Attorneys in the market for a new firm this year and the next two can look at two expanding offices: Heyl, Royster, Voelker & Allen P.C. and Polsinelli P.C.
Founded in Peoria and Kansas City, Mo., respectively, the two firms are stretching their metaphorical legs in new Chicago offices.
Heyl, Royster moved last month from a 4,400-square-foot space at 19 S. LaSalle St. to an office with 13,300 square feet at 33 N. Dearborn St.
Polsinelli plans to move from its 89,000-square-foot office at 161 N. Clark St. to the yet-to-be-completed 150 N. Riverside Plaza, where the firm will have 112,000 square feet.
Heyl, Royster opened its Chicago office in 2010 with one lawyer. The firm now has six attorneys in the Loop, while the new office will accommodate 16.
“We found that our business outgrew the base that we had previously at 19 S. LaSalle,” said Heyl, Royster managing partner Timothy L. Bertschy. “We needed to add lawyers, and as a result, we needed to add to our space.”
Among the firm’s Chicago attorneys is new office managing partner Tobin J. Taylor, who moved from the Peoria office to his new position a week before the move to Dearborn Street.
Two other attorneys, Brett M. Mares and Andrew J. Roth, relocated to Chicago in 2014.
Bertschy said the office plans to grow by 12 to 15 lawyers in the next two years “by hiring new lawyers as well as looking for quality lateral hires and merging into our practice other firms.”
The firm plans to expand four practice areas — professional liability, employment, commercial litigation and workers’ compensation — while also creating a Chicago transactional practice.
“We do have a strong transactional practice in other offices,” Bertschy said, referring to the firm’s 112 lawyers working in six offices across the state.
“We to this point have not had a large transactional practice in Chicago. We are looking to grow our transactional work in a large way in the next three years.”
Projected for February 2017, Polsinelli’s move will be the office’s seventh expansion and second relocation since 2006 when it grew from 3,700 square feet at 2 Prudential Plaza to 9,000.
The firm moved to Clark Street in 2009. The 53-story Riverside Plaza building is due for completion in November 2016.
“I think the location was probably the selling point,” said shareholder Anthony J. Nasharr III, who serves as managing director of the Chicago office.
“It’s certainly an attractive building — the amenities that it has are significant — but I think location was the overriding factor.”
Polsinelli’s Chicago office added 19 attorneys last year to reach 93.
The firm plans to add attorneys in existing practice areas: health care, banking, lending, corporate transactions, labor and employment, executive compensation, securities, life sciences and technology.
“Bluntly, we’re not looking to add any new practice areas,” Nasharr said. “We’re looking to enhance what we have here and across the firm to strengthen what the firm feels its core practice focuses are.”
The firm has 740 attorneys across 19 offices in 11 states plus Washington, D.C. The Chicago office has signed a 13-year lease for four floors and options for two more floors.
The new space will allow the firm to expand its conference room, lounge area and will provide office space for about 180 lawyers, up from 150 at the current space.
Along with attorneys, office space will be provided to paralegals as well as molecular chemists and microbiologists working in the life-sciences patent group.
“If somebody’s got a Ph.D., I think they deserve an office,” Nasharr said.
Heyl, Royster’s move gives the firm four conference rooms as opposed to the one it had on LaSalle Street, a “collaboration space” for attorney-client meetings, expanded paralegal offices and secretarial space.
Like Polsinelli, location is also key for Heyl, Royster’s move, Bertschy said. The new space is on the city’s pedway system with improved access to the Daley Center and Dirksen Federal Courthouse.
The firm has signed a 10-year lease.
“We’re excited about our new home in Chicago,” Bertschy said, “and our opportunities for growth.”