The insurance district was the most expensive part of the City of London for law firms to be based last year.
Data from The Lawyer’s Workspace Trends report, which was released yesterday (6 November) showed that the average cost per sq ft for firms based in EC3 was £113.26. This was the highest cost in the City last year.
The figure is skewed by particularly high costs per sq ft paid by Holman Fenwick Willan and if this firm is removed from the equation, the average EC3 cost drops to £79.86 per sq ft. This is still one of the highest average costs in the UK.
WC2, on the opposite edge of the City, is also particularly expensive. The average cost for firms based in this postcode area last year was £90.57 per sq ft.
Elsewhere in the City, the average cost per sq ft in EC2 – from St Paul’s to Liverpool Street, and the base for a large number of firms providing data on their occupancy costs this year – was £86.50.
The legal heartland of EC4, which borders the City and Westminster and includes Fleet Street, Chancery Lane and Old Bailey, was one of the cheaper areas for firms to be based last year with an average cost of £73.81 per sq ft for the 14 firms based there.
This group does not include Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, which did not supply data. Last year Freshfields agreed a new lease which will see it move out of its Fleet Street premises in EC4 to 100 Bishopsgate, EC2, in 2021.
Across London the average cost per sq ft paid by firms last year was £69.34, almost £27 per sq ft more than the average across the rest of the UK. The average cost for firms in EC3, SW3 and SE1 was substantially below the average for the rest of the capital.