Sands Anderson snags former LeClairRyan office for new Richmond HQ

sandsandersonview

Sands Anderson said its new office will have a focus on open work areas for collaboration. (Photos courtesy Sands Anderson)

Richmond’s oldest law firm is getting new digs.

Sands Anderson, which currently has around 70 attorneys and an appetite for growth, is relocating its downtown headquarters from the Bank of America building at 1111 E. Main St. to Truist Place at 919 E. Main St.

The firm has signed a lease for the tower’s 22nd and 23rd floors, where it will occupy nearly 35,000 square feet previously occupied by LeClairRyan.

Margaret Hardy, Sands Anderson’s president, said the move is driven by the firm’s plans for growth, part of which includes a more modern workspace in Richmond, where the bulk of its attorneys are based.

Margaret F. Hardy Sands Anderson 1

Margaret Hardy

“We last year adopted a new strategic plan really focused on our future and where we want to be as a firm,” Hardy said. “We’re really excited to be moving into a space that is modern and a good fit with our strategic plans.”

Those growth plans are already ongoing, as the firm has hired five new attorneys in the last 12 months and is in discussions with several more to join the firm in the coming weeks.

Hardy said the aim is to grow the firm’s attorney ranks to around 80 to 90 in the near future, with 100 as a possibility.

“Our goal is not to be a mega firm or to be national or international. We certainly think we have room to grow in our specific focus areas.” Those areas include business, government and litigation work.

Sands expects to be operational in the Truist Center space by Feb. 1 of 2024. Hardy said the 23rd floor is mostly ready for move-in, while the 22nd will require some heavy renovations. The firm has hired architecture firm ENV to design the space.

The move will mark an end to Sands’ 12-year run in the BofA building, where it occupies nearly 39,000 square feet on 23rd and 24th floors.

The firm said while it will have slightly less space in Truist Center, the more modern layout provides for more open space, a setup many firms have sought in recent years.

sandsandersonnewconferenceroom

The firm aims to move into the new space by February 2024.

Sands was represented in its office hunt by CBRE’s Chris Wallace and Matt Hamilton. Hardy said finding the right space downtown wasn’t easy.

“With a firm our size and the space we need, there isn’t a ton of contiguous space. We wanted to remain a downtown firm. We are a downtown firm.”

Formerly known as Sands Anderson Marks & Miller, the firm was founded in 1842 and is the longest continually operated law firm headquartered in Richmond.

In addition to its Richmond headquarters, Sands has offices in Christiansburg, Fredericksburg, Williamsburg and the Research Triangle of North Carolina.

The Truist Center space has been empty since LeClairRyan’s collapse into bankruptcy in 2019, a case that remains ongoing in federal bankruptcy court. LeClairRyan had occupied the 24-story building’s top three floors.

sandsandersonview

Sands Anderson said its new office will have a focus on open work areas for collaboration. (Photos courtesy Sands Anderson)

Richmond’s oldest law firm is getting new digs.

Sands Anderson, which currently has around 70 attorneys and an appetite for growth, is relocating its downtown headquarters from the Bank of America building at 1111 E. Main St. to Truist Place at 919 E. Main St.

The firm has signed a lease for the tower’s 22nd and 23rd floors, where it will occupy nearly 35,000 square feet previously occupied by LeClairRyan.

Margaret Hardy, Sands Anderson’s president, said the move is driven by the firm’s plans for growth, part of which includes a more modern workspace in Richmond, where the bulk of its attorneys are based.

Margaret F. Hardy Sands Anderson 1

Margaret Hardy

“We last year adopted a new strategic plan really focused on our future and where we want to be as a firm,” Hardy said. “We’re really excited to be moving into a space that is modern and a good fit with our strategic plans.”

Those growth plans are already ongoing, as the firm has hired five new attorneys in the last 12 months and is in discussions with several more to join the firm in the coming weeks.

Hardy said the aim is to grow the firm’s attorney ranks to around 80 to 90 in the near future, with 100 as a possibility.

“Our goal is not to be a mega firm or to be national or international. We certainly think we have room to grow in our specific focus areas.” Those areas include business, government and litigation work.

Sands expects to be operational in the Truist Center space by Feb. 1 of 2024. Hardy said the 23rd floor is mostly ready for move-in, while the 22nd will require some heavy renovations. The firm has hired architecture firm ENV to design the space.

The move will mark an end to Sands’ 12-year run in the BofA building, where it occupies nearly 39,000 square feet on 23rd and 24th floors.

The firm said while it will have slightly less space in Truist Center, the more modern layout provides for more open space, a setup many firms have sought in recent years.

sandsandersonnewconferenceroom

The firm aims to move into the new space by February 2024.

Sands was represented in its office hunt by CBRE’s Chris Wallace and Matt Hamilton. Hardy said finding the right space downtown wasn’t easy.

“With a firm our size and the space we need, there isn’t a ton of contiguous space. We wanted to remain a downtown firm. We are a downtown firm.”

Formerly known as Sands Anderson Marks & Miller, the firm was founded in 1842 and is the longest continually operated law firm headquartered in Richmond.

In addition to its Richmond headquarters, Sands has offices in Christiansburg, Fredericksburg, Williamsburg and the Research Triangle of North Carolina.

The Truist Center space has been empty since LeClairRyan’s collapse into bankruptcy in 2019, a case that remains ongoing in federal bankruptcy court. LeClairRyan had occupied the 24-story building’s top three floors.

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Michael Morgan-Dodson
Michael Morgan-Dodson
11 months ago

Might seem small but they are going from about 500 sqft per lawyer with their current count to saying 350 sqft per lawyer. Interesting that now an office can expand its staffing levels by about 25% but reducing its actual footage per person by almost 30%.

Victoria Woodhull
Victoria Woodhull
11 months ago

Most lawyers I know work from home, and only use the conference rooms as needed.