Dechert gets close to conclusion in its search for the perfect home

Dechert’s long-running search for new premises at a bargain basement price, which has resulted in more than 100 different sites being inspected, may finally be drawing to a close.

After years of searching, the firm has narrowed the field to three locations, including Clifford Chance’s former headquarters at 200 Aldersgate Street and the nearby 140 Aldersgate Street.

The firm had also been in discussions over space at Times Square, but negotiations have gone quiet since the firm’s partners viewed another mystery location late last month, which is now understood to be among the firm’s favourites.

The firm is estimated to have inspected up to 140 properties in the City, Canary Wharf and mid-town area since 1999, when Titmuss Sainer Dechert began the search. However, the search was put on hold until earlier this year, as the firm came to terms with its merger with Philadelphia-based Dechert Price & Rhodes in 2000.

Dechert has been looking for around 60,000sq ft, and has a one-year break notice on its current premises at 2 Sergeant’s Inn.

However, Dechert is renowned within the property letting industry for its lengthy demands, which include low rents and long rent-free periods. The firm is negotiating for a downward-only rent review clause on 200 Aldersgate Street.

The top end of the City letting market has also rebounded in the past six months, with speculation that Dechert could miss out on bargain rents if it does not reach an agreement on new premises soon.