CHICAGO— reported yesterday that, according to a new study by Jones Lang LaSalle, landlords in half of the US cities with high concentrations of top law firms now have the upper hand in lease negotiations. In Chicago, the JLL researchers found what was, at least on average, a neutral market. But change could be on the way. The firm believes that Chicago, where 38 of the top law firms have offices, will become a landlord-friendly market by next year, before switching to a tenant-friendly market by 2016.

However, Steve Steinmeyer, the managing director with JLL’s Tenant Representation Group, and who specializes in representing law firms, cautions that while the study provides a useful overview of 41 US markets, each city has unique subtleties. A law firm looking for a class A space in the hot West Loop area, for example, especially if they want high-rise views, will “find a relatively tight market with very few options.” On the other hand, a firm that needs only 10,000-square-feet and does not mind less quality or perhaps an East Loop location, “well, that’s an altogether different story.”

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