Case Study

Carlton Fields PA

Legal

Savills Secures Spacious Office for Expanding Law Firm in New Market

CHALLENGE

Carlton Fields is one of the foremost law firms in the Southeast and a longtime Savills client. Savills has represented the firm in all of its real estate negotiations since 1997, including a headquarters build-to-suit. The firm made the decision to enter the Atlanta market in early 2004. The expansion was not only a matter of opening an office, but the firm also wanted to make a bold statement about its commitment to Atlanta through its entry into the market. Such an objective could only be met at select locations, so naturally the universe of options was limited and negotiating power was diluted.

SITUATION

The key to maintaining a competitive framework for the negotiations was applying constant pressure across all the alternatives under consideration. By creating leverage among several landlords and demonstrating the value of Carton Fields’ business, we positioned the firm as a highly desirable, solid credit tenant for a Midtown market trophy building.

Savills was successful in securing space for the firm in one of the most sought-after addresses with favorable terms for the length of the lease. Carlton Fields benefited from a lengthy rental abatement schedule which ensured that expenses grew no more quickly than revenues as new lawyers were recruited. This abatement schedule followed the use of temporary space in the building during a six-month period.

In 2007, the firm’s success in Atlanta necessitated the addition of an entire floor of space. The expansion secured an adjacent floor and leveraged an upcoming vacancy in the building, which resulted in favorable economic terms, including an improvement allowance which will be sufficient to construct the new space and enhance the original floor. Additional expansion and contraction rights were secured to ensure that the lease continues to support Carlton Fields’ needs.

RESULTS

Over the 10-year term, Carlton Fields will be able to manage costs and growth plans effectively through fixed expansion and termination rights, as well as first refusal rights for space in the building.