18 September 2020
Property specialists, KWB, have spearheaded an 18-month project to transform the Birmingham HQ of one of the country’s best-known barristers chambers.
No5 Barristers’ Chambers has been in the city for a century, and at its Fountain Court head office in Steelhouse Lane since the 1960s, but CEO and director of Clerking, Tony McDaid, said the building was beginning to look tired with some areas in need of urgent attention.
“Previous landlords hadn't refurbished the building over the years and although it wasn't exactly falling apart, it clearly needed significant investment. We investigated moving elsewhere, but eventually decided to stay,” he says.
“Our latest landlords were relatively new, and KWB persuaded them to agree new leases and rent levels, so we knew we had the building for at least the next 10 years. The landlord agreed to invest, and we decided to follow suit.”
Adrian Southall (pictured), director of KWB Workplace, admitted the project was one of the most complex in his decade with the Newhall Street agents.
“It began as a lease renegotiation and possible relocation, then became a sizeable refurb, which raised a series of unexpected issues, including power supplies, and finally it was all about project management,” he says.
“However, although the different elements took a long time to assemble and decanting the barristers between floors was a major challenge, it was absolutely worth it.”
Tony McDaid says the new space has been well received by everyone as working practices have evolved.
“We now have almost twice as much space as before, so much better conditions for the staff and our barristers," he says.
“We also now have an excellent seminar suite which we have been seeking for almost 20 years but were restricted due to space issues and lack of creative thinking, and KWB helped us solve those problems.”
“The complexity of the project did give us a few headaches along the way, but everything was ultimately sorted just how we wanted it, thanks to Adrian's advice and guidance, and I must say he was great all the way through.”