LESS LESSEES LEASING – In contrast to midyear momentum, U.S. law firm leasing dropped during the fourth quarter of 2022, as the industry began “pulling back” due to prospects of an economic downturn, Law.com’s Brenda Sapino Jeffreys reports.. The Savills U.S. Law Firm Activity Report Q4 2022 found a 31% decline in law firm leases from the same period a year ago. Savills characterized demand during the fourth quarter as “mild.” The two largest new leases of the quarter are in the hot market of Miami—Kirkland & Ellis’ lease for 99,148 square feet in a building that is under construction, and Bilzin Sumberg Baena Price & Axelrod’s renewal for 83,608 square feet. Those leases are dwarfed by the largest law firm lease of the third quarter—Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer’s lease for 179,724 square feet in Manhattan’s 3 World Trade Center.
THE MORE YOU KNOW – Following a busy, yet undeniably uncertain, year for regulatory lawyers, 2023 is shaping up to be a continuation of the same, as firms stock up on regulatory expertise from coast to coast in preparation for a mixture of forces to drive increased regulatory scrutiny across sectors. As Law.com’s Sarah Tincher-Numbers reports, with new SEC rules slated to come into effect in April, DOJ enforcement actions ramping up alongside congressional investigations, and new state and global regulations coming into play, law firms of all types and sizes are gearing up to navigate the increasingly complex regulatory landscape for clients. “We are trying to make sure that we have folks who talk across jurisdictions and industries, so we’re ensuring that we have people on both coasts, and also in Europe, who can help to share the experiences of companies that are being regulated in overlapping ways by totally distinct enforcement regimes,” said Phil Inglima, white collar and regulatory enforcement partner and management committee chair at Crowell & Moring.