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CHICAGO-Law firms have helped push Downtown development projects off the drawing boards in recent months. However, a decision by two firms is likely to result in about 93,000 sf of negative absorption for the Downtown office market.

While firms that will anchor Central and West Loop buildings also will leave vacant space in their wake, the merger of Seyfarth Shaw LLP and 100-year-old D’Ancona & Pflaum LLC will create more vacancy in the East Loop. D’Ancona’s 60 attorneys will eventually move from 111 E. Wacker Dr. to the approximately 220,000 sf Seyfarth Shaw already occupies at 55 E. Monroe St. The merger creates a 600-member firm, which includes 270 in its Chicago office.

Besides being the largest law firm merger in recent years, the new firm also will be a real estate powerhouse. D’Ancona & Pflaum is bringing 15 attorneys who specialize in real estate, Jeffrey Jahns of Seyfarth Shaw tells GlobeSt.com, joining the 15 among the Seyfarth Shaw ranks.

Seyfarth Shaw, which has a noted labor and employment law practice, also has offices in New York, Boston, Washington, D.C., Atlanta, Houston, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Sacramento.

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