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Lawyers Move To Capitol Hill (But Not The Hill)

A sure sign that Capitol Hill (the neighborhood, not the seat of our country's government) has arrived is the move of a bigtime law firm to North Capitol Street. The international law firm of McDermott Will & Emery moved into this building that was completely rehabbed for their modern needs. Everything from the ultrafast Internet to adjustable height desks (in case people want to stand while they work) made it into the new space. It is also one of DC's largest private sector real estate projects to be finished this year and it is all because MWE thinks investing in Capitol Hill real estate will payoff longterm. They held a ribbon cutting yesterday and have been posting photos of the interior on their Tumblr page which show how it isn't going to be just another boring law office. They named the cafe WaterWorks, for example, after former managing partners of the DC office. Even lawyers know how to have a little fun.

WASHINGTON, D.C. (October 1, 2012) – McDermott Will & Emery today became one of the first international law firms to locate its office on Capitol Hill as it officially opened the doors of its new building at 500 North Capitol Street. Moving from its prior address downtown to its new home near Union Station, the Firm became the primary occupant of the new "McDermott Building" at the corner of North Capitol Street and E Street, N.W.

The new 229,112 square-foot "McDermott Building" will be home to over 400 D.C.-based lawyers and staff as well as other business and retail outlets. It strategically places McDermott lawyers within steps of the U.S. Congress, the Supreme Court, the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Federal Trade Commission Annex, the Tax Court, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, the Thurgood Marshall Judicial Center Complex, the Library of Congress and Union Station.

The new building also represents one of the largest private sector real estate projects completed in Washington this year. As part of the opening, James C. Dinegar, CAE, President and CEO of the Greater Washington Board of Trade, will join McDermott officials for the ribbon-cutting ceremony. Earlier this year, the McDermott Building was named by the Washington Business Journal as the winner of its "Urban Office Lease Award."

"It is a real pleasure to see all our hard work come to fruition with what is now one of the premier addresses on Capitol Hill," said Bobby R. Burchfield, co-partner-in-charge of McDermott's Washington, office. "A project of this scale and magnitude could not have been accomplished without exceptional teamwork. We thank everyone who has been involved in planning this relocation over the past couple of years. Their dedication to this project has allowed our vision for the future of McDermott in Washington to finally come to life."

Originally built in 1966, the building has been completely redesigned and redeveloped to meet the current and future needs of McDermott. Building upgrades include state-of-the-art technology, such as new mechanical and electrical systems, elevators, and an entirely new, glass façade. Built to meet the U.S. Green Building Council's LEED Gold standards for energy efficiency and environmental sustainability, the space features abundant natural light, Energy Star-rated equipment and appliances, new furniture with recycled components, and locally sourced building materials. The office also offers a top-floor conference center, a rooftop terrace with panoramic views of Capitol Hill, an on-site parking garage and prominent exterior signage to reinforce the McDermott brand.

"With this move, McDermott becomes one of the first international law firms to be based on Capitol Hill," said Paul Thompson, co-partner-in-charge of McDermott's Washington office. "We believe we are on the cusp of a natural evolution as major law firms and large corporations take a closer look at their local real estate investments. McDermott is bullish on the growth of Capitol Hill as a business district, an important shift we expect to play out over the coming years."

Since its opening in 1978 with two lawyers, McDermott's Washington, D.C., office has become a broad ranging practice comprising 209 attorneys. Originally known for representing clients before government agencies, congressional committees, the executive branch, the legislative branch, and before federal and state courts, McDermott's Washington, D.C. lawyers now advise clients on matters ranging from corporate mergers and acquisitions to intellectual property litigation and protection, regulatory issues, employee benefits, white collar and securities defense, tax and other areas. The Firm services clients in a broad spectrum of industries that include among others, multinational corporations, government and political institutions, environmental agencies, international organizations and high technology companies.

Guiding the complete renovation was Boston Properties Executive Vice President Raymond Ritchie, who in partnership with Clark Enterprises, first saw that the site had potential beyond its original construction. McDermott Will & Emery LLP was represented by Lois Zambo and Steve London of Studley, a global real estate advisory firm. Boston Properties and Clark Enterprises were represented by Art Santry, Phillip Thomas, Zeke Dodson and Kerri Mulligan-Salih of Cassidy Turley. The Clark Construction Group performed the base building renovation as well as the tenant improvements and Gensler was the architect for both phases of the project.

· McDermott Cuts Ribbon on New Washington, D.C. Office Building [MWE]
· 500 North Capitol [Tumblr]
· McDermott Will & Emery [OfficialSite]