Clydes signs lease on expanded Manchester office following 70% increase in turnover

Clyde & Co has signed a lease for 69,000 sq ft in Manchester’s Royal Exchange building following rapid revenue growth.

Revenues from the office have increased by almost 70% over five years, rising from £19m in 2012/13 to £32m in 2016/17. This year the office is projected to generate £35m to £40m in turnover.

The firm already occupies 11,000 sq ft in the grade II listed building, in addition to 40,000 sq ft at Chancery Place, but plans to move its entire 450-strong Manchester team under one roof over a 12-month period.

The firm currently has a headcount of 100 in the Royal Exchange Building, with about 200 lawyers and staff set to join them in mid-November and a further 150 following in the coming year.

The office is the firm’s second largest in the UK and was formed through a merger with Barlow Lyde & Gilbert in 2011.

Manchester managing partner David Wynn said: “Manchester is expanding rapidly and has become the second most important legal market in the UK. Leeds may disagree, but I think that weight has shifted over to our side of the Pennines.

“The success of the insurance practice in Manchester in terms of additional client wins has driven a doubling of the practice size in four years. The second element of our expansion is the widening of the practice groups in Manchester through laterals. That has given Clydes an additional price point in terms of marine, aviation, employment and real estate work.”

Despite the expansion, Wynn said there would be no mass move of services towards Manchester.

He added: “London services London clients. If London can widen its teams into Manchester and widen its provision for clients with northern outposts that is more than encouraged, but there will be no formal north-shoring of London services.”

In 2016-17, the firm posted a 14% revenue hike, moving above £500m for the first time. In the firm’s 19th successive year of growth, it took in £508.1m, however profit per equity partner fell by 2% to £650,000.

Photo credit: David Dixon