Business & Practice

Building on Blockchain, Perkins Coie Moves to New NYC Office

May 20, 2019, 11:30 AM

Seattle-based Perkins Coie has officially moved into its new home in Midtown Manhattan as it looks to capitalize on recent New York growth and leverage its blockchain and fintech practices.

The move from its longtime offices at 30 Rockefeller Plaza down the street to its new office at 1155 Avenue of the Americas was first announced last June.

Over the last year, Perkins Coie has created a space that is emblematic of its history advising technology companies.

“When people think of Perkins Coie they think of the technology and innovative clients we represent — the Googles, the Boeings, the Amazons, the Intels, the Microsofts, the Facebooks,” said Keith Miller, who has led the firm’s office in New York City since 2016.

“And so we wanted to capture that —our Seattle roots—and build that in New York, concentrating on things that we’ve been very successful in New York with like our fintech and blockchain practices,” added Miller, who helped found the firm’s blockchain technology and digital currency practice in 2012.

The firm first opened in the city in 2011 with a single partner, Schuyler Carroll. Since then, its headcount in the Big Apple has expanded to nearly 80 attorneys and staff.

It’s also experienced exponential financial growth over that time. Since 2015, revenue in its New York office jumped from $18 million to nearly $37 million, Miller said. Its net income has also quadrupled over that time to $15.8 million.

With this kind of momentum, Miller said the firm needed to a space that would accommodate its growth.

Perkins Coie will occupy 66,000 square feet across four floors at 1155 Avenue of the Americas, a space previously occupied by White & Case.

Capturing Roots

Miller said Perkins Coie wanted to ensure it incorporated technology themes as well as technology itself into the new New York outpost.

This extends from state-of-the-art conference and board rooms to its communication systems and displays.

It also is featured in two-of-a-kind murals by street artist Stephen Bliss, who is known for his work on the video game “Grand Theft Auto.” One mural represents Perkins Coie’s past, with airplanes signifying its work for Boeing. The other represents its future that includes depictions of drones like those used by Amazon.

“Every time I look at it, I notice something new,” Miller said.

The new space also helps foster a sense of collaboration, he said. Corner offices have been replaced with practice group conference rooms. Attorneys’ offices are all single-sized along the exterior of the space.

“A partner could be sitting next to a first-year [associate],” Miller said, noting that the decision was met with virtually no push back from partners.

Growth Period

Over the last year the firm has added several partners to its growing roster in New York.

Late in 2018, U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission Division of Enforcement counsel Kari Larsen joined Perkins Coie as a partner in its blockchain technology and digital currency industry group. In January of this year, the firm added the co-chair of Morrison & Foerster’s media group and the former co-chair of its technology transactions group, John Delaney, as a partner in its technology transactions and privacy practice in New York.

And last week the firm announced the addition of Kurzman Eisenberg Corbin & Lever partner Lois Tilton as a partner in its trust and estate planning practice.

Miller fully expects Perkins Coie’s New York expansion to continue, so the firm made sure it found a space that will fit more than 80 attorneys and comes with options to expand in the short term.

Law firms all across New York have been busy finding new homes.

Last month, Cooley moved from its old home near Bryant Park to a state-of-the-art space in Hudson Yards, in a building that also houses Boies Schiller Flexner and Milbank. Hogan Lovells recently moved and Latham & Watkins, Greenberg Traurig and McDermott Will & Emery have also announced plans to relocate within the city in the coming months.

To contact the reporter on this story: Meghan Tribe at mtribe@bloomberglaw.com

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Jessie Kokrda Kamens at jkamens@bloomberglaw.com; Rebekah Mintzer at rmintzer@bloomberglaw.com

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