Lease events are a catalyst for change

With businesses across the UK expecting to make significant changes to their ways of working, a forthcoming lease event provides an opportunity for many organisations to improve operational efficiencies and achieve significant cost savings, such that, any decision to remain in existing premises or relocate elsewhere has accelerated high up the corporate agenda.

As the ability to manage break options or lease expiries in an intelligent and timely manner can be a huge challenge, Nick McCalmont-Woods and fellow FIDES Network members Nick Dennis, Jenny Lancaster, Debra Spurway, Ian Griffiths and Lara Conaway have been considering the key drivers of change likely to influence corporate occupiers’ decision making.

To read more, please click Should I Stay or Should I Go Now?


How can we help? (
McCalmont-Woods Real Estate is a member of FIDES Network, a trusted independent network providing bespoke services and solutions for financial and professional services organisations, particularly during times of event-driven change.

Fides members are uniquely able to provide end-to-end services combining specialists in the fields of business strategy, operational excellence and transformation, technology solutions, commercial real estate, HR, office fit-out project management, workplace wellbeing and environmental assessments.


A mass repatriation of US tech firms unlikely, says SIOR Europe

Fears that recent tax proposals by US President, Joe Biden, could lead to an exodus of US tech firms from Europe have been overplayed, according to the European Chapter of global brokerage body, SIOR (The Society of Industrial & Office Realtors).

These proposals aim to discourage businesses from seeking out more benign tax jurisdictions and have raised the prospect of US tech firms abandoning European capitals.

However, should these reforms come to pass, they are likely to have a minimal impact on Europe’s prime office markets, say office specialists at SIOR Europe. “All major global businesses make their occupational decisions on a vast matrix of factors, of which prevailing corporation tax rates is just one. Factors such as access to local markets and to a wide talent pool are far more influential, along with a consideration of total occupation costs, including rent, rates and ancillary charges”, says Nick McCalmont-Woods of McCalmont Woods Real Estate in London.

“The big brand tech giants are truly global businesses. Their customers are spread throughout every corner of the world and they likely need an operational foothold in each of these regional markets”, he continues.

“In the aftermath of President’s Biden’s announcement, Ireland and Dublin inevitably came under the spotlight. However, I believe that the US administration is principally concerned with the repatriation of profits, rather than people. Without any significant reduction in headcount by the big tech players, the impact on the office market here should be minimal. The economic impact, though, would be serious”, says James Mulhall, tenant rep specialist with Murphy Mulhall in Dublin.

Charles Tatham of Tatham Property Solutions in Paris says “Corporate tax rates are generally falling throughout Europe and will be down to 25 % in France by 2022. Perhaps more significantly for France, other costs of doing business have also changed in a generally more business-friendly environment. Labour laws, where France still has a reputation of over-protection for workers, is no longer as justified.”

The rental data below from SIOR Europe also suggests that, regardless of the proposed imposition of a global rate of corporate taxation, most European cities have a competitive advantage in terms of rents and incentives. This means that any tech businesses relocating to the US from Europe will likely be faced with increased overall occupation costs.


About SIOR (
The Society of Industrial and Office Realtors ® (SIOR) is the leading society for industrial and office real estate professionals. Individuals who earn their SIOR designation adhere to the highest levels of accountability and ethical standards. Only the industry’s top professionals qualify for the SIOR designation. Today, there are more than 3,400 SIOR members in 686 cities in 42 countries.


The last 12 months have been transformative for businesses particularly across the office and retail sectors, forcing us all to work differently and think about how we want to work in the future. And, as various organisations adopt different workplace strategies, the question on everyone’s minds is how to effectively blend home and office working to create a hybrid model.

With 39% of businesses in the UK forecasting a reduction in office space and 66% of business leaders expecting to redesign office space to better suit hybrid working, now is the time to be thinking about how to successfully design and adopt a hybrid model.

McCalmont-Woods Real Estate has, together with fellow FIDES Network members PEN Partnership, CSL Integration and Fit Out Expert, been considering what a move to a hybrid working model means for corporate office occupiers and in particular:

* What are the trends in the UK and USA?
* What opportunities does a hybrid working model present and how do they compare with a more radical shift to a fully remote model?
* What are the key considerations and actions you need to take as you plan new ways of working and seek to improve productivity?
*How do you take a holistic view of future ways of working that aligns business strategy and operational excellence with real estate and technology?

If you’d like to understand more, please click Where and how we work has changed forever to read our views.

Earlier this year McCalmont-Woods helped a large international corporate to restructure its leases during the height of the pandemic on c.44,000 sq ft HQ offices at Chiswick Park business park in West London leading International SOS Human Resources Director Michael Whitlow to comment, “Nick McCalmont-Woods helped us to undertake a very successful review of our London real estate portfolio – as a result, we were able to negotiate very significant discounts with our landlord. Nick’s professionalism and client-centric approach made all of the difference.”

McCalmont-Woods Founding Partner Nick McCalmont-Woods said, “It is incredibly important for any business to be able to trust its consultants and in this respect, we have a proven track record of success in projects completed for corporate clients. We believe our specialist skills are vital, not only to corporate occupiers, but also private equity firms and portfolio companies seeking to enhance their performance and achieve optimal results, whilst staying agile and lean. By hiring in expertise on demand, companies can avoid substantial fixed costs precisely at the time when building back scale and value are strategic priorities.”


About FIDES Network (
FIDES Network is a trusted independent network providing bespoke services and solutions for financial and professional services organisations, particularly during times of event-driven change. FIDES Network Chairman Mike Symes said, “In a post-pandemic environment, businesses are looking for new solutions to recover, re-size and reimagine. At FIDES, we bring together brilliant people to deliver the most creative solutions.”

