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Gray Cary Ware & Freidenrich is moving on up to the east side — of Palo Alto that is. The firm is moving into the palatial digs vacated by the now-defunct Brobeck, Phleger & Harrison. The Taj Mahal of an office along Highway 101 at University Circle bore Brobeck’s name until the firm went out of business earlier this year. But come Monday, the posh building, which — technically located within the city limits of East Palo Alto — will be Gray Cary’s new home. About 300 people, including 137 lawyers, will be moved. The firm plans to shut down at noon Friday so movers can start hauling to the new space the contents of three different Gray Cary buildings. Workers will also be hammering onto the building face Gray Cary’s name. The firm will reopen Monday. The ranks at Gray Cary, especially the ones in its Hamilton Avenue offices in downtown Palo Alto, are practically giddy at the thought of leaving behind their drab quarters. The firm has been in the offices since the 1980s. Worn rugs, grim green walls and dark wood trim have become a real drag, said Sheryl Davis, the firm’s director of facilities. “It’s just a tired environment,” Davis said. “It doesn’t have a hip, sleek look to it.” But the new space does. It had just opened up for tenants when Brobeck set up shop there in March 2002. “It will make us feel more up to date,” Davis said. Gray Cary associate Jeffrey Aronson is psyched about the fresh paint, new carpets and big windows. “Just the fact that it’s a relatively new building,” is enough to generate enthusiasm, Aronson said. “I think everyone is excited.” Aronson said he is especially looking forward to the workout room at the new building. He plans to hit the treadmill and Stairmaster machine during his lunch hours. But having a gym so close by is a blessing and curse, he said. With it in the building, “you sort of lose the excuses that it’s too far away or it’s too late,” he said. Gray Cary lawyers have mixed feeling about moving into the space. Some are a bit haunted by the memory that Brobeck had once called the building home. “It’s a little weird,” Aronson said, adding that the Brobeck tale is a sad one among Silicon Valley lawyers. Davis said that sentiment has been echoed often among Gray Cary employees. But given the promise of new offices, they are managing to shrug it off. “It’s new, clean space,” she said.

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