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There were no reported deaths or serious injuries at the two largest law firms in the World Trade Center towers after the terrorist attack. But some employees of New York and Chicago-based Sidley Austin Brown & Wood and New York-based Thacher Proffitt & Wood were still unaccounted for late Wednesday. Sidley Austin, which employs some 600 people who worked on the 54th to 59th floors of One World Trade Center, said that two of its workers were unaccounted for, according to spokesman Allan Ripp. After the towers imploded, three of the firm’s Trade Center-based workers required hospitalization. The scene at Thacher Proffitt was more unclear. Approximately a dozen New York employees, possibly including a few associates, were not accounted for, firm chairman Omer “Jack” Williams said Wednesday. Thacher Proffitt had about 100 lawyers and staff workers on floors 38, 39, and 40 of Two World Trade Center when the first plane struck Tuesday. Records of home phone numbers of some new associates were destroyed in the blast, which complicated efforts to reach employees. Even though Sidley Austin was the biggest law firm to occupy space in the Twin Towers, it may have the easiest time getting back to work. The firm, which specializes in securities and litigation, was created on May 1 with the merger of New York-based Brown & Wood and Chicago-based Sidley & Austin. Before the merger, Sidley rented space in midtown Manhattan at 875 Third Avenue. The firm had planned to move its midtown operation to the World Trade Center later this year. Currently, 100 Sidley attorneys and another 150 employees occupy two-and-a-half floors at Third Avenue, but on Wednesday Sidley partner Alan Weil secured two more floors, which can accommodate 160 attorneys and support staff. And the firm, said spokesman Ripp, is close to landing yet another two floors, for a total of six-and-a-half floors. Ripp said that the new space should be wired and ready for occupancy by Sept. 17. It will not be as easy for Thacher Proffitt to resume its business. The firm’s Washington, D.C., office, which is located near the White House, was closed Wednesday, but will likely reopen Thursday. Thacher made its White Plains office its command center and convened a partners’ meeting Wednesday. A committee of partners will meet with real estate agents and brokers and to look at replacement office space. A separate committee will work with the information technology department to get computers running. Other attorneys are getting staff information out. Thacher lawyers were on the phone with each other all day Tuesday, said Erik Klingenberg, a structured finance lawyer. He spent the day trying to complete a number of deals. “That’s when it’s hard not to cry … people call and say, ‘We know you’ve got nothing, how can we help?’ offering computers, whatever. It’s hard not to cry in appreciation for how good people are,” said Klingenberg.

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