Legal giant Brodies plots capital office move

Brodies, the Edinburgh-based legal heavyweight, is to relocate hundreds of staff after unveiling a move into the capital's largest speculative office development.

The Capital Square complex is due for completion in early summer 2020. Picture: Contributed

The firm said it planned to undertake the move after fitting out of the new base at Capital Square on Morrison Street was completed in early summer 2020.

It will see Brodies become one of the last major Scottish law firms to relocate from traditional townhouse premises to modern open-plan office accommodation. Its sprawling existing base at nearby Atholl Crescent will therefore come onto the property market.

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The firm has more than 660 people across its offices, which also include Aberdeen, Dingwall, Glasgow and Brussels, with more than 350 currently based in Edinburgh.

Brodies will occupy the top three floors of the new Capital Square office complex, which is being constructed by BAM, in partnership with Hermes Investment Management.

The three floors will encompass office space and meeting facilities. They will offer views to Fife, Edinburgh Castle and to the Pentlands, with floors six and seven also featuring roof terraces.

Announcing the plans to move, Brodies’ managing partner, Nick Scott, said: “Ensuring that we can continue to provide our clients with the environment, as well as the quality of service, that they have grown to expect from our firm is fundamental. Our investment in these new premises underpins that.

“Moving to Capital Square will allow us to continue to build on those things that our clients value, including our extensive seminar programme.

“This new building will be a great place for clients to meet and work with our colleagues, and for us to host client events.

“It is also essential that our colleagues benefit from a working environment that affords them the very best in modern working practices, consistent with the new offices we have secured in Aberdeen and Glasgow in recent years.”

Dougie Peters, managing director of BAM Properties, added: “We were confident the market was right for a speculative investment of this scale and are delighted to welcome Brodies as our first occupier at Capital Square.

“There is an element of history repeating itself as Brodies was also our first occupier in our previous development at 110 Queen Street, Glasgow.”

He added: “Much has been documented about the lack of available Grade A space in Edinburgh and Capital Square will go some way to address the pent up demand for high calibre office space in prime locations which helps occupiers attract and retain the best talent.”

Brodies, which ranks as Scotland’s largest indigenous legal business with 97 partners, recently played down Brexit concerns to report its eighth consecutive year of growth.

The firm said its services were in “strong demand” across all practice areas. Revenues grew to just under £68.6 million in the year to the end of April, from £66.7m in 2016-17. Profits before partner distributions lifted 3.5 per cent, or £1.1m, to almost £32.9m.

On a like-for-like basis, after stripping out the disposal of the personal injury business in the prior financial year, revenues rose by 6.2 per cent.