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NYC Real Estate Law Firm Stroock Folding After Attorney Exodus

New York

After more than 140 years in business, law firm Stroock & Stroock & Lavan, a significant figure in real estate law, is dissolving.

The decision, which became official earlier this week, comes after roughly 30 of its real estate partners left for rival law firm Hogan Lovells, Bloomberg Law reports. Those departures followed the loss of more than 40 of its bankruptcy lawyers to Paul Hastings last year. After merger talks with Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman were called off this week, the closure became inevitable, according to Bloomberg.

Stroock, as the firm is known, was the No. 8 real estate law firm in New York City based on the dollar volume of its transaction work, according to The Real Deal. It also represented the Real Estate Board of New York, including in a dispute with Compass.

It also held merger discussions with Steptoe & Johnson, McGuireWoods, Squire Patton Boggs and Nixon Peabody, but issues around pensions meant no deals were reached, Bloomberg reported.

Law firms have been an engine room of the office leasing market in New York City, with many companies opting to bring their attorneys back to their desks. In the first quarter of 2023, law firms leased 3.6M SF around the country, the most for any first quarter on record, according to Cushman & Wakefield.

Many of the top deals in the pandemic era have been signed by law firms. Paul Hastings renewed and expanded to 277K SF at 200 Park Ave. in the second quarter. Last year, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer signed a 15-year lease for 180K SF at 3 World Trade.

Stroock leases 193K SF at 180 Maiden Lane in the Financial District, according to Commercial Observer. It is unclear what will happen to that space.