Former senior JLL agents launch new commercial property firm

Peter Hall, Harry Murphy, Tom Leahy, and Dan Brown of Situu

Four major players on the London commercial property scene, Harry Murphy, Peter Hall, Dan Brown and Tom Leahy, all former senior position holders at JLL, have joined forces to shake-up the real estate market with the launch of their new company, Situu.

Launched in January 2020, Situu was conceived when each of the founders wanted to pool their collective experience and create a new and unique business model that would make a positive impact on both tenants and landlords in the capital.

Dan Brown, who was responsible for transforming JLL’s flexible office offering into a multi-million pound revenue business from 2012 to 2019, elaborates: “Recent years have seen a significant shift in the sector. A huge growth in flexible offices, coupled with our vast experience in assisting landlords in delivering flexible solutions to tenants, presented us with an opportunity too great to miss.”

Co-founder, Tom Leahy, who has been involved in the serviced-office sector for 10 years adds: “With Situu, we have created a true, cross-discipline agency. With Harry and Peter’s 25 years experience in the leasing world, along with my own and Dan’s additional 25 years in the growing flexible office market, we can work with our clients to provide the appropriate advice across the spectrum – giving Situu a competitive advantage over commercial property firms which do not specialise in all aspects.”

To date, despite the unprecedented effects of COVID-19 on the central London office market, the business has experienced a flying start, exceeding initial targets with more than 50 deals across brokerage and lettings of both leased and *Situu+ managed products since the beginning of the year.

Situu’s unique, simplified approach has been key to its success, with the team securing deals for tenants that will remain competitive for several years into the future. This has been achieved by helping them to fully understand what’s best for their individual businesses, and covering all options, from serviced, to managed, to longer-term leased options, whilst continuing to work with them along the journey.

At the other side of the spectrum, the property experts at Situu work closely with London landlords by encouraging them to re-look at their traditional way of letting a space to make it more attractive for tenants.

Harry Murphy, whose primary role is to expand the landlord side of the business, explains: “Employees no longer need work in central London five days per week, but businesses still want to maintain a central London base with flexible, shorter leases. Crucially, operating as a small agency gives us a creative edge on how we can structure and adapt a deal to ensure all parties’ business interests are optimised, which is essential in this current mid-pandemic climate.”

The four founders intend to maintain a hands-on approach, with a small support team, so clients of any size can enjoy the full benefits of their decades of experience. What’s more, to provide much-needed employment and nurture the next generation of talent, the founders are planning to recruit a young person via the government’s Kickstart Scheme.

Peter Hall, who joined the team as co-founder in September 2020, specialising in tenant representation, comments on the recruitment approach: “Introducing new blood by training young people with vibrant ideas is just what this sector needs. It’s calling out for more diversity, which is why we are looking to recruit someone currently on universal credit, with no prior experience necessary. This represents everything Situu is about; challenging industry norms and looking at things from a different viewpoint.

Dan Brown concludes: “When developing our brand, not only did we wish to bring a fresh perspective to the London commercial property market, we wanted to do something we enjoy, every day, and create something we can all be proud of.”