Clifford Chance eyes £40m windfall with Canary Wharf rental scheme

Clifford Chance eyes £40m windfall with Canary Wharf rental scheme” />
Clifford Chance is seeking to boost its coffers by around £40m in the next 15 years by renting out additional floor space in its Canary Wharf premises.

The magic circle firm, which has rented out four floors for the past few years, is now marketing levels 11, 16 and 17 in its 30-storey building. Each floor comprises between 25,500sq ft and 27,000sq ft and the firm is quoting a rent of £46.50 per sq ft on a new 15-year lease. Using the 27,000sq ft figure and assuming all three floors remain occupied without rent increases for the full rental period, this would result in Clifford Chance netting total rents of £56.5m in the 15 years.

The full sum does not translate into a direct capital boost as one of the floors already provides income, having been rented out on a short lease since almost the beginning of Clifford Chance’s residency. The total windfall will be some £40m.

A spokesperson admitted that many staff have left the firm in the past few years, but stressed that there is no direct link between their departures and the freeing up of floor space. In the year to May 2006 around 300 business support jobs were axed, but that was firmwide, not just in London.

In addition, while the firm’s managing partner David Childs aims to save a further £30m over the next four years through offshoring 300 back office jobs to India, these too are firmwide.

Two weeks ago Clifford Chance revealed that its average profit per equity partner for 2006-07 had risen by 25 per cent on the previous year from £814,000 to £1.02m.