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CHICAGO—For the first time in seven years, landlords in half of the US cities with high concentrations of top law firms now have the upper hand in lease negotiations, according to a new Jones Lang LaSalle analysis. Building owners, especially those in cities that have strong energy and technology sectors, can charge higher rents and offer reduced concessions. However, JLL also found that landlords in cities with the greatest concentration of law firms still offer quality space at affordable rates.

“Although a lot of secondary and tertiary markets are turning with rent growth and concession compression, primary law firm markets such as New York, Washington D.C. and Los Angeles will continue to offer firms leverage over the next 18 months,” says Elizabeth Cooper, international director and co-lead of JLL’s law firm practice group. “This is due to economic challenges and financial service, law and consulting firms continuing to reduce their footprints, which adds second-generation space options to existing supply in these markets.”

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