philips chief executive Paul Wilson said buying the property enables the set to pass on considerable savings to its barristers. Premium rented city centre space costs around £35-£36 per sq ft including service charges, compared with total occupation costs on St Philips’ new building of £21 per sq ft.

“We’re aware of the potential for financial tension from differing income levels across our practitioners,” Wilson told The Lawyer. “We balance maintaining a competitive pricing structure against the essential investment in property, technology and staff.

“Over the next five years the bar faces massive challenges. Preparing business foundations enables us to adapt quickly to market and legislative demands.

“Our entry investment of £18,250, fully repayable on departure and creatively funded through the Royal Bank of Scotland, is a long-term commitment to our collective future.”