The toughest part of a law firm real estate move—after the expense—may be the lengthy time commitment, and all the disruption that planning and executing an office relocation usually entails.
But for Chicago-based Hinshaw & Culbertson, designing and building an office in downtown Boston took just five short months.
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Located at 53 State St. in the heart of the city’s financial district, Hinshaw & Culbertson’s new office space, which opened for business on Monday, is a big departure from its old home just a block away at 28 State St..
“The old space we were in was sort of an outdated law firm-looking area,” said Samuel Bodurtha, partner-in-charge of Hinshaw & Culbertson’s Boston office. Now, in keeping with law firm office design trends, the office features uniform office sizes and collaborative workspaces and conference rooms.
While moves like Hinshaw & Culbertson’s can take years to plan, the firm only had a few months to find itself a new space or risk being “homeless,” Bodurtha joked.
The firm began looking for a new location in the city after negotiations with its former landlord fell through last October. And while it had the option of moving into an existing, built-out space that other law firms had occupied, Hinshaw & Culbertson wanted to be able to apply its own vision to a new, long-term home.
“Even after we found a location that we liked, we had to move even faster in an effort to get the design plan in place and in order to build out as quickly as possible and move our people in before our prior lease expired,” Bodurtha said.
Rather than starting from scratch, Hinshaw & Culbertson decided to mirror the recent design renovations of its new Chicago headquarters, which opened in April and reflected the firm’s strategy of encouraging collaboration through office design.
Construction on the new office kicked off in March and was completed last week, Bodurtha said. The firm’s 25 attorneys in Boston moved in on Monday, and so far the reactions have been overwhelmingly positive, Bodurtha said.
“It’s a fresh start,” he said.
“The idea is to bring the attorneys out of their offices and put them into central, collaborative workspaces, where we’re trying to foster the environment of collaborative working on a day-to-day basis,” said Bodurtha, who joined the firm in 2008 from the Rhode Island-based litigation shop Higgins, Cavanagh and Cooney.
Hinshaw & Culbertson said the firm’s lease runs until 2030, underscoring Hinshaw & Culbertson’s long-term commitment to the Boston legal market.
“We’re thrilled to be here, and [we’re] happy to be solidifying ourselves in the Boston area,” Bodurtha said.