Beiten doubles Moscow office space and targets St Petersburg

Germany’s Beiten Burk-hardt has almost doubled its office space in Moscow, continuing the firm’s expansion in the Russian capital.

Beiten has taken 550 square metres of totally refurbished prime space in Moscow’s central business district, with an option for further space. The firm previously occupied 300 square metres in Moscow. It is understood to be paying around $650 (£360) per square metre for the new space.

Rents for premium commercial space in Moscow are soaring. According to research by Cushman & Wakefield Healey & Baker, as at March 2005, prime office space in central Moscow commands around $589 (£326) per square metre annually. This figure broadly translates to around £36 per sq ft. Premium space in the City of London fetches £50 per sq ft, with most firms paying around £45.

Beiten was among the first wave of foreign firms to launch in Russia, opening its Moscow operation in 1992. In 1996, the firm expanded its Russian presence by launching in St Petersburg.

The firm now has 15 lawyers in Moscow, including two partners, although Beiten’s CIS head Dr Thomas Heidemann said the number of partners would double by the end of the year.

The firm is best known for its work advising German and German-speaking companies on their Russian interests, although it also maintains a local client base. It is now seeking new premises in St Petersburg.