"Its pan-European presence, expertise in real estate law and an incredible pool of talented lawyers set CMS apart."
Head of Real Estate, WeWork, UK and Ireland
The global shift towards a more flexible approach to working has seen traditional offices become less appealing to businesses of all sizes. With over 400 open locations across 100 cities in 27 countries, WeWork is leading the office sector towards more innovative ways of working.
Research by the company shows that over 40 percent of its enterprise members chose WeWork because they wanted a more creative entrepreneurial Environment. The model is also having a positive impact on local neighbourhoods and cities. In London, for example, WeWork members spend nearly three times as much as the average Londoner on pubs, restaurants and cafés, injecting more than GBP 75m per year into local business.
CMS advised WeWork on its acquisition of the Devonshire Square estate in London, which was acquired in April 2018 by a joint venture between Nuveen (previously TH Real Estate), PFA and WeWork. The parties in the joint venture recognised the potential of the site as a mixed-use space, less than 50 metres away from a busy underground station in an important commercial hub. The location has proved very successful and WeWork has already opened 8, 9 and 10 Devonshire Square. The estate has become a hub for entrepreneurs and creators from different-sized companies, who are now connecting to WeWork’s 400,000+ members worldwide and are part of a new campus-style community.
David Kaiser, Head of Real Estate, WeWork UK and Ireland, said, “The tenacity, commercial approach and work ethic of the CMS team helped us sign the Devonshire Square deal quickly and efficiently. The transaction was very complex and time sensitive. We called upon many different departments within CMS including real estate, tax, construction and competition, receiving excellent, commercial advice from across the firm. Its pan-European presence, expertise in real estate law and an incredible pool of talented lawyers set CMS apart.”
CMS London partner Lindsey Barrett added, “I believe the key to the successful WeWork relationship has been spending significant time getting to know them as a business and what their commercial drivers are. This allows the team to give tailored, practical advice. With CMS’s international presence, we have not only been able to work with them in the UK but also support them as they grow into new markets.”
"I believe the key to the successful WeWork relationship has been spending significant time getting to know them as a business and what their commercial drivers are."
Partner, Real Estate & Construction, CMS London
WeWork’s real estate strategy continues to diversify in terms of how it secures buildings and structures deals. It is moving from a traditional landlord / tenant relationship to being more of a partner with landlords, with a number of revenue share / management agreements finalised or in the pipeline. Research by the company shows that for every 10,000 WeWork members, an additional 10,000 jobs are created through indirect and induced spending. Over 45 percent of WeWork member companies, meanwhile, say that WeWork helped accelerate their growth.
David Kaiser said, “We believe that if we provide solid foundations for productive working, with technology, beautiful design and flexible intuitive space, we can have a significant impact on helping our members grow their businesses.
“CMS helps us achieve this by proactively learning about our business and our company mission, and working closely with the WeWork real estate team to understand our drivers and challenges. Some of the CMS real estate team recently came in to WeWork 10 Devonshire Square for a day to talk in detail about our business and growth plans. We find CMS is interested in what we are doing to improve our members’ experience.”