Law firm Meredith Connell has expanded so fast since it moved into new premises four years ago that it is shifting into a new $330 million building.
Kylie Mooney, chief executive of the law firm, said around 240 staff would move around September next year. The firm has signed a 15-year lease on levels six and seven of one of two joined under-construction buildings at 136 Fanshawe St.
"We've had extraordinary growth over the last four years since we moved into this building," she said from her office building.
"When we moved in, we saw the whole firm take a complete lift. It was one of those things that I thought would be a bit of a honeymoon period. But it's continued and we've grown our staff numbers 22 per cent over four years."
Since 2016, Meredith Connell has been in the BDO Centre at 2 Graham St, having left Shortland St in 2016.
The lawyers are now so squeezed that they lease separate offices nearby to take the spillover. The shift will consolidate the team on one site, with a new specially-built acoustic law library.
Asked about the reasons for the expansion, Mooney said: "It's not so much Crown prosecution work. That's relatively steady although, sadly, increasing in Auckland. But it's actually more growth in litigation and commercial litigation. We're seeing really good trials and good opportunities for our staff."
The speed of growth meant it made sense to shift now, to cater for the future.
"This move gives us is an opportunity to make sure our offices and fitout support that work. We've got some v exciting ideas in that space," she said of the business having engaged multi-award winning architects BVN to design its new fitout.
Warren & Mahoney, headed by John Coup, designed Meredith Connell's current level five fitout which features a glass roof atrium, extensive natural timber features, green walls, large breakout and cafe areas and extensive harbour views.
Being located to the west of the CBD, some distance from the courts, made no difference to the lawyers, Mooney said. Staff walk or often use scooters to move through the city and the firm would remain not far from Albert St's District Court, she said.
The new offices give the firm an off-street entrance beside the Spark campus on Hardinge St, which gave more presence and ease of access, she said. It has naming rights on its block which is one of two on the site, connected by an atrium.
2degree has also just announced it would shift about 600 staff from its George St offices in Newmarket to 136 Fanshawe St.
The existing offices, where Meredith Connell spent about $5m on its internal fitout, would be re-let by Culum Manson as part of the moving arrangements, Mooney said. Manson said he had already strong interest in the space and would make an announcement soon.
Meredith Connell will almost double its area, from 3200sq m to 5500sq m in the new building, Mooney said.
Manson said with 2degrees and Meredith Connell, the block was around 55 per cent leased. The building was last year sold for around $330m to an Asian investment fund.