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Lawyers’ new Melbourne lair

Lawyers’ new Melbourne lair

MELBOURNE’S LEGAL profession is carving out a new niche in the west end of the city’s CBD, according to DTZ Holdings, international property advisors.Mallesons Stephen Jaques has confirmed it…

MELBOURNE’S LEGAL profession is carving out a new niche in the west end of the city’s CBD, according to DTZ Holdings, international property advisors.

Mallesons Stephen Jaques has confirmed it will quit Rialto towers, and has already committed to 13,437 square meters across 10 levels at 600 Bourke Street. Named Bourke Place, the building has a tenancy profile with an 80 per cent weighting to law firms. Mallesons has reportedly signed a 13-year lease commencing 1 July.

Similarly, Corrs Chambers Westgarth has negotiated a move from its low-rise offices in the same building to also take up some top floors, and will occupy 6,304 square metres of space left by BHP on levels 32 to 36 on an 11-year term, also from July. Gadens Lawyers occupies the building, and has inhabited four floors since December 2002.

The owner of Bourke Place is currently developing a low-rise office space next door. To be known as Bourke Place Studios, DTZ Holdings anticipates that many of the service groups that support Mallesons and Corrs will be looking closely at this space.

The Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) has quit its Queen Street premises and will relocate to 460 Lonsdale Street, adjacent to the new County Court. The 11-year lease promises a contract value of $13.68 million, DTZ Holdings said. The DDP will join the Refugee Review Tribunal and Migration Review Tribunal, which have been in the building since last year.

The DPP leaves behind the Australian Government Solicitor, Middletons, Gronow, Isakow Solicitors, Ledermans and Robert James. Following their departure, the DDP’s former premises at 200 Queen Street, DTZ anticipates it will will see some refurbishment.

There is speculation that Maddocks is now also assessing the firm’s accommodation options, said DTZ, and Phillips Fox is continuing to assess its long-term requirements. Additionally, Sparke Helmore at 140 William Street was known to be looking at its options.

DTZ said vacancy rates increased to 9.7 per cent during the last six months of last year. There has been a new supply of office buildings on the market, expected to put pressure on rental levels, and this will continue throughout 2005 and 2006, the company said in a statement.

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