CC wins new Canary Wharf instruction

Clifford Chance is hanging on to key client Canary Wharf Group after being instructed on a large letting to US investment bank Morgan Stanley.

Clifford Chance property partner Alan Wight led the team acting for Canary Wharf Group on the letting of 25,000sq ft at 25 Bank Street to Morgan Stanley on a managed office basis. Slaughter and May commercial real estate partner David Beales represented Morgan Stanley on the deal.

Market speculation over Clifford Chance’s role as main legal adviser to Canary Wharf Group has been gathering pace since the company’s sale to the Morgan Stanley–led Songbird consortium earlier this year.

The magic circle firm has missed out on at least one letting for the Canary Wharf Group since the sale in May, although this was a small deal as the company opted to use its in-house legal team on a recent letting to Global Sage.

The recruitment company, which also used its in-house legal team on the letting, has signed a four-year lease for 3,331sq ft on level 26 at One Canada Square. It will pay £41.50 per sq ft.

The new leases appear to signal a revival in the London Docklands office market, with Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, Addleshaw Goddard and Taylor Wessing also benefiting from clients that are taking on further space in the area.

Freshfields’ property team, overseen by partner Geoff LePard, has acted for Citigroup on the letting of 30,000sq ft on levels 31 and 33 at 25 Canada Square to Munich Re. Addleshaw Goddard’s commercial property partner Robert McNally advised Munich Re on the tenancy agreement.

Freshfields is also understood to have acted for Citigroup on an agreement with MWB Business Exchange to operate serviced office facilities at 25 Canada Square. Taylor Wessing’s corporate partner Richard Bursby represented MWB Business Exchange.