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NEW YORK CITY-A law firm growing in leaps and bounds chooses one of the city’s newest landmarks for its new home base. Heller Ehrman White & McAuliffe has signed a lease for 138,000 sf in the 1.2-million-sf Times Square Tower at 7 Times Square. This move doubles the firm’s space in the city. It is currently housed at 120 West 45th St. and intends to relocate early next year.

John Powers and Peter Turchin of CB Richard Ellis represented the landlord, Boston Properties, while Lewis Miller and Scott Gottlieb, also of CBRE, spoke for the tenant. No additional details were released; however, space in the site has been advertised ranging from $52 to $72 per sf.

The firm will be in good company at the 47-story class A office tower in Midtown, which has been the site of a number of large leasing transactions so far this year. Most recently, fashion company Ann Taylor inked a deal for 200,000 sf for its corporate headquarters. Before that two law firms signed on. One lease, for 85,468 sf, is with Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, while the other lease, for 46,339 sf, is with Pitney, Hardin, Kipp & Szuch LLP. Prior to that, Clarendon Insurance Group Inc. took three full floors comprising 83,000 sf for its North American headquarters.

As an example of the Heller Ehrman White and McAuliffe’s growth, its New York office opened in 1999 with 18 attorneys and currently has 75. The new space will initially accommodate 165 attorneys, with expansion space for 80 more. In total, the law firm has more than 720 attorneys and professionals in 13 offices nationwide and overseas.

“This move is a strategic business decision that will allow us to expand our capabilities and resources to better respond to our clients changing needs for both litigation and transactional work,” says Barry S. Levin, chairman of Heller Ehrman, adding that the firm’s east coast growth is tied in with its increasing global clientele. Another factor is its litigation and transactional work including the Northrup Grumman $4.2-billion cross-border asset sales and VISA-Walmart antitrust litigation.

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