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Defunct Law Firm Is Sued by Landlord Over Leases

Equity Office Properties seeks $34 million, saying partners withdrew cash despite revenue woes.

August 29, 2003|Roger Vincent

Equity Office Properties, the nation's largest office landlord, is suing the partners of defunct law firm Brobeck, Phleger & Harrison for more than $34 million for allegedly defaulting on leases in Los Angeles and San Francisco.

In a suit filed in Los Angeles Superior Court, Equity Office said partners at the once-thriving law practice that specialized in the technology industry continued to take large cash withdrawals out of the firm even though the collapse of the dot-com bubble in 2000 was having a severe negative effect on revenue.

By February this year, there was so little cash in the partnership that Brobeck was unable to pay its rent, according to the suit. Brobeck's largest lender, Citibank, froze the firm's assets and it dissolved.

Brobeck leased offices from Equity Office Properties at 550 S. Hope St. in Los Angeles and One Market Plaza in San Francisco.

A spokeswoman for Chicago-based Equity Office said the real estate investment trust does not comment on pending litigation. A representative of Brobeck's liquidation committee did not return phone calls seeking comment.

-- Roger Vincent

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