Future Leasing of Office Space to Law Firms May Require Greater Recourse to Partners (Part 1)


Reprinted and/or posted with the permission of Daily Journal Corp. (2009)

Part 1 of 2 Parts)

The latest news from San Francisco’s “Chronicle” is the owner of the premier office tower where Heller Ehrman LLP formerly had its headquarters is throwing the keys to the lender.

Beautifully designed, engineered and constructed, 333 S. Bush is one of the finest office towers in the United States; a fitting, proper abode for one of its oldest and finest law firms. Until the firm imploded, seemingly overnight, last September, 2008.

The collateral damage of a single BigLaw firm triggering losses approaching high eight and perhaps nine figures to the owners….and probable additional losses to the lender, mandates serious rethinking of the approach that all building owners, and lenders to building owners, apply to making future lease deals with BigLaw firms.

It may make BigLaw firms and their equity partners more financially at risk.

BigLaw firms have long been sought after as tenants for premier buildings, and rarely had failures that worked severe consequences on landlords. What are the factors that have changed that will make a new approach recommended for owners and landlords in their dealings with BigLaw?

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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