Bonds deal proves that small really is beautiful

A SMALL two-partner West End firm has shown that it has the mettle to take on the best of the City when it comes to big property deals.

The company, Bonds, recently found itself working on a joint-venture project for an un-named German client to acquire for u35 million St Catherine's House, a London property on the corner of Kingsway and the Aldwych. The other partner was Chelsfield, a Plc advised by Ashurst Morris Crisp.

This project follows a number of high value property deals handled by the firm, including a u20 million deal for a vendor acquiring 27 Leadenhall St in the City.

Says name partner Paul Bond: “You have to be able to provide specialisation in property law and in company and banking law. You need these three disciplines.”

In addition, the firm must provide the same response time as the big firms. Bond says there was a time when smaller firms could be faster, “but big firms are now quicker than they were”. He adds: “And we are cheaper. We don't have to put three or four people on each job and we are able to charge less as a result.”

The company frequently receives work from estate agents, who ask the firm to quote, attracted by the lower rates.

But having been established since the mid-1970s and at its present location since 1989, the firm has built up a strong base of clients.

“We never take on a job we cannot do,” says Bond, who enjoys his involvement in the work and with the clients and is not interested in building up teams of fee earners.