Two downtown Los Angeles law firms extended their office leases and expanded to larger quarters recently to accommodate growing practices.
Howrey, Simon, Arnold & White signed a 14-year, $41-million lease extension that increases its space to 100,498 square feet from 63,000 square feet on the 11th, 12th, 14th and 15th floors and half of the 10th floor at 550 S. Hope St.
Howrey Simon needs the space to accommodate growth in its core practice groups of intellectual property, antitrust, insurance recovery, securities, white collar crime and environmental litigation, said Tom Nolan, managing partner.
The expansion is the third in Southern California in recent months for Howrey Simon, which expanded its Century City and Irvine offices in the fall, recently opened a London office and plans to open a Brussels office in May.
Howrey Simon, which includes 500 attorneys in eight offices worldwide, was represented by Clay Hammerstein and Steve Bay of Insignia/ESG. The landlord, Equity Office, was represented in-house by Brendan McCracken.
Lewis, D'Amato, Brisbois & Bisgaard signed a six-year, $25-million extension that increases its space by 20,000 square feet to 117,000 square feet at 221 N. Figueroa St.
Lewis D'Amato was represented by Craig McKenna of Julien J. Studley Inc. Landlord W9/Figueroa Realty was represented by Hammerstein, Bay, Derek Graham and Eric Duncanson of Insignia/ESG.
The firm includes 280 attorneys at six offices in California. The two law firm leases are among a number of large, long-term commitments to office space by downtown L.A. tenants in recent months, according to an Insignia/ESG report, which called the downtown market "one of the few exceptions to" the downturn in U.S. office markets.
The vacancy rate in downtown office space remains at 20%, but the amount of occupied downtown office space rose last year while falling in most office markets in Southern California and the nation.