Knight Frank appoint leading Tech specialist to head new team

Knight Frank have appointed Tech specialist James Nicholson as Partner, to lead the newly established Central London Tech and Creative team.

James brings with him a depth of experience and knowledge in the creative sectors and has a focused interest in the evolution of the London property market being driven by technology and the growing digital economy.

He has worked regularly with start-ups and high growth businesses and is a member of Tech London Advocates, providing free initial advice to new London start-ups. He and Seb Abigail, Tech sector surveyor, will be working across Central London to infiltrate the marketplace and, supported by research, build the team’s profile within this arena. The Tech specialist team will also act as a test bed for innovation within Knight Frank, identifying and trialling new technologies, systems and practices that have the potential to be adopted by the wider business.

The launch of this new team is in recognition of the ever changing global market and Knight Frank has adapted its occupier offer with the evolution of its wider tenant representation team. This has been strengthened by the headline appointment of Richard Proctor to lead the Central London platform and the formation of a European Tenant Rep team headed by Emma Goodford, both working closely with the Newmark Grubb Knight Frank network, which incorporates Cornish & Carey, the dominant Silicon Valley adviser who regularly represent the leading growth-oriented tech firms from California.

James Nicholson, Partner, Knight Frank Tech, commented, “I am extremely pleased to be joining Knight Frank at such an exciting time. We are in the midst of a digital revolution, which is spawning a swathe of innovative, high growth businesses that are disrupting the status quo and reshaping the way that people view life, work and the workplace. There is a real opportunity to build a team here that understands and emulates these successful businesses, breaks the traditional mould and provides a new face to the business – offering sound advice that is different, innovative and creative to our clients, old and new.”

Will Beardmore-Gray, Head of Knight Frank’s Tenant Rep and Agency Business, commented; “We are delighted to have James, a leader in his market, join us to lead our Central London Tech team. The occupier influences everything we do by creating value in the buildings they occupy and driving residential markets. This has been particularly true over the last five years as the TMT sector and creative industries have pushed London’s traditional boundaries.”

New research by Knight Frank states that London’s economic recovery has been led by the creative and digital industries. In the last four years TMT firms have acquired 12.5 million sq ft of office space – the equivalent of the total office stock of Leeds. However these figures most likely understate the impact TMT firms are having on the market, due to technology’s infiltration of other industries.

Office rents in popular TMT districts have therefore surged in recent years. Rents in Shoreditch, the heart of London’s ‘Tech City’, at £65.00 per sq ft are now just shy of those in the neighbouring City Core at £66.50 per sq ft. Four years ago, Shoreditch rents stood at £40.00 per sq ft and City Core rents at £55.00 per sq ft.