NYC law firms think small in bid to scale back office space

Firms previously housed in upscale Midtown spots moving to lower-cost spaces Downtown or in Midtown West

New York /
Aug.August 26, 2014 03:55 PM

Gotham law firms are increasingly going the way of big banks, shrinking the amount of space per attorney and relocating from pricey Midtown locales in an attempt to reduce office space overall.

In New York City, some firms that were previously housed in upscale Midtown spots are now either moving or pondering moves to lower-cost spaces Downtown or in Midtown West, Thomas Doughty, international director and co-chair of Jones Lang’s global law firm practice group, told the American Lawyer. In those new spaces, the firms are experimenting with new layouts, as will be the case with Jones Day’s planned move to Brookfield Office Properties’ 4 Brookfield Place in 2016.

Traditionally, law firms occupy two or three times as much space per employee as most other types of businesses, such as banking, insurance or technology. But that trend is changing.

“They are facing pressure to be lean and mean,” Sherry Cushman, executive managing director and leader of the global legal sector advisory group at commercial brokerage Cushman & Wakefield, told the site. “Twenty years ago if they walked into a beautiful office, [clients] would say, ‘Wow, my lawyers must be smart.’ But now they walk in and they don’t want to say, ‘Wow, this is why my fees are so high.‘”

The square footage per lawyer is tumbling as office give way to larger communal working areas and multipurpose spaces that serve as more flexible, economical leases. [American Lawyer]Julie Strickland


Related Articles

arrow_forward_ios
58 percent of respondents said their employees would be in the office at least three days a week (iStock)
Tech workers plan to head back to offices by Q3
Tech workers plan to head back to offices by Q3
JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon and 270 Park Avenue (Getty, Google Maps)
JPMorgan Chase will embrace “flexible” design for 270 Park HQ
JPMorgan Chase will embrace “flexible” design for 270 Park HQ
TIG founding principal Elliott Ingerman and the Textile Building at 295 Fifth Avenue (LinkedIn, Google Maps)
Fifth Avenue’s Textile Building to get $350M makeover
Fifth Avenue’s Textile Building to get $350M makeover
4 Park Avenue (Feil Organization)
With 30K-sf lease, SUNY Empire shrinks Manhattan footprint
With 30K-sf lease, SUNY Empire shrinks Manhattan footprint
An aerial of 341-347 Madison Avenue and Boston Properties CEO Owen D. Thomas (Google Maps, Real Estate Roundtable)
Boston Properties moves forward with teardown of ex-MTA HQ
Boston Properties moves forward with teardown of ex-MTA HQ
General Assembly's CEO Lisa Lewin (General Assembly)
General Assembly renews 40K sf lease in Flatiron District
General Assembly renews 40K sf lease in Flatiron District
About 17.3 percent of Manhattan office space is available for lease, the most in decades. (iStock)
Manhattan office market’s 25% drop is ominous sign for landlords
Manhattan office market’s 25% drop is ominous sign for landlords
Douglas Durst with 1133 Avenue of the Americas (left) and 114 West 47th Street (Google Maps, Getty)
Durst refinances two Midtown buildings with $1.1B CMBS loan
Durst refinances two Midtown buildings with $1.1B CMBS loan
arrow_forward_ios

The Deal's newsletters give you the latest scoops, fresh headlines, marketing data, and things to know within the industry.

Loading...