Six months after poaching a team of lawyers from one of Richmond’s legal giants, an international law firm has found a home for its first permanent local office.
Vinson & Elkins, a firm with 650 attorneys in 15 offices around the world, last month moved into a new space in Riverfront Plaza, replacing temporary space the firm had used on the Southside since it launched here in April.
The firm has taken 7,700-square-feet on the 15th floor of Riverfront Plaza’s west tower. The office was previously occupied by investment banking firm Ewing & Bemiss, which was absorbed last year by financial giant KPMG.
Daniel LeBey, who along with colleague Chris Mangin left Hunton & Williams to start Vinson & Elkins’ efforts in Richmond, said the firm benefitted in its search from the glut of downtown office vacancies. Space abounds thanks to big holes in Riverfront, the SunTrust Center, Bank of America Center and James Center.
“We decided we wanted to be in the main downtown business district,” said LeBey. “There’s a lot of vacant office space down here.”
Since its local launch in the spring, LeBey said he and Mangin have brought over more Hunton associates to join them at Vinson. It now has a Richmond roster of six, with a seventh soon to join in December. All but one of those seven are from Hunton, including two first-year associates that were summer associates at Hunton. Another senior associate came over from Troutman Sanders.
Their practice is a book of business representing real estate investment trusts, investment banks and private equity clients.
Vinson & Elkins was represented in its office search by JLL broker Ned Roberts.
LeBey said only minor renovations were needed to get the office ready for the law firm.
“This particular space was exactly what we needed in terms of size and the configuration was already set up for what a law firm needs.”