The highly acquisitive nature of law firms for office space in recent years is one that has been seen across all levels, with large US and UK firms as well as smaller firms all leasing new space. The reason why firms have been particularly active in the commercial real estate market is due to several factors. These include the war for talent, ESG ambitions, lease events, and competition for prime office space, all of which have contributed to law firms’ heighted activity in acquiring real estate. Two of these factors, the war for talent and ESG, have also led law firms to now ensure that they have the ‘right’ real estate in place.

The emergence of a law firm talent war has meant that firms are now looking at what mechanisms they can utilize to attract and retain talent. As well as remuneration and benefits, firms are increasingly turning to real estate as a weapon with the rationale that having the best possible office space can attract the top talent. For example, several Am Law 25 firms have recently signed ‘best-in-class’ space, with London in particular, at the forefront. The likes of Kirkland & Ellis, Skadden, and Latham & Watkins have all signed deals or are under offer on new space in the UK capital. Firms are now looking at office space with first class amenities including exceptional end of trip facilities, plenty of cycle spaces and terrace and outdoor space for occupiers.

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