With businesses hurting across the UK and tenants looking for financial support during the coronavirus crisis, occupiers are advised to check the terms of their lease and any insurance policies held to establish if they have grounds for relief as the Chancellor Rishi Sunak set out the following package of temporary measures to support businesses:

• a Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme
• deferring VAT and Self-Assessment payments
• a Self-employment Income Support Scheme
• a Statutory Sick Pay relief package for small and medium sized businesses (SMEs)
• a 12-month business rates holiday for all retail, hospitality, leisure and nursery businesses in England
• small business grant funding of £10,000 for all business in receipt of small business rate relief or rural rate relief
• grant funding of £25,000 for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses with property with a rateable value between £15,000 and £51,000
• the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme offering loans of up to £5 million for SMEs through the British Business Bank
• a new lending facility from the Bank of England to help support liquidity among larger firms, helping them bridge coronavirus disruption to their cash flows through loans
• the HMRC Time To Pay Scheme

The above measures are unlikely to offer much in the way of succor for the majority of corporates and all of the legal opinion we have studied is consistent in advising that (subject to certain exceptions) tenants are not entitled to: a) terminate leases because they choose to close their business or can no longer afford to pay rent (unless entitled to do so under the terms of an existing break option), b) withhold rent or pay a reduced amount due to cashflow problems and, c) cease paying business rates. Note, service charges are usually reserved as rent.

Our advice is that occupiers (and/or their tenant representatives) should actively engage with their landlords at the earliest opportunity to discuss the options available, as there are a range of other solutions which could potentially provide some relief during this period of disruption.


There is an important partnership that transcends the Atlantic and connects some of the world’s leading businesses in the Energy Sector.

It is a partnership that delivers expert local market knowledge, trans-continental support, guaranteed unconflicted advice and the highest quality outcomes.

Introducing a very special partnership of acknowledged experts in both Independent Tenant Representation and the particular needs of the Energy sector.

McCalmont-Woods Real Estate (www.mccalmont-woods.com) and The Calibre Group, Inc. (www.thecalibregroup.com) – a Partnership for Energy.

DOWNLOAD our new brochure to find out how to gain instant advantage for your real estate requirements.


The challenges facing corporate occupiers are legion. In a world as unfamiliar to many businesses as corporate real estate, the prospect of ‘going it alone’ can be truly daunting – and not without reason.

Office relocation, disposals and rent review processes are typically highly complex transactions fraught with pitfalls, which could potentially prove extremely costly to the organisation concerned.

For any corporate occupier embarking on acquiring or disposing of a property or negotiating the renewal of a lease with a landlord or a rent review, there are numerous and varied questions, considerations and issues that need to be addressed.

To help corporate occupiers grasp the situation, MWRE has produced a brief, no-nonsense Guide to Independent Tenant Representation to assist them in making more informed decisions.

From the 10 key questions that confront the critical issues facing corporate occupiers to how you can de-risk your situation, together with real-world examples, we hope this brief Guide will be of interest to you.

Please download your priority copy of the Independent Guide to Independent Tenant Representation, with our compliments.

The 4th July is a special day for our American friends. This is the day on which Congress adopted the Declaration of Independence from Great Britain in 1776. Independence Day is a national holiday in the USA to be celebrated with family and friends, parades, more parades and of course fireworks, lots of them!

Thomas Paine, English-born American political activist and one of the Founding Fathers of the U.S. inspired the rebels to declare independence from Britain and inspired me to also think about what it means to be independent.

In a business context, a firm’s ability to provide clients with advice “free from outside control; not subject to another’s authority” and “not influenced by others: impartial” (as defined by The Oxford English Dictionary) may be hampered by conflicts of interest arising from the supply of services and issues around ownership, the nature and identity of outside investors and other stakeholders with an involvement in the business. And of course, limited market competition is also seen as being damaging to business.

In 2011 the European Commission unveiled proposals to force the UK’s Big Four accountancy firms to separate their auditing services from their consultancy work in an attempt to restore credibility to European auditing firms after “considerable failures” around the 2008 financial crisis. The collapse of Carillion plc (a British multinational facilities management and construction services company) in June 2018, costing UK taxpayers an estimated £148m, caused the UK’s accounting regulator to again raise competition concerns.

