Lancashire County Council Pension Fund have secured a pre-let of the 76,000 sq ft building at 33 Wellington Street to leading law firm Walker Morris LLP on a new 15-year lease to commence after a £10m refurbishment.
The refurbishment will provide a state-of-the-art working environment for Walker Morris with significantly improved sustainability credentials including cycle and shower facilities and a unique 11,700 sq ft green garden area to the rear.
Walker Morris is relocating all of its 500 staff from nearby Kings Court and Bank House in King Street to 33 Wellington Street in what is reportedly the largest relocation of any professional service firm in Leeds for almost 15 years.
Associate Miles Sinclair and partner Naveen Gupta from DWF's real estate team advised the pension fund on the transaction, with support from members of DWF's construction, tax, and procurement teams.
John Styles, Partner, Knight Frank Investment Management, commented: "This is a very significant transaction for the Fund. The thorough, proactive and commercial approach of the DWF teams at all stages of the legal process was invaluable in securing the deal for our mutual client."
Miles Sinclair, who led the DWF team, said: "We were delighted to support our long standing client, Lancashire County Council Pension Fund, on what is one of the most noteworthy pre-lets in the Leeds market in recent years. The redevelopment of 33 Wellington Street will make a significant contribution to the ongoing transformation of Leeds city centre. The deal demonstrates DWF’s ability to advise on every aspect of a transaction, utilising people across a number of teams to see the deal across the line.”
DWF's real estate team has been involved in a number of high-profile property transactions across the UK recently, including advising Starboard Hotels on its acquisition of four Ibis Styles hotels from construction giant Carillion and advising Wrenbridge Sport on its redevelopment of York Community Stadium. The 300-strong team spans regional offices in the UK, as well as international offices in France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, United Arab Emirates, Singapore and Australia, and advises a number of household names including Whitbread, the owner of the Premier Inn and Costa Coffee brands.