FIDES members are uniquely able to provide end-to-end services to business space users by combining specialists in the fields of business strategy, operational excellence and transformation, technology solutions, commercial real estate, the project management of office fit-outs, workplace wellbeing and environmental assessments.


Chiswick Park, the business campus located in West London, has announced that the world’s leading health and security services business, International SOS, has signed a reversionary lease in Building 4 to 2031. The 43,639 sq ft office is the company’s UK headquarters.

The lease renewal is testament to the culture and environment that Chiswick Park offers to its customers and demonstrates that leading businesses remain committed to securing the best office space for their staff to thrive in an environment that focuses on employee wellbeing and helps deliver corporate ESG agendas, despite the challenges posed by Covid-19.

Arnaud Vaissié, Co-founder, CEO & Chairman of International SOS, commented, ‘Our London office is critically important to us as our joint HQ and home to one of our 26 Assistance Centres. Since moving to the Chiswick Park site in 2012, we have been continually impressed with Enjoy-Work’s dedication to safety and sustainability. We are proud to make this long-term commitment to our people, our clients and to London.”

“We are delighted to continue to build on our long-term relationship with International SOS. This deal reinforces the appeal of a work environment that offers more than just an office, with plenty of outdoor space and onsite amenities available for workers. We are pleased that International SOS remains on our Campus to grow and develop further as a company “, said Matt Coulson, CEO Chiswick Park Enjoy-Work.

Chiswick Park covers 1.8 million sq ft of office space spread over 12 buildings. The Campus is home to some of the world’s leading companies including Pernod Ricard, IMG, Starbucks, Discovery and Danone.

The Park also houses over 45,000 sq ft of retail including a gym, restaurants, convenience stores and pop-up stores.

Onsite property management team, Enjoy-Work, is responsible for overseeing and performing the daily operations of the Campus as well as running a virtual programme of regular activities aiming to enhance the wellbeing and safety of its Guests.

Knight Frank acted for Chiswick Park and McCalmont-Woods Real Estate acted for International SOS.


About the International SOS Group of Companies
The International SOS Group of Companies is in the business of saving lives, protecting your global workforce from health and security threats. Wherever you are, we deliver customised health, security risk management and wellbeing solutions to fuel your growth and productivity. In the event of extreme weather, an epidemic or a security incident, we provide an immediate response providing peace of mind. Our innovative technology and medical and security expertise focus on prevention, offering real-time, actionable insights and on-the-ground quality delivery. We help protect your people, your organisation’s reputation, as well as support your compliance reporting needs. By partnering with us, organisations can fulfil their Duty of Care responsibilities, while empowering business resilience, continuity and sustainability.

Founded in 1985, the International SOS Group is trusted by 12,000 organisations, including the majority of the Fortune Global 500, as well as mid-size enterprises, governments, educational institutions and NGOs. 10,000 multicultural medical, security and logistics experts stand with you to provide support & assistance from over 1,000 locations in 85 countries, 24/7, 365 days.

To protect your workforce, we are at your fingertips:

About Chiswick Park Enjoy-Work
Chiswick Park is a 1.8 million sq ft business campus located in West London, W4. Developed in 1999 and designed by Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners, it is today made up of 12 buildings, bringing together over 10,000 people from 75 of some of the world’s leading companies such as Discovery, Paramount Pictures, IMG, Starbucks and Pernod Ricard. Chiswick Park is set in 33 acres of landscape garden featuring a lake and waterfall. It also houses over 45,000 sq ft of retail space including an on-site Virgin Active gym, restaurants, convenience stores and a variety of pop-up traders and street-food vendors.

Chiswick Park is entirely managed by property management company, Enjoy-Work, which provides a range of services, facilities and entertainment for its guests on the park. The Enjoy-Work philosophy aims at providing an environment where people take pleasure at working and are therefore more productive in their work. In addition to building management, landscaping and maintenance, Enjoy-Work proposes a programme of regular activities and concierge services dedicated to the guests.


International SOS is the world’s leading health & security services company. More than 12,000 multi-cultural health security and logistics experts stand by to provide support and assistance from over 1,000 locations in 90 countries. The company takes around 4 million assistance calls every year and has close to two-thirds of the Fortune Global 500 companies as clients.



McCalmont-Woods was tasked with devising and implementing a break option strategy for International SOS on its London office HQ (comprising circa 44,000 sq ft) situated at Chiswick Park, W4 in West London and considered by many to be London’s premier office business park location.

Over a period of 8-months leading up to the date for service of the tenant’s break notice, a comprehensive review of the central London office market was undertaken during the midst of the global pandemic. This involved the analysis of 70 properties and after careful review and the physical inspection of 15 buildings, a shortlist of potential relocation options was drawn up. Requests for proposal were issued to various landlords with detailed heads of terms negotiations conducted on a select number of (‘the go’) options. In parallel with the relocation exercise, the opportunity to restructure the tenant’s existing office leases (‘the stay option’) on Chiswick Park was explored in detail with Revantage Europe (a Blackstone company) advising the tenant’s existing landlord CIC, the Chinese sovereign wealth fund.



The successful break option strategy devised by McCalmont-Woods resulted in International SOS remaining at Chiswick Park under restructured lease terms which produced circa £4 million savings for the business, reported to be “the most generous terms ever offered on a lease regear at Chiswick Park”.


Michael Whitlow, Human Resources Director, Assistance Business Line
“Thank you so much for delivering such an incredible outcome for the business. It has been a pleasure partnering with you on this critical project.”