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Our History

Our History

Over the past 124 years, Knight Frank has become a global leader in real estate consultancy – find out more about our journey below.

20 Hanover Square


Knight Frank & Rutley is founded as a valuations, surveying and auctions business. Its first sale takes place at Conduit Street, London.


Knight Frank & Rutley sell a ‘cycle machinery and plant’ business in Battersea for £270 11s 6d to achieve the first recorded business property sale.


Co-founder Howard Frank puts the firm’s first full-page advertisement in the August edition of Country Life.


Staff move from Conduit Street to 20 Hanover Square.


The Crystal Palace sells to Lord Plymouth for £210,000.


Howard Frank buys estate agent Walton & Lee to secure the prime front page of Country Life magazine.


The Edinburgh office opens.


Senior Partner Howard Frank is knighted.

Original advertising for The Crystal Palace
Photograph by Central Aerophoto Co., Ltd., courtesy National Geographic


Cecil Chubb buys Stonehenge through Knight Frank & Rutley for £6,600 as a present for his wife. She gifts it to the nation three years later.


Howard Frank is made Director General of the combined Directorate of Lands.


Knight Frank & Rutley sells its first town: Reigate for £203,840.


The firm sells Winston Churchill’s house and sells Chartwell to him.


The Duke of Westminster sells Grosvenor House in Park Lane through Knight Frank & Rutley.


Knight Frank & Rutley buys 40 acres north of Oxford Street for the Audley Trust.

Chartwell in 1870. Image from National Trust
Broadcasting House


The firm advises on the site assembly of the BBC’s headquarters, Broadcasting House in London.


The contents of the Cunard Liner, Olympia, are sold.


The majority of Lytham St Anne’s in Lancashire is sold, including its celebrated golf course.


Knight Frank & Rutley sell the contents of the German Embassy, including 20 Nazi flags, 17 safes and a dog basket.


Offices on London’s Chiswell Street are acquired for BP, marking the UK’s largest ever property transaction.


The Geneva office opens.


Knight Frank & Rutley is established in Nigeria.

Alan Shelley and Paul Mitchell in Lagos, Nigeria, 1963.
Fountains Abbey, photo by Antony McCallum of


The historic Fountains Abbey in Yorkshire is sold for £1 million.


Knight Frank & Rutley set up a New York office through a joint venture with Douglas Elliman.


The UK’s biggest single property deal takes place: BP’s purchase of Britannic House for £93 million.


Douglas Elliman Knight Frank sells Pan-American World Airways Intercontinental Hotels Corporation to Grand Metropolitan for $500 million in New York.


Knight Frank & Rutley joins with a leading Hong Kong surveyor to form Knight Frank Kan and Baillieu.


Meanwhile, in the same year, the Singapore office is established.


The firm acquires additional premises at 5 Hanover Square to accommodate its growing staff, now comprising 53 partners and 5 associates.


Qantas Centre in Sydney is sold for $200 million, becoming Australia’s largest single biggest property sale.

The Residential Development division is set up at the London Docklands office.

Hong Kong Hong Kong, photo by NithidPhoto
Duke of York's Headquarters, photo by Jack Gavigan


‘Rutley’ is dropped from the firm’s name to strengthen Knight Frank’s worldwide identity and plans to expand internationally.


The Duke of York’s Headquarters in Chelsea, London, are sold on behalf of the Ministry of Defence.

The firm increases its stake in the Australian business to 100%.


Knight Frank becomes a Limited Liability Partnership.


Knight Frank is ranked as one of The Sunday Times 100 Best UK Companies to Work For.


The firm advises on the development of London’s new Olympic Village ahead of the 2012 Games.

Rutley Capital Partners, the real estate private equity business, is established.

Olympic Village


Forms partnership with New York-based Newmark real estate to establish Newmark Knight Frank.

55 Baker Street, Photo by Mordern Architecture


The firm’s equity in Indian operations increases to 100%, and now totals seven offices and 807 people.

Knight Frank expands to more than 165 offices in 36 countries across 6 continents, with over 5,000 local professionals handling real estate worth billions of pounds annually.


Relocates global headquarters to 55 Baker Street, London W1.


Newmark Knight Frank is appointed leasing agent on the Empire State Building.


Knight Frank is appointed on London’s new skyscraper, The Shard, set to be the tallest landmark building in Europe.


Knight Frank successfully pitches to sell the 40-acre Battersea Power Station site, consisting of eight million square feet of mixed-used property.

Launches multilingual website and introduces a new property app which goes on to be listed in the Daily Telegraph Top 10 property apps.


My Knight Frank, a library of past and present research publications, launches.

The Shard, Wikipedia
Royal Atlanis, Dubai


Knight Frank wins the instruction to sell 231 super prime residential units within the iconic Royal Atlantis on the Palm Jumeirah, Dubai.


Enters a new license agreement in the Philippines to establish Santos Knight Frank.


Expands the European network with the opening of the Hungarian office.

Forms a strategic alliance with Bayleys in New Zealand.

Cityscape of Auckland at night, New Zealand. Credit 
LaraBelova Cityscape of Auckland at night, New Zealand. Photo by LaraBelova