Carillion’s demise, following a series of other high-profile corporate accounting failures, re-focussed debate on whether or not the big-four accountancy firms should be broken up with Stephen Haddrill, Chief Executive of the Financial Reporting Council calling for an investigation to consider forcing audit firms to divest their substantial and lucrative consulting work and various experts arguing for and against.

Natasha Landell-Mills (Head of Stewardship at Sarasin & Partners) writing in the Financial Times (Should the Big Four accountancy firms be split up? 21.03.2018) argued that separating audit from consulting would prevent conflicts of interest, observing that conflicts are exacerbated when audit firms also sell other services to management teams, particularly if that consultancy work is more profitable. In the same article Jim Peterson (author ‘Count Down: The Past, Present and Uncertain Future of the Big Four Accounting Firms’) countered that forcing Deloitte, EY, KPMG and PwC to shed their non-audit businesses would neither add competition nor boost smaller competitors, because the root problem is global and reflects the big-four’s multinational clients’ needs for breadth of geographic presence and specialised industry expertise.

The parallels with the real estate sector are all too evident with the five largest professional services firms in CBRE, JLL, Cushman & Wakefield, Colliers and BNP Paribas dominating. As firms sought to grapple with various issues impacting the professional services sector, principally the problem of how to deal with falling revenues and escalating costs, the real estate sector responded with a spate of high profile corporate mergers, the more notable being Savills acquisition of Studley in the U.S. in 2014; Cushman & Wakefield’s merger with DTZ in 2015 and latterly the French bank owned BNP Paribas Real Estate’s acquisition of Strutt & Parker in 2017, which it can be argued has reduced market competition and in the process limited customer choice.

But mergers can also lead to de-mergers. A case in point being Deloitte which expanded the size of its real estate business and transactional element in particular when it bought Drivers Jonas in 2010. Following a strategic review of its agency and investment businesses it subsequently agreed to offload the majority of its transactional staff just six years later, the review prompted due to conflicts of interest arising from being part of a big-four accountant and US Securities and Exchange Commission regulations. The acquisition of GVA by Germany’s Bilfinger in 2014 was also relatively short-lived but for different reasons, with a sale to EQT completed two years later. The Swedish private equity firm is reported to have begun market-testing another sale of the business (EGi 09.05.2018).

Deloitte Real Estate’s Managing Partner Nigel Shilton said “If you look at the transactional side of things and the consolidation in the market, it is not getting any easier to compete. You need to either be niche and boutique or large and global” (EGi 18.04.2016). With AI, blockchain, crypto-currencies and robotics reshaping the way in which data is gathered, stored and verified, businesses will need also to embrace change and adapt to new markets and technologies if they are to stay relevant.

In an article for CFO Magazine (Is Analytics the Answer? 27.06.2018) Avocat Group’s CFO Walt Batansky explained how his commercial real estate consultancy in the U.S. is currently beta testing a system that automates previously manual tasks. It will, for instance, comb through clients’ current lease information and compare it to market data to find variances and if market rents are significantly lower than is being paid by the client, the client may wish to consider renegotiating its lease terms or acquiring additional space at more attractive rental rates. The system can also send alerts for upcoming lease events and calculate real estate costs as a percentage of revenue and then compare real-estate-cost-per-revenue-dollar for each client location.

The desire to innovate and specialise may contradict the ‘one-stop-shop’ approach to business favoured by many of the established behemoths and cut across the old-fashioned notion that ‘big is best’ but my belief is that the ‘one-stop-shop’ model is no longer fit for purpose and that a firm’s ability to operate globally and act locally should not be dependent upon the ownership of its business. The good news for clients is that a plethora of independent firms is already busy collaborating across the globe to provide the highest calibre professional advice across the legal, accounting, management consultancy, architectural and real estate arenas via a network of business relationships which allow members to share resources, knowledge and skills and challenge the status quo.

