Will Clifford Chance wave the Wharf goodbye?

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Magic Circle player reportedly eyeing new Square Mile digs

Canary Wharf

Clifford Chance looks to set to leave its current headquarters in Canary Wharf, according to reports.

The Magic Circle player is said eyeing up new digs at 2 Aldermanbury Square (pictured below), a multi-million pound development in the heart of the City.

The site’s developer, Great Portland Estates, told the Times (£) it had entered into “advanced negotiations” with the firm “regarding a potential significant pre-letting”.

2 Aldermanbury Square — credit: Gardiner & Theobald

News of the potential move comes after the firm drafted in property agent Cushman & Wakefield to help conduct a year-long “strategic review” of its office space requirements in the post-Covid word.

A spokesperson for Clifford Chance said: “We can confirm that our publicly announced review is ongoing, and that we are in advanced negotiations. We will update when a decision has been agreed.”

The firm is currently based 10 Upper Bank Street, a glass-clad tower in Canary Wharf which scored an impressive A* in our latest Trainee and Junior Lawyer Survey thanks in part to its range of amenities including a swimming pool (pictured below), hairdressers and fully-equipped gym. Last summer one of the firm’s current trainees shared a sneak peek inside the perk-filled office, which also boasts squash courts and spin studio.

Clifford Chance’s swimming pool

CC has been located at this site since 2003, with the lease due to end in 2028.

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It makes no sense for them to be in the wharf anymore given all their competition is in the city and many banks also have primary or secondary offices in the city. Plus thanks to crossrail it’s now just a six minute journey between Canary Wharf and Liverpool Street. The bigger headline is them halving their office space, wonder how that will go down


Outside insider

They sublet nearly half of the office floor space in their current building anyway. So there really isn’t much of a change in square footage.


Key question asker

Which half of the pool do the tenants get? Is it split lengthwise or width wise? How are cleaning duties split?



none, it is reserved for them



Weird question.



Shame, I like the Wharf. It will be a kicker for those who have designed their lives around a commute to the Wharf – especially those such as myself who drive in, and will no longer be able to!


Driving to the office big boy

Give me a moment there Bobbo, I’ll try and find my especially tiny violin.


Archibald Pomp O'City

Oh. My heart bleeds!


CC me out of here

No one cares. Law firm moves office is not a groundbreaking story.


CC me in to all correspondence

Given that the redevelopment of Aldermanbury Square involved the demolition of the existing building, this is literally a ground breaking story.


Ford Prefect

Those of us with long memories remember the Clifgord Chance being based in Aldermanbury Square just after the merger with Clifford Turner.


Archibald Pomp O'City

I bet you’re fun at parties.



Meh, that tract of the City is about as soulless as Canary Wharf. Endless glass-and-steel buildings interspersed with Prets and Leons. The folks at places like Sullivan & Cromwell and Gibson Dunn have the best location in town – right in the historic heart of the City, surrounded by beautiful architecture and nice restaurants/bars.



Really disappointing move by CC management very transparently driven by cost (despite their fairest professions that this will be a revolutionary, first of its kind building). This is a stump of a building in the dingiest stretch of the City, with views of grey concrete walls on all sides. Apparently it will be hot desks for everyone as well — yippee!

Amazing they think they can retain talent with what will be with worst offices of any of the high tier law firms in London. Current management is made up of visionless cost-cutters who look and talk like walking corpses.


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