Moving from the Grand Central district to lower Manhattan, Holwell Shuster & Goldberg, which was launched last February by Richard Holwell when he left the Southern District bench (NYLJ, Feb. 8, 2012), has relocated to the 39th floor of 125 Broad St.

Offices of Holwell Shuster & Goldberg     NYLJ/Rick Kopstein

The 15-attorney litigation boutique has a three-year sublease for 36,681 square feet with the law firm Sedgwick LLP at the 40-story, 1.2-million-square-foot Broad Street building. Since Holwell Shuster’s launch, it had been a subtenant at 335 Madison Ave., where it subleased about 3,600 square feet.

“We could not be more pleased with our inaugural year,” said Daniel Goldberg, a founding partner of Holwell Shuster. “Now, 10 short months later, we’ve more than tripled our [staff], we have taken a full floor in a fantastic building and are primed to grow.”

David Rubin, a partner at Eiseman Assor Bell & Peskoe, along with associate Sarah Regan, represented Holwell Shuster.

Paul Kawakami, a partner in Sedgwick’s real estate and finance group in San Francisco, internally represented the firm.

Sedgwick, a tenant of Sullivan & Cromwell, has leased space at Two World Financial Center. Sedgwick declined to comment on the sublease or the status of its move (NYLJ, Sept. 12, 2012).

The asking rate for class-A office space along the southern tip of downtown Manhattan is about $51 per square foot, according to Studley’s January report. Sublease rates can range from $10 to $20 per square foot below a building’s asking rate.

Holwell Shuster “explored many other options” throughout Manhattan, Goldberg said, but subleasing at 125 Broad St. “made sense” and the space was “built out” to meet a law firm’s needs.

“Though Sandy certainly was an inconvenience, and its effects clearly continue to be felt downtown, it caused a delay [in moving] of only a few weeks,” he said.

The fully furnished office has “ample space to grow in accord with our plans,” and is a “great environment” in terms of light and views, Goldberg said. The office is sufficient for 50 lawyers, he added, noting that the firm plans to expand.

During his 10-year tenure on the bench, Holwell handled many high-profile cases, including the insider trader trial of Galleon Group founder Raj Rajaratnam and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s civil case against media magnate Martha Stewart for alleged insider trading. Before that, Holwell was an attorney with White & Case for more than 30 years.

In addition to Holwell and Goldberg, Michael Shuster and Dorit Ungar Black are founding partners of the firm, which represents clients in complex commercial cases with a focus on financial, securities, antitrust and bankruptcy-related disputes. Holwell has been named chair of the panel that will hear appeals between the National Football League and the NFL Players’ Association, according to Goldberg.

Studley handled the lease for both parties, including L. Craig Lemle, senior managing director, and Nicholas Zarnin, assistant director, for Holwell Shuster, and Greg Taubin, executive managing director, on behalf of Sedgwick.


UBS Financial Services Inc. has renewed its lease for its New York headquarters and increased its presence at 1285 Avenue of the Americas, between 51st and 52nd streets.

The 42-story Sixth Avenue tower, once known as the Equitable Building, spans more than 1.65 million square feet. Public records show a memorandum of lease between UBS AG Financial Services Inc. and owner 1285 LLC, an affiliate of AXA Equitable Life Insurance Co. along with investors advised by J.P. Morgan Asset Management.

There are conflicting reports on UBS’ expansion square footage and the company’s overall footprint. Two separate sources said that the expansion ranges from 40,000 square feet to 60,000 square feet, taking into consideration a loss factor, or the rentable/usable ratio, and current measurements. One source familiar with the deal said UBS’ overall square footage is around 890,000 square feet while another said it was about 860,000 square feet.

UBS declined to comment on the extent of the expansion or speculations that it may relinquish some of its space.

Meyer Last, a partner at Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson, along with associate Jennifer Yashar represented UBS. In addition, attorney Neal Smolar, an executive director and regional head-Americas at UBS, advised UBS on the lease. Smolar is based in Weehawken, N.J.

Robert Bressman, a partner at Willkie Farr & Gallagher, along with associate Adam Feit represented the ownership.

The asking rate at 1285 Avenue of the Americas is between $80 and $85 per square foot, according to Jones Lang LaSalle.

UBS’ lease reportedly expires at the end of 2020, but the terms include an extension and renewal options.

UBS’ existing space covers the eighth through 20th floors. A source said the expansion includes a portion of the third floor, a retail portion on the ground floor, and storage space on several other floors.

Headquartered in Zurich and Basel, Switzerland, UBS employs more than 63,500 people worldwide with offices in over 50 countries. It has several offices in Manhattan, including 299 Park Ave.

Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison and Bernstein Litowitz Berger & Grossman are also tenants at 1285 Avenue of the Americas.

CBRE’s Robert Alexander, chairman of the New York tri-state region, served UBS and Jones Lang LaSalle’s Peter Riguardi, president of the New York tri-state region, along with managing director John Ryan acted on behalf of the ownership.