DLA Piper keeps making its mark on screens large and small.
The global legal giant’s Baltimore headquarters was used last week to film scenes for Whirlwind, according to Maryland business and legal newspaper the Daily Record. The movie features actor Clayton LeBouef, who is probably best known for his role as strip club manager Orlando Walker on critically acclaimed Charm City–based drama The Wire.
It’s not the first time DLA’s headquarters—located in the Marbury Building on the Johns Hopkins University campus in the Mount Washington neighborhood northwest of downtown—has attracted film crews. HBO began using the location to film political satire Veep, for which star Julia Louis-Dreyfus won an Emmy this week, late last year.
The Daily Record reports that the 100-member Veep crew spent an entire day converting the interior of a wing of the Marbury Building offices, which are known for their large exterior glass walls, to resemble the offices of U.S. senators on Capitol Hill. In order to wrap up filming quickly, cranes with spotlights were set up outside the building to simulate daylight shining through the windows. (Click here for pictures showing how the offices were transformed for the Veep shoot, courtesy of the Daily Record.)
In addition to whatever marketing boost the firm gets from allowing its offices to be used as a film set, it donates any payments it receives in return to charity. For instance, the Mount Washington building was also used in 2004 as a stand-in for the headquarters of the CIA during the filming of political thriller Syriana, which starred George Clooney. DLA dedicated the money it received as a result of the Syriana shoot to the Johns Hopkins Hospital for Hodgkin’s disease research. (DLA global cochair Francis Burch Jr. stepped down from the Johns Hopkins board of trustees in June.)
The New York headquarters of now-defunct legal giant Dewey & LeBoeuf—which at the time housed predecessor firm Dewey Ballantine—was once used to film another Clooney vehicle, 2007 drama Michael Clayton. Also listed in the film’s closing credits are Davis Polk & Wardwell, Morrison Cohen, Simpson Thacher & Bartlett, and Weil, Gotshal & Manges. (Chadbourne & Parke is set to lease Dewey’s former midtown Manhattan space at 1301 Avenue of the Americas, according to our previous reports.)
Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft‘s offices at the World Financial Center and their sweeping views of downtown Manhattan were used to film scenes from the 2009 romantic comedy What Happens in Vegas, starring Cameron Diaz and Ashton Kutcher, according to The New York Observer.
Ropes & Gray‘s Boston headquarters made an appearance in another rom-com, Kate Hudson and Anne Hathaway’s 2009 Bride Wars. (As it happens, Hathaway’s father Gerald is a partner at Mitchell Silberberg & Knupp in New York, having joined the firm earlier this year from Littler Mendelson.)
For DLA, it’s not just the firm’s physical space that moviegoers may be familiar with.
In the 2007 thriller Breach, actor Ryan Phillippe played ex–FBI agent Eric O’Neill, who had spent some time in the firm’s Baltimore office as a former DLA associate. The movie was based on O’Neill’s experience sleuthing out FBI agent-cum-Soviet spy Robert Hanssen.
O’Neill, who left DLA in late 2008, now serves as general counsel of nonprofit CHF International and is a founder of The Georgetown Group, a Washington, D.C.–based risk management and consulting firm.