Shipping and insurance specialist Ince & Co has announced it is moving its London office to Aldgate Tower after signing a 17-year lease.
The new 35,000sq ft office is considerably smaller than Ince’s 64,030sq ft headquarters at 1 St Katharine’s Way. Last year the firm paid £3.54m, or £55.30 per sq ft, for its current office. It is unknown how much the new premises will cost.
Senior partner Jan Heuvels said: “After 10 years in International House, our current premises have become out-dated and no longer suitable for our needs. Aldgate Tower brings us even closer to the London shipping and insurance markets and reinforces our long-term commitment to our clients in those sectors.
“The investment we are making in technology, including our IT systems, will enable us to adopt a more modern way of working and keep us at the cutting edge of the sectors in which we operate.”
Ince hopes to use the office’s open-plan layout to “encourage greater communication” within the firm. It will also include “first-rate client facilities” including a dedicated client lounge.
The firm instructed commercial property advisers CBRE to find the new office space while Berwin Leighton Paisner advised on the deal. Ince will move into the newly-built premises at the end of March 2016.
It was previously understood that Ince was planning sublet 40,000sq ft of office space from JP Morgan in Canary Wharf but this deal failed to get off the ground.
The downsize in office space could be an opportunity for the firm to reduce its costs after seeing revenue fall over the last two years. In July Ince announced that revenue had fallen by 8 per cent, from £86.7m to £79.4m during the 2014/15 financial year. The decline in turnover mimicked a similar drop during the previous year, which saw revenue fall 7 per cent from £93.2m.
Following the results rumours that Ince is looking to merge with another London law firm began to circulate with Watson Farley & Williams (WFW) named as a potential candidate. At the time Heuvels stated that he had met with WFW to “discuss business issues” but denied that formal merger talks had taken place.