Snapshots

Will law firms in Chicago continue to ink deals along the river?

Law firms have continued to follow leader Kirkland & Ellis’ migration towards the river 10 years ago when they downsized and moved into a new trophy development.

March 12, 2019
  • Law firms in Chicago have continued to follow leader Kirkland & Ellis’ migration towards the river 10 years ago when they downsized their office footprint and moved into a new trophy development in River North.
  • DLA Piper, McDermott Will & Emery, and Hinshaw Culbertson followed suit this cycle, and traded their Central Loop space for new trophy office towers in the West Loop.
  • As square foot per attorney continues to shrink on average year over year and competition for Class A/Trophy space in Chicago becomes more fierce, an unprecedented amount of law firms (about 28) are actively reevaluating their options in the market.
  • However, as rents, taxes and construction costs continue to rise, will other large firms in the market ditch their current space for shiny, new offices in River North and the West Loop in the coming years or stay the path of driving down real estate costs?

Source: JLL Research

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