Too many lawyers sees Cadwalader sell office

Cadwalader Wickersham & Taft may soon see its New York headquarters turned into chic designer digs after putting the 325,000sq ft office up for sale.

The firm has decided to sell the space at 100 Maiden Lane in downtown Manhattan after outgrowing it. The building is made up of three 80-year-old blocks that were consolidated into one office, which Cadwalader purchased in 1984.

Real estate and investment management services provider Jones Lang LaSalle is leading the sale.

It is understood that Cadwalader, which is one of the very few firms to own rather than rent its office space, is looking for around 450,000sq ft to accommodate its 514 lawyers.

One source said that the commercial real estate market in New York has continued to slide following the events of 11 September, with rental rates in the downtown area at lows of around $24 (£14) per sq ft. However, another property expert told The Lawyer that there is still a viable market for residential developments, with recent sales in the downtown area selling for between $150 (£90) and $200 (£120) per sq ft.

Cadwalader was not available to comment on whether it plans to stay in the area or move to the increasingly popular midtown area when it vacates its office at the end of 2004.