Overseas investor buys home of Walker Morris for £10m

THE home of law firm Walker Morris has been sold in an investment deal worth over £10m.

Kings Court, a seven-storey office building on the corner of King Street and Quebec Street in Leeds city centre, has been acquired by an overseas private investor from Westgate Management, on behalf of a Swiss-based private trust.

The sale price represents an eight per cent net initial yield.

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The building was last sold in 2010 for about the same price by Alliance Trust Real Estate Partnership, an investment company based in Dundee, which had previously bought it for £17m.

The 47,000 sq ft building, which was constructed in 1989 for Walker Morris, is let to the Leeds-based solicitors at an annual rent of £891,000 per annum.

Walker Morris previously had a 25-year lease, which expired in 2014.

The firm recently signed a reversionary lease to extend their occupation until December 2019.

Andrew Summersgill, a director in Jones Lang LaSalle’s investment team, who advised on the sale, said: “Kings Court is a good quality HQ office building excellently located in Leeds’ traditional business district at the corner of Kings Court and Quebec Street.

“Given the relatively short unexpired lease, the pricing and interest in this reflects the recognition of improving conditions in the city centre office market.”

Tom Day, director at Stephenson Day who also advised on the deal, added: “Investor interest came from a range of prospective buyers both within the UK market and overseas showing the increasing appetite for core real estate in the major centres.”

Jones Lang LaSalle and Stephenson Day advised the vendor, whilst the solicitors were Fladgate. The buyer was represented by Fineman Ross.

Walker Morris was recently shortlisted in the 2013 Football Business Awards. Its sport group is led by David Hinchliffe, one of the best connected lawyers in the world of football.