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Akerman Plans Major Expansion of Chicago Office
January 25, 2016
Akerman LLP, a top 100 U.S. law firm serving clients across the Americas, announced today that it plans to more than double the size of its Chicago office to accommodate the firm's rapid growth in the region.

The firm plans to add nearly 41,000 square feet to the more than 33,000 square feet it occupies on the 46th floor of 71 South Wacker, formerly the Hyatt Center in Chicago's central downtown business district. The expansion includes the entire 47th and 48th floors, the top floors of 71 South Wacker. Renovation of the floors is set to begin by the fourth quarter of 2017, with a move-in timeframe of early 2018. Jones Lang LaSalle helped Akerman broker the deal.

The project will allow Akerman to expand to more than 90 lawyers in the Chicago office, which has grown fivefold, from eight to 43 lawyers, since opening in February 2014, said Scott Meyers, Akerman's Chicago Office Managing Partner.

"In addition to reflecting our commitment to Chicago, this expansion extends our growth trajectory in what continues to be a vital and dynamic market for Akerman and our clients," Meyers said. "We will now have more space to grow in both size and scope as we continue to recruit top-tier candidates across a diverse range of practices to support our U.S. and Latin America platform and deliver the complete 'Akerman experience' to our clients."

The 48th floor will be converted into an Akerman conference center with the 46th and 47th floors used for office space for lawyers and other professionals. The firm plans to integrate advanced technological features, and design multi-use and collaboration spaces in the building, which is LEED Platinum certified. The firm is leasing temporary space on the 21st floor of 71 South Wacker to meet the immediate expansion needs of its growing Chicago office.

Akerman was among Chicago's top four fastest-growing law firms last year. In the past ten months, the Chicago team has welcomed 16 lawyers from various law firms, including Partners Jeffrey Sharer, co-chair of Akerman's Data Law Practice; national trial lawyer Dean Dickie; commercial litigators Jeffrey Mayer and Catherine Miller; government affairs and education sector lawyer LaKeisha Marsh; labor and employment lawyers John "Pete" Morrison and John Roache; consumer financial services litigator Melissa Manning; healthcare lawyer Jane McCahill; international patent litigator John Gresens, and real estate transactional lawyer Lawrence Eiben.

The American Lawyer has ranked Akerman as the top-gaining law firm in the United States for lateral partner hires, based on its 14.2 percent increase of total partnership. The publication's 2015 Lateral Report noted that Akerman saw substantial growth in Chicago, New York and Washington, D.C., among other markets, and across numerous industries, including the real estate and financial services sectors.

Sustainability is a core element of Akerman's Corporate Responsibility program. 71 South Wacker is LEED Platinum certified by the U.S. Green Building Council and is one of 14 buildings across the United States where Akerman has offices that are LEED or Energy Star certified. The firm's sustainability initiative is focused on reducing environmental impact, improving efficiencies, and providing healthy work places that enhance the experience of its employees, clients and communities.

About Akerman LLP
Akerman LLP is a leading transactions and trial law firm known for its core strengths in middle market M&A, within the financial services and real estate industries, and for a diverse Latin America practice. With more than 600 lawyers and government affairs professionals and a network of 20 offices, it is ranked among the top 100 law firms in the United States by The American Lawyer (2015). Akerman also is ranked among the top 50 law firms for diversity in The American Lawyer's Diversity Scorecard (2015).

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