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SECOND CITY, FIRST CHOICE - In a year defined much more by its office shutdowns than its office openings, Chi-Town remained a sought-after destination for law firms looking for growth opportunities. As Law.com’s Andrew Maloney reports, New York-based Willkie Farr & Gallagher; Detroit-based Dickinson Wright; Milwaukee-based von Briesen & Roper; Washington, D.C.-based Venable; and New York-based financial services boutique Murphy & McGonigle all opened in the city during the pandemic. Like other markets, Chicago saw a dip in lateral and merger growth in 2020, said Kent Zimmermann, a Chicago-based law firm consultant at Zeughauser Group. But the city remains an attractive option for law firms because it has a surplus of attractive sectors, such as private equity and life sciences, and because of its profit potential. ”It’s on a shortlist of cities where you can command healthy rates. You can raise your rates relatively quickly,” Zimmermann said in an interview. “And it’s perceived as less picked-over, in terms of both high-quality lawyers and high-quality firms to join forces with.”

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