Skadden to move back to the City of London after 25 years at Canary Wharf

New York firm to join Cooley and Covington & Burling in London’s second-tallest building
22 Bishopsgate. Close up in diminishing perspective from below skyward.

Laurence Berger; Shutterstock

Skadden is moving its headquarters back into the City of London after 25 years in Canary Wharf to take up residence in the capital’s second-tallest building, the recently opened 22 Bishopsgate.

The New York firm has signed a 15-year lease to occupy 65,000 sq ft of space across three floors and is expected to relocate its 250-strong London contingent to their new home in late 2022 or early 2023.

It will join Cooley and Covington & Burling as key tenants in the state-of-the art building, which at 278 metres is the tallest building in the City of London and features a ‘sky-wall’ climbing window at 125 metres above ground and London’s highest free-to-access public viewing gallery

Skadden is reported to occupy around 90,000 sq ft of space at its current 40 Bank Street home, suggesting it is taking advantage of changing working patterns to reduce its space, in line with a growing number of firms, including Ashurst, which expects its space to shrink globally by around 20% by 2023.

It is the 15th occupier to sign up space in the building – which is now 60% let – and the third since it reached ‘practical completion’ last December. The deal ends Skadden’s long association with the Canary Wharf development in London’s Docklands: in 1996 it became the first major law firm to move out of the Square Mile, to be followed by Clifford Chance, which moved in to its 10 Upper Bank Street headquarters in 2003.

Skadden will occupy the 38-40th floors at its new home, where employees will have access to more than 120,000 sq ft of shared space and amenities including a food hub, a central innovation centre and a business events and conference space.

Cooley was the first law firm to commit to the development, back in July 2019, when it signed a deal to move more than 200 employees into 75,000 sq ft of space across three floors (22-24).

Then in April last year, Covington & Burling pre-let 86,000 sq ft across four floors: 51-54. Both firms are targeting moves this year. The building was developed by investor AXA IM Alts, on behalf of an international consortium of investors, alongside development partner Lipton Rogers Developments.

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