Lawyers and real estate experts talk office space
by Amanda Robert
Tuesday, March 8, 2011
Lawyers who walk the floors of older, conventional buildings see odd partner and associate office sizes, interior spaces that seem to hold more paper than people, and once vital, now outdated amenities like libraries and secretarial stations.
As they approach the end of their leases, they must decide if they want to trade in these traditional offices for something more modern, efficient and flexible. Some law firms choose to simply re-sign their leases, but in recent years, more firms answered the call to revolutionize their current offices or to move to other spaces.
Several such large law firms as Jenner & Block, Kirkland & Ellis and Baker & McKenzie led a growing trend in the law firm real estate market as they each became or are soon-to-become anchor tenants in their new, high-rise office buildings.
In 2009, Jenner & Block moved from the IBM Building at 330 N. Wabash Ave. to a new 45-story, 1.1 million-square-foot tower at 353 N. Clark St. Kirkland & Ellis moved from the Aon Center at 200 E. Randolph Drive to a new 60-story, 1.3 million-square-foot tower at 300 N. LaSalle St. Baker & McKenzie plans its own move for 2012 from One Prudential Plaza at 130 E. Randolph St. to the newly expanded 57-story 2.3-million-square-foot Blue Cross Blue Shield Tower at 300 E. Randolph St.
In a recent roundtable discussion, Donald Resnick of Jenner & Block, Jeffrey Sheffield of Kirkland & Ellis and Michael Smith of Baker & McKenzie considered their decisions to move, design elements unique to their new office spaces and lessons learned throughout the process...