Law Firms Taking Less Space in Chicago, with 65% of Transactions Listed as Contractions Since Start of 2016

Law firms are adjusting their real estate strategies in response to advances in technology, shifting client demand, aging workforces and intense competition to attract and retain skilled talent, according to a new report from CBRE.

In Chicago, 65 percent of transactions between Q1 2016 and Q2 2017 have resulted in a contraction of space, with firms reducing their space by 23 percent on average. Nationally, firms reduced their footprint by 27 percent in the same time period.*

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Chicago Law Firm Activity

The second-most active market tracked in the study, Chicago experienced 1.6 million square feet of leasing activity in this time frame, with 90 percent of the transactions listed as renewals.

“One of the most efficient ways for law firms to reduce their operating cost is to address their office rental costs,” said Todd Lippman, vice chairman with CBRE. “As a result, many law firms are employing new real estate strategies to shrink their footprint when lease expirations present opportunities. By really examining their space needs, many firms are reconsidering long-held assumptions about how their attorneys work.”

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