CMS seals Nabarro office sublet to Lloyds as efforts to offload Olswang HQ rumble on

CMS has completed deals to sublet all of Nabarro’s former London offices and about two thirds of Olswang’s old premises, following the firms’ three-way merger earlier this year.

The entirety of legacy Nabarro’s City base at 125 London Wall has now been taken on by Lloyds Banking Group, with University College London (UCL) and US law firm Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan moving into Olswang’s former London headquarters at 90 High Holborn.

However, CMS still has one floor left to lease at 90 High Holborn, where Olswang occupied 91,000 sq ft over five floors under a lease running to 2022.

In a statement today (13 November), CMS said there was “positive interest” in the remaining floor, which comprises about 30,000 sq ft.

Legacy Olswang had been resident in the premises since 2002. UCL, which has taken about 45,000 sq ft of space, moved in this August, while Quinn moved into the building in May.

Meanwhile, the Lloyds deal has seen the bank take on all 120,000 sq ft of Nabarro’s former premises at 125 London Wall, under a lease running until 2025. The bank has moved in today (13 November). The financial details are confidential, but CMS said it will have no ongoing financial obligations in relation to these deals.

CMS UK managing partner Stephen Millar said: “Six months on from the completion of our merger, we have achieved a phenomenal amount together and continue to deliver on a number of strategic objectives, including the rationalisation and upgrade of our property portfolio.”

Partners voted in favour of the three-way merger last year, with the firms signing a lease to take two extra floors at CMS’s London base at Cannon Place.

Separately, CMS has also moved into new offices in Singapore and Dubai.

In Singapore – where prior to the merger CMS did not have a presence – Olswang and Nabarro have merged their teams, with the resulting 28-lawyer operation moving into premises in the new Marina Bay financial district. The office is being led by legacy Olswang Asia managing partner Andrew Stott, who is now CMS managing partner for Singapore.

Meanwhile, in Dubai, the pre-merger CMS and Nabarro teams have joined forces in a new office in Burj Daman in the Dubai International Financial Centre. CMS partner and head of Middle East corporate John O’Connor and legacy Nabarro partner Mark Rocca are leading the nine-partner practice in the emirate.

CMS confirmed that there had been no redundancies as a result of combining offices and that the firm was “actively recruiting in a number of areas”.