CMS to move HQ to Cannon Place after pulling out of skyscraper deal

CMS Cameron McKenna is to move into City site Cannon Place, with the news coming just over a year after it turned down a relocation to a new-build skyscraper on the fringe of London’s financial centre.

Cannon Place
Cannon Place

The firm has told partners and staff it will take space in the building at 78 Cannon Street above Cannon Street tube station, in a switch away from its present Mitre House headquarters on Aldersgate Street. The transfer could take place as early as 2015.

The development follows a competitive bidding process against Field Fisher Waterhouse (FFW), which had already shortlisted the site and is still in the running to take remaining space in the 389,990 sq ft structure (7 March 2013).

CMS is understood to be taking in the region of 150,000 sq ft, in contrast to FFW’s requirement of roughly 65,000-70,000 sq ft for its head office.

CMS last year scrapped plans to relocate after originally announcing it would move out of Mitre House and into the high-rise Principal Place development north of Bishopsgate in 2015 (16 January 2012).

It is thought the Cannon Street deal has not been finalised and the firm will not move in before 2015.

Meanwhile, FFW’s property move has not been ironed out, with the firm currently considering other sites including 10 Aldermanbury off London Wall in a bid to bring its two City offices into one building (12 February 2013). It is aiming to leave its current London bases in 2014 and has appointed Knight Frank as its agent. CMS is being advised by CBRE.

FFW managing partner Michael Chissick said in a statement: “Cannon Place is one of a number of buildings we are considering. There is clearly enough space for both firms in the building, especially on the higher floors.”

Separately, it has emerged that FFW’s partnership voted Chissick and senior partner Matthew Lohn into their new leadership roles on 27 March, confirming their provisional selection for the positions earlier this year (4 February 2013).

CMS declined to comment. Hines, which owns Cannon Place, was unavailable for comment.