Global law firm strengthens its presence in Birmingham

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Global law firm, Kennedys, has underlined its place as one of Birmingham’s fastest-growing law firms, by taking extra office space and extending its lease at 35 Newhall Street – with KWB office property specialists providing lease negotiation, expansion, and office refurbishment.

The five-storey building, owned by the West Midlands Metropolitan Authority Pension Fund, has been one of Birmingham city centre’s landmarks since a major office refurbishment in 2008.

Partner and Office Head, Eamon Mooney says Kennedys always wanted to stay in its Newhall Street offices in Birmingham, even as its original 10-year lease drew to a close, but did need expansion space.

“We’ve always liked this building, the location and the environment, but a decade ago we had only around 25 people here, and the office was quite a small element of our firm’s operations,” he said.

“However, we now have 90 people, and have grown so consistently that we’re contributing around £7.5m to the firm’s revenue, which is £218m globally.

“An opportunity arose for additional office space on the fourth floor, and pretty much in tandem with the lease renewal we had negotiations with the landlord, agreed a deal with them, and are now taking around a third of the fourth floor.

“We’re putting 23 fee-earners and five business services personnel into the new space, making more efficient use of our current offices on the fifth floor, introducing larger areas for the welfare side, and adding meeting rooms.

“Together, these elements will make the environment much more appropriate for the number and calibre of individuals who work here.”

The lease negotiation, expansion, and office refurbishment were carried out by KWB, also based on Newhall Street, with Head of Valuations and Lease Advisory, Martin Cook, leading the team on the project.

Martin Cook said: “It’s always very pleasing when a company, especially of the size and scale of Kennedys, wants to extend its stay in Birmingham and everything came together really well. CBRE Global Investors manages the building on behalf of the pension fund, and the refurbishment went smoothly.

“Kennedys has now extended the lease of their original office space for another 10 years, and we were also able to negotiate a surrender of the lease covering around 2,500 sq ft on the floor below.

“There is now roughly 6,500 sq ft of office space available on the fourth floor. We’re expecting that to come back to the market in April, and are already seeing interest, which isn’t surprising given the quality of the space.”

Kennedys employs some 2,000 people in 38 offices across 22 countries, and specialises in dispute resolution and advisory services.

Eamon is understandably bullish about prospects for his Birmingham team, both in terms of new personnel and business.

“One advantage we do have is that most of our clients are not based in Birmingham, or in the region, but in London’s Insurance District, and the market we operate in is always active,” Eamon says.

“It’s easier for us to expand than for companies operating in many economic sectors, and I’d expect us to have more than 100 people here within the next two or three months.”

For more information on the availability of offices to let in Birmingham, or to find out more about KWB’s lease negotiation services, contact Martin Cook on 0121 212 5993 or email