Large firms contract in New York, making space for newcomers

September 29, 2012 Law firms are taking the chance to enter the competitive legal services market in New York as established New York firms reduce their floor space in the city, according to this report in the Wall Street Journal Online.

The available office space has been vacated by large law firms that have decided to use space and other resources more conservatively, with some laying off secretaries, some hiring fewer new associates and some packing more employees into less room.

Seattle-based Perkins Coie, for example, declined to enter the New York market for its first hundred years of existence, but now the firm is taking advantage of the turbulence in the legal industry to establish a presence there, recently upgrading to a sublease of about 25,000 square feet from law firm Squire Sanders.

"There are a number of firms that over-expanded a little bit and made commitments beyond what they should have made. We've been very conservative in our leasing and we also have no debt," says Bob Giles, the firm's managing partner. "All of a sudden, we're the most popular girl at the ball."

Read more at online.wsj.com.

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