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Brokers On How The Wharf Landed Its First Law Firm

The Wharf has signed law firm Fish & Richardson to a 60k SF lease at its trophy office building, 1000 Maine Ave SW


This is the first law firm to sign on at The Wharf, and the first tenant at the development's 250k SF 1000 Maine.

PN Hoffman CEO Monty Hoffman, above, announced the lease at a press conference on The Wharf's Transit Pier yesterday morning.

"1000 Maine will be the district’s first waterfront trophy office building," Monty said. "You may notice it sitting right over there. We're already pouring the second floor in anticipation of this lease, so I’m very excited that we got it done."  


Fish & Richardson has 11 US offices and one in Munich. Its clients include technology companies Microsoft and Google. It currently occupies 64k SF at 1425 K St NW. The patent and intellectual property litigation firm will occupy the top two floors of the building, rendered above. 

CBRE's Mark Minich repped Fish & Richardson. He tells Bisnow the firm was attracted to the quality of the building and the views from the top floors. He says the firm embraced the idea of being a pioneer as the first law firm moving to the southern quadrants of the District.

“We had been looking extensively in the marketplace for some time, and I think the firm was looking to do something different besides the standard glass box on K Street,” Mark says. “This asset presented the opportunity to make a statement, and it had a tremendous amount of appeal to the firm.”

Fish & Richardson already has office neighbors a block away at the 220k SF 800 Maine Ave, where the American Psychiatric Association will lease 63k SF, MakeOffices will take 45k SF and lobbying firm Van Scoyoc Associates will lease 21k SF.


JLL's Brian Dawson, whom we snapped at Bisnow's event last week, is spearheading the office leasing for the mammoth development. He says getting APA signed last summer was a major step in validating the development for other potential tenants.

“We’re attracting users from all over the region,” Brian says. “We have been seeing a fair amount of law firm activity. We knew it wasn’t a matter of if, it was a matter of when.”

Brian says he is in early discussions with other law firms and expects to have at least one more sign on. 1000 Maine will deliver shortly after the rest of Phase 1, and Brian says the goal is to have it fully leased by the time it delivers.

Savills Studley’s Tom Fulcher, who was not involved with this deal, but represents several law firms, told Bisnow he was surprised to learn the firm was moving to The Wharf.

Tom says typically law firms want to be downtown near their competition for recruiting purposes, but since Fish & Richardson has an intellectual property focus, he says they might have a different talent pool than most firms. While he says The Wharf is a bold and exciting project, he says it is a hard sell for most law firms.

“I have yet to talk to anyone who would consider a move like that,” Tom says. “In our role of exposing people to the broadest number of options, we will bring it up for everybody. But my experience is not that there have been other firms considering that.”

Also at the event, Madison Marquette CEO Amer Hammour announced two new retail leases, with Ben & Jerry's and Bella Moda Salon & Spa. 

Monty also announced the development team signed an agreement yesterday morning with Entertainment Cruises to launch a water taxi system between The Wharf and Old Town Alexandria