Cadwalader takes loss on property sale on chin

Cadwalader Wickersham & Taft has taken a bath on the recent sale of its New York headquarters to the tune of $3m (£1.7m).

The firm recently offloaded its property at 100 Maiden Lane in downtown Manhattan to Maiden Lane Properties, controlled by father and son outfit Lalezarian Developers, for $57m (£32m).

But in 1984, when Cadwalader first bought the property, becoming one of only a scant number of law firms to own its own space, the firm spent $20m (£11.3m) on the real estate and a further $40m (£22.5m) on renovation costs.

The sale will also not cover the expected costs of the firm’s move to, and renovation of, its new 450,000sq ft space at One World Financial Center, a sublease from key client Lehman Brothers, which Cadwalader said would approach $75m (£42.2m).

A spokeswoman at Cadwalader declined to comment on figures, but said the building was purchased not as an investment, but as a home for Cadwalader’s staff.

Despite the loss on the property, Cadwalader has received a myriad of federal grants because of its decision to stay in the recovering downtown area of New York, including a payment of $5.3m (£3m) plus a further $1m (£562,300) over 15 years towards its energy costs.