Dibbs on the hunt for space to grow firm by one third

Dibb Lupton Alsop is looking for at least 120,000sqft of new London office space – a third more than it currently occupies in four separate buildings in the City.

Philip Perry, Dibbs' London managing partner and property partner, said: “We are looking on the market for development opportunities. We want to enter at an early stage of the development of a building and take a share in the profits.”

He said that since the Alsop Wilkinson merger in October, the firm had been spread across four different offices in London and wanted to move to one building.

It was necessary to look two or three years into the future, claimed Perry, to allow time for a new development to obtain planning permission, then be built and fitted out.

“We're growing very fast – there were 550 of us in March 1997, by March 2000 we will be 20 per cent bigger, maybe even more. We would need 120,000sqft at least,” he said.

Perry had considered property company MEPC's planned Woolgate House development, which the company had an option to buy from Chase Manhattan Bank.

“I do the vast majority of MEPC's legal property work and I am very close to a lot of people there. If I could strike a deal involving MEPC, I would,” he said.

But he added: “Planning permission for Woolgate has been turned down and they have to submit a new design. So it is not a runner at the moment.”