McCalmont-Woods Real Estate’s exclusive focus on providing a specialist tenant representation service to corporate occupiers enabled us to navigate our way through the global recession and flourish and this year, 2018, sees us celebrate our 10th anniversary. As the UK member of the Alliance of Tenant Representatives McCalmont-Woods’s clients benefit from a network of affiliated offices across North America and since independence defines McCalmont-Woods, we are on this special 4th July day proud to declare our own independence!

We may not have a Bill of Rights, but we can promise to always:
1. Listen and respond appropriately to your business needs;
2. Act in your best interests with the highest standards of client care and integrity; and,
3. Ensure that all clients (irrespective of size) shall benefit from thoughtful, diligent and creative tenant representation.

And since we only act for occupiers of business space, we can also guarantee that client’s interests will never be subordinate to conflicting relationships with landlords or property owners, which as Thomas Paine might have said, “all makes perfect Common Sense”.

Independent firms are often viewed as innovators and sometimes disrupters, but what unites them is the increased choice they provide to clients seeking specialised industry expertise. So if you are interested in learning more about tenant representation in real estate we would invite you to contact us to receive your priority copy of our Guide to Independent Tenant Representation (available to download shortly).

McCalmont-Woods Real Estate, the specialist London based Tenant Representation real estate agency, is proud to have advised Neptune Energy on relocation to its new London office at Land Securities and Canada Pension Plan Investment Board’s Nova development in Victoria, SW1.

Neptune is an independent international E&P company and, having completed the acquisition of the exploration and production business of the ENGIE group in February 2018, is now active across the North Sea, North Africa and Asia Pacific. The Company is backed by funds advised by three investors, China Investment Corporation, The Carlyle Group and CVC Capital Partners.

Neptune has taken 11,000 sq ft offices at Nova North bringing the total office floorspace acquired and let by MWRE for energy sector clients in London to date to over 130,000 sq ft.

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On 28th January 2008 the markets were bracing themselves for more volatility, the Chancellor of the Exchequer had just handed more power over banks to the FSA and Lembit Opik was making headlines dating a Cheeky Girl.

Also, McCalmont-Woods opened its doors, and never looked back.

We are delighted to announce 10-years of independent Tenant Representation real estate business. It’s been a hugely fulfilling journey and a milestone of which we are immensely proud.

£300 million rental commitments and counting

McCalmont-Woods Real Estate’s positive ‘can-do’ attitude and our exclusive focus on serving the interests of corporate office occupiers has resulted in McCalmont-Woods advising on in excess of £300 million rental commitments to date across London’s prime real estate districts, from office acquisitions and disposals to rent review and lease advisory services.

A big, big thank you

Since our clients are at the heart of everything we do, we should like to take this opportunity to thank you all for your incredible support and friendship over the last ten years.

McCalmont-Woods will always champion your property requirements as trusted advisors, and guide and advise you at every step to deliver the best possible outcomes for your business.

What’s more, our services are extending overseas – more on which will be announced soon!

To all our clients and industry friends, our very best wishes for the next 10 years and a very prosperous 2018 to you all.

Newsquest Media Group Limited advised by tenant representation specialists McCalmont-Woods Real Estate LLP has taken a new lease on Queen’s House, 28 Kingsway and 55-56 Lincoln’s Inn Fields, WC2 in London’s Midtown district from Capel House Property Trust Limited advised by Gale Priggen & Co.

Newsquest has signed a new lease on the 3,700 sq ft part 4th floor in Queen’s House, an impressive period property situated on the west side of London’s largest public square. Initially planned in 1913, development was put on hold in 1914 due to the outbreak of the First World War and the building was only subsequently completed in the early 1920s since when it has remained in the ownership of landlord Capel House ever since.

Lincoln’s Inn Fields, originally laid out in the 1630s with a brief interruption for the English Civil War (1642-1651), has long had an association with the legal sector and over the years has been home to numerous solicitor’s firms and barristers’ chambers. In Charles Dickens’ novel Bleak House, the sinister solicitor to the aristocracy, Mr Tulkinghorn, has his offices in Lincoln’s Inn Fields!

