Winston & Strawn, the international, Chicago-based law firm whose roster of famous clients included Illinois embarrassment Rod Blagojevich until he stopped paying his hefty legal bills, is apparently expanding.
The firm has hired real estate brokerage Studley, which specializes in representing tenants, to search for about 250,000 square feet of office space in Manhattan, according to information released at CB Richard Ellis’ quarterly breakfast last week.
The firm’s lease at the MetLife Building at 200 Park Avenue-the tower connected to Grand Central Terminal-is up in about two years, according to industry sources. Winston & Strawn has expanded into more than 200,000 square feet at 200 Park, more than double the original 90,000 square feet it took when it signed there in 1995.
Which is not to say that all is fine and dandy at the firm. Legal blog Above the Law has reported that salaries for 2008 associates were frozen in 2009, that the firm has laid off staff and that there have been deferrals of incoming associates.
A spokesman for Winston & Strawn declined to comment, as did Studley chairman and CEO Mitch Steir.