International law firm Osborne Clarke has revealed plans to relocate its Bristol office from its Temple Quay base to Halo, a landmark green office building that will form the next phase of award-winning Finzels Reach in Bristol.
Bristol developer Cubex bought the former Avon Fire & Rescue site, which will be home to Halo, in 2018 on behalf of Fiera Real Estate Opportunity Fund IV (UK), a programmatic joint venture by Fiera Real Estate that is exclusive to clients of CBRE Global Investment Partners (CBRE GIP).
Halo will be one of Bristol’s most innovative office buildings and will help cement Osborne Clarke’s reputation as a leading technology law firm; it was the first UK law firm to open an office in Silicon Valley 20 years ago.
The UK continues to be a strong powerbase for Osborne Clarke which over the past three years has demonstrated impressive year-on-year financial growth. UK revenues surpassed £150m for the first time in 2019.
The move will see it relocate some 600 staff into Halo’s top five floors, including a private roof terrace.
Ray Berg, Managing Partner of Osborne Clarke UK, said: “We’re incredibly excited to have Halo as our new Bristol home.
“Its standout design and sustainability credentials are a perfect fit for us as we look to invest in a new building that will take us into the future and create an exciting working space for our people and clients.
“Bristol is widely thought of as the UK’s second centre for law and maintaining a strong base in the city will be vital to our business strategy and ongoing success.
“In the time we’ve been on Temple Quay, the firm has grown considerably; we’re now a €300m business.
“We’ve opened many new offices internationally but remain firmly committed to the UK and Bristol.”
Osborne Clarke will take nearly two thirds of Halo – 74,000 sq ft – two years ahead of its completion, in a deal which represents one of the most significant pre-let deals in Bristol over the past year. The firm has signed a 12-year lease at £35.50 per sq ft for four floors and £36.50 per sq ft for the top floor with roof terrace.
Peter Walford, Director at Cubex, said: “We are thrilled that Osborne Clarke is on board at Halo so far in advance of the completion of this cutting-edge new office building for Bristol. It’s hugely satisfying to see the success of Finzels Reach to date and we are proud that Halo will set new benchmarks for sustainability, wellbeing and digital connectivity.
“It’s very exciting to see work on phase two of Finzels Reach forging ahead, with this new deal an important catalyst for the regeneration of this brownfield site in Bristol’s medieval heart. We are in talks with other potential occupiers of Halo and expect to make new announcements soon.”
Halo is taking shape across the road from the first phase of Finzels Reach, a growing city centre quarter acknowledged as one of Bristol’s most successful regeneration projects.
The move will see Osborne Clarke join leading organisations such as Channel 4, Historic England and English Heritage, Simmons & Simmons, Barclays, EDF and Bafta-winning BDH in the new development.
This growing neighbourhood, with new homes, a hotel, and workspace, is also a fast-emerging social hotspot.
Osborne Clarke has a long history in Bristol stretching back to 1748, and September 2019 marked 50 years since two of the oldest law firms in Bristol – Osborne Ward and Clarke Gwynn & Press – merged and created the firm named Osborne Clarke.
From its Bristol beginnings the firm now has international offices in Europe, Asia and the US.