Law Firm White & Case

Law Firm White & Case Returns As Hongkong Land’s Office Tenant

HONG KONG – In April, New York-based law firm White & Case has leased three office floors spanning 25,000 sq ft in York House within the Landmark commercial complex in Central that is owned by Hongkong Land, reported the South China Morning Post (SCMP) on Wednesday (4 May, SGT).

The transactions, wherein the office rental rate has not been revealed, marked the return of the law firm as an office tenant of Hongkong Land, as the company has been occupying Central Development Ltd’s Central Tower for about 15 years. Prior to relocating to Central Tower in 2007, White & Case rented 17,000 sq ft of office space at Gloucester Tower, one of the three office buildings in the Landmark complex.

“We are pleased to return to the Hongkong Land Central portfolio as we make room for our expanding team and future growth,” said Eugene Man, Executive Partner at White & Case’s Hong Kong office.

“York House will provide our employees and clients with unparalleled access to corporate and market leaders in one of the world’s leading international financial hubs.”

The office relocation comes as companies cherry pick office space in Central after rents sharply fell by 27 percent from its peak in late 2021, based on Morgan Stanley’s estimates. Moreover, office rents are expected to remain subdued as 4.6 million sq ft of Grade A office space are expected to come onstream on 2022, the highest increase in office stock after 6.8 million sq ft were added in 1998.

According to data from Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL), office rents in Central slid 0.1 percent month-on-month in March, while average office rents across Hong Kong dipped 0.2 percent. At the same time, the office vacancy level in Central declined to 7.3 percent in March from 8 percent in December 2021.

As for White & Case’s return to Landmark, it’s not considered a “sweetheart deal,” said Neil Anderson, Director at Hongkong Land.

“White & Case chose to return to the Hongkong Land Central portfolio to make room for their expanding team and future growth and support their talent retention efforts. York House is not a cheaper location. White & Case wanted to improve their workplace environment and saw the move as a flight to quality.”

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