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With global growth prospects volatile and continuing to diverge, law firms will encounter diverging market conditions across Europe over the next 12 months according to Jones Lang LaSalle’s Global Law Firm Perspective 2013. The study, an annual barometer of law firm real estate trends around the world, details opportunities for portfolio optimisation in what has been a challenging environment for firms. 2013 has been another year of change in the broader economic operating environment in which international law firms operate, fuelling increased optimism for 2014 and 2015. “London remains a core market for law firms and sentiment is on an upwards trajectory. Latest research from Legal Week indicates a third consecutive year of growth for the top 50 firms and this has been reflected in improved demand for office space this year. However, the supply of appropriate office stock in the City of London is reducing, and law firms face the potential for rental increases and diminishing incentives due to a number of large lettings and the tightening of supply. The need to plan ahead in respect of property strategy has never been greater.” Said Richard Proctor, head of Central London Tenant Representation at Jones Lang LaSalle.By August 2013, seventeen letting transactions in London had secured over 535,000 square feet (sq ft) of floor space – already above the three-year quarterly average (522,291 sq ft) and +114% up on the same period last year. The two largest transactions in the year-to-date were CMS Cameron McKenna who leased a total of 140,190 sq ft at Cannon Place, EC4, and Bird & Bird who have taken a pre-let of 136,200 sq ft at 12-14 New Fetter Lane, EC4.
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