Walker Morris, office
The law firm's new office at 33 Wellington Street.
Nick Hill

Law firm Walker Morris announces flagship office move in Leeds city centre

Law firm Walker Morris is set to relocate to a brand new office at 33 Wellington Street in Leeds city centre.

This move will be the largest professional services relocation in the city for almost 15 years.

The building is undergoing a £10m refurbishment to provide a brand new working environment for Walker Morris with significantly improved sustainability credentials.

Walker Morris, which was advised by specialist property consultancy Fox Lloyd Jones, will move from its current locations split across two buildings on King Street into 76,000 sq. ft. of fully renovated, Grade A office space in summer 2019.

Once complete, the relocation will see all 500 of Walker Morris’ staff together under one roof, making it the largest single site law firm outside London.

Malcolm Simpson, incoming Managing Partner of Walker Morris, said: “This is a very exciting time for the firm. Walker Morris is a fantastic firm, with the best people, superb clients and a great future.

“The move is a significant investment by the partners and underlines the confidence we have in our future growth plans for the firm. We are also investing heavily in our IT infrastructure, and the overall aim is to inspire our staff, and enable them to work more collaboratively and effectively; whether they are in the office, working remotely at home, with clients or on the move.”

Paul Fox, director of Fox Lloyd Jones, added: “As well as being the biggest professional relocation in Leeds in over a decade, this move delivers Walker Morris a rarely available self-contained HQ building off market, and has also enabled our team to input and influence the design and layout of the building to be delivered, which makes it feel bespoke and unique.”

“The building’s high profile location in the West End of the city where development and office take-up is soaring; and its accessibility to the amenities of Wellington Place, makes it a great platform for growth for the business.”

When complete, the refurbished building will also feature a floor to ceiling glass façade to the offices, and a south facing outdoor courtyard area.

The move will be underpinned by a number of ongoing IT infrastructure investments, all of which have been preceded by a multi-million pound investment in a new practice management system during 2017.

The property, which was bought by Knight Frank Investment Management for Lancashire County Council Pension Fund from MEPC in 2010 for £20m, was occupied by PWC for 20 years before PWC moved to new headquarters in the city at Central Square in October 2016.

Eamon Fox, partner and head of office agency at property consultancy Knight Frank in Leeds, who advised KFIM, commented: “This is one of the most significant office deals in Leeds during the past 12 months.

“The property is a flagship office building in a superb city centre location and it is fitting it will be now be home to one of Yorkshire’s finest law firms.”

Construction work on the Wellington Street property has started through appointed contractor GMi Construction and it is expected that building will be handed over to Walker Morris for internal fit-out in early 2019.

Fox Lloyd Jones is retained to project manage the internal delivery phase and internal design workshops are ongoing.

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