RMJM was served with eviction papers before leaving its former New York office, a document leaked to the AJ has shown
Last week the global practice issued a press release saying it was ‘was delighted to announce the opening of our new office in midtown Manhattan’ and that the move represented ‘the culmination of months of planning by our New York team’ (AJ 24.08.2012).
However a marshal’s legal possession document dated 22 August (attached) - effectively an eviction notice issued by the civil court of the City of New York - painted a rather different picture to that portrayed in the company email of 23 August.
But group commercial director Declan Thompson insisted the situation had been planned by the company nearly six months ago. He said: ‘We had to make some very difficult decisions and the US office has had a difficult time. [However] the exit of the lease [on the former office] will, over the course of that tenancy agreement [which was set to expire on 31 December 2013], save us some $1 million.
‘So we entered into very difficult commercial negotiations, adopted a pretty ballsy stance and had a fight wih the landlord.’
He added: ‘The marshal coming in was part of that process.’
Speaking about the future of the US office which, according to Thompson is now down to 52 staff from a peak of around 100, he added: ‘The new space has the capacity for 60 people and we have the intention of taking up the rest of the floor, meaning we could go upto 150 staff’
‘I have no doubt that this time next year New York will be twice the size it is now.’
Earlier this month group chief executive Peter Morrison told staff at the practice that it was was in ‘a strong position to quickly return to growth’.
The email came as the global group posted an £11 million pre-tax loss for the year to April 2011 – compared with a £1.6 million profit in the prior year.
The group also saw turnover drop from £81.2 million in 2010 to £71.6 million last year.