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NEW YORK CITY-It’s definitely a great time to be a law firm looking for space in the Garden State. That was the message that came across loud and clear during Tuesday’s GlobeSt.com and New Jersey Law Journal webinar, “Legal Space: Dynamics Shift for New Jersey’s Law Tenants.”

The webinar, sponsored by Cushman & Wakefield, was moderated by Alyson Grala, associate editor, New Jersey Region, for Incisive Media Real Estate Group. In response to a question regarding concessions, Marc Trevisan, executive vice president of Cushman & Wakefield of New Jersey, whose practice involves representing law firms, said, “Tenants clearly have the upper hand now. They are in a terrific position to negotiate deals.”

Meanwhile, Kurt Padavano, COO of the Advance Realty Group, a Bedminster-based owner/development company with 4.5 million square feet of commercial space, did not disagree with that assessment. As a landlord, he said his company is being more aggressive and “will do anything to accommodate” an existing tenant. However, he warned that tenants should pay close attention to the financial strength of a landlord before signing a lease.

As for what law firms are looking for in their space requirements now, ostentatious build-outs are definitely out, while smaller individual attorney offices are desired. “There is a trend toward turning down the glitz in common areas,” said Michael Mann, managing partner of the Princeton office of Pepper Hamilton LLP. “Clients want to save money, and having gold fixtures in the bathrooms is not politically correct today.”

James Orr, managing partner for Wilson, Elser, said that if clients come to a law office and see an elaborately decorated space they might think “they [the clients] are paying for that.”

Other trends in law office accommodates are smaller attorney offices as well as fewer square feet designated for libraries and storage space. Orr said that his firm’s current lease in Newark expires next year and it is currently looking for new space. “We are looking at the classic models, but they are changing,” he said. Because of technology, “we are becoming virtual lawyers and are spending less time in the office,” he noted.

Bill Maderer, managing member at Saiber, said that while many law firms are downsizing due to the tough economy, they should still plan for potential expansion in coming years. “Getting extra space is worthwhile for future growth,” he said.

The panelists also touched on other topics, such as the importance of green features in buildings and whether they should locate in complexes near other law firms.A replay of the March 3 webinar is available here until June 4.

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