Today the Square is home to some of London’s most noteworthy organisations including the London School of Economics and Political Science who also occupy space in Queen’s House and next door in a £71 million state-of-the-art building at 50 Lincoln’s Inn Fields. Other notable occupiers in the Square include international public relations company Brunswick Group; the Royal College of Surgeons and the Centre for Commercial Law Studies – part of Queen Mary, University of London. The Sir John Soane’s Museum, which attracts over 100,000 visitors a year, occupies no. 13 Lincoln’s Inn Fields, the house being left untouched since the distinguished architect’s death almost 180 years ago.

Earlier, in June of this year, McCalmont-Woods advised Newsquest’s Specialist Media arm on its relocation from 30 Cannon Street, EC4 to 6,000 sq ft ‘creative style’ offices at 120 Leman Street, E1 in the heart of London’s vibrant Aldgate quarter on the east side of the City. Newsquest Specialist Media, who publish both commercial and B2B titles such as Insurance Times, Strategic Risk and Global Reinsurance amongst other brands, signed a new lease on the refurbished offices with landlord Grainmarket advised by Hall Kemp.

Lisa Isaac, Group Purchasing Manager at Newsquest said “Having met with several potential advisers, the team at McCalmont-Woods impressed us with the way they focused on our needs and brief, finding the property to fit as opposed to starting with available properties and trying to shoehorn the brief to match. We had some tough ‘asks’ and we certainly put Nick’s extensive experience and market knowledge to the test. The Specialist Media team were very pleased with the move to Leman Street and we had no hesitation in appointing McCalmont-Woods to help find our second property in Midtown; a second successful project despite the incredibly tight deadlines. Knowledgeable, jargon-free, helpful and focused, I look forward to working with McCalmont-Woods on future projects.”

Newsquest is the UK’s second largest publisher of regional and local news with a portfolio of more than 165 news brands and over 40 magazines, published in print and online. With an audience of almost 30 million users a month online and 6 million readers a week in print, Newsquest’s content is read by a substantial proportion of the UK population. Newsquest employs over 1,000 experienced media sales people that help local businesses promote their products and services to local audiences. Newsquest is owned by Gannett Co., Inc. the largest news publisher in the United States whose assets include USA Today and USA Weekend. Gannett is listed on the New York Stock Exchange with the symbol “GCI”.

Faced with the imminent expiry of its office lease in 33 Grosvenor Place, Belgravia, Hartree Partners (UK) Limited turned to tenant representation specialists McCalmont-Woods Real Estate LLP for help in finding a new London office space.

Working to a tight timetable and with Victoria offices in scarce supply, McCalmont-Woods successfully identified and negotiated a new lease on 11,300 sq ft Grade A space at Cardinal Place, 100 Victoria Street, SW1 with landlord, Land Securities.

Formerly occupied by Microsoft, the 2nd floor offices needed refurbishment and in recognition of the tight timescales involved, it was agreed that office design & build specialists’ Peldon Rose would undertake both the landlord’s Cat A works and Hartee’s own Cat B fitting-out works in order to accelerate Hartree’s move-in date.

Land Securities’ 660,000 sq ft Cardinal Place is undoubtedly one of the most recognisable sights in Victoria, the dramatic sweep of its glass facade narrowing to a single point at the corner of Bressenden Place and Victoria Street. A new entrance to the underground and north ticket hall (providing improved access between the National Rail and Tube platforms) is due to open shortly immediately opposite the entrance to Cardinal Place.

Jon O’Neill, Hartee’s Managing Director said “Nick did a great job of finding a new London office space for Hartree. We appointed him after a previous property deal fell through at a late stage, leaving us with a relatively tight timeline to find new office space. Nick worked hard and found us a great space before it got advertised on the open market. He is a good communicator and we felt very well informed throughout the whole process; we would not hesitate to use him again”.

Hartree Partners, LP is a global merchant commodities firm specializing in energy and its associated industries. Founded originally as Hess Energy Trading Company LLC (HETCO) in 1997, Hartree has a global reach spanning 10 offices and approximately 85 traders and originators. The company’s rigorous research, analytical approach, and entrepreneurial culture have contributed to its strong track record and growth over that time.


Niche London real estate agency McCalmont-Woods has advised Ipes (UK) Ltd on its expansion-led UK office headquarters relocation from Victoria to the City.

Ipes is a leading provider of outsourced services to the European Private Equity market and provides administration and depository oversight over $102bn of assets for 262 funds from 4 European offices in Guernsey, Jersey, London and Luxembourg where it currently employs a team of 181 people.

Ipes has taken 8,100 sq ft on the 9th floor of 1 Minster Court, EC3. A new 10-year lease was agreed on the newly refurbished landmark building with the landlord, Prudential Assurance, advised by CBRE and Spring4.

Nick McCalmont-Woods, CEO of McCalmont-Woods said: “Ipes occupied 3,800 sq ft in 10 Lower Grovenor Place, SW1 but its continued success meant that relocation was necessary to accommodate the growth in headcount. McCalmont-Woods was instructed to initiate a review of suitable property options across the West End, Mid Town and City office markets. A short list was whittled down with the competitive pricing and greater availability of larger floor-plates in the City coming to the fore.”

Ben Cook, Ipes (UK) Ltd Managing Director said: “Ipes has enjoyed huge growth and with our move we have created a more modern, efficient environment for staff. From shortlisting, bid submission to heads of terms McCalmont-Woods delivered excellence as always.”

25 Canada Square (1) from CWG

Just nine years into its history IBT Media, owner of the International Business Times and Newsweek among other titles, has enjoyed the kind of stellar growth most media players only dream of. Their overall readership has grown 70% in the past year. In the last year alone, IB Times UK, one of their leading web news properties has gone from 12,500,000 to an astonishing 21,000,000 unique visitors a month. These achievements are delivered by a growing team of cutting edge journalists, editors, technologists and others.

But with this growing stable of titles and increasing headcount have come the challenges of finding the perfect real estate for its ever extending operation. They turned once more to McCalmont-Woods, the specialist London commercial office real estate agency, who have acquired for them a stylish new 13,000 square foot office at Citi’s 25 Canada Square, in London’s Docklands.

This has been a long-term relationship for the two companies. Back in 2009 McCalmont-Woods let IBT Media their first London office in Canary Wharf – some 2,200 sq ft on the 34th floor of One Canada Square. Sufficiently impressed by the professionalism and expertise of the agency, in 2012 IBT Media contacted McCalmont-Woods again and to deal with its still rapidly growing needs. IBT Media duly took up its new home in 6,280 square feet on the 32nd floor of Citi’s 25 Canada Square, with capacity for around 80 staff. But their growth has been relentless, so the story doesn’t end there.

In early 2015, IBT Media once again asked McCalmont-Woods to advise it on relocation. In another doubling of their operation, both companies are thrilled to announce today the move to their new 24th floor, 13,000 sq ft offices once again at Citi. Cushman & Wakefield acted for Citi.

Nick McCalmont-Woods, CEO of McCalmont-Woods commented: “IBT Media has been a remarkable success story. In the six years I have been involved with them their space requirements have risen by 486% from 2,217 square feet in 2009 to just over 13,000 square feet today. Our deep understanding of their business has meant we’ve been able to help them locate intelligent, future-proof workspaces that support that amazing growth.”

Founded and headquartered in New York in 2006 by Etienne Uzac and Jonathan Davis, IBT Media is a global digital news organisation with ten online news brands including International Business Times and Newsweek. Its UK and EMEA headquarters are in London set up and run by Dev Pragad, Managing Director for IBT Media’s international arm. Still in its first decade, the company has undergone rapid growth and made the headlines in late 2013 it when it acquired Newsweek from IAC.

Dev Pragad, UK & EMEA Managing Director of IBT Media said: “Our stats are a bit dumbfounding. IBT Media’s readership has grown 70% in just the last year. The operational effect of that means we’ve gone from 2,200 to 13,000 square feet in 6 years. Four moves in 9 years… our growth is pretty staggering – and in under a decade we’ve grown two-fold from 80 to 160 staff. With this kind of growth space keeps becoming an issue and as a news business we need efficient, strategic transitions when we move. McCalmont-Woods were remarkable at finding us cost-effective rent terms and negotiated a very favourable deal for us. We couldn’t be happier with them.”