Munsch Hardt Kopf & Harr PC has deepened its commitment to Dallas with a 15-year lease for three different floors in Ross Tower, where the law firm has been ensconced since 2005.
The Dallas-based firm now operates on floors 36, 38 and 39 in the 45-story office tower in the city's arts district. Under the new lease, it will move its headquarters to floors 40, 41 and 42 and redesign the space for efficiency. The square footage is roughly the same as what the firm currently occupies in Ross Tower, and all Dallas employees work from the office.
Munsch Hardt CEO Phil Appenzeller said the firm's growth created the need for more room but that its office infrastructure changes were planned with clients' budgets in mind. Over the past two years, the firm has expanded by approximately 50 attorneys, many of whom are in Dallas, he said.
"This puts us at almost 100% capacity in our current, local office space. In order to meet client demands, we are continuing to grow at a rapid pace in all of our core practice areas – Real Estate, Litigation, Corporate and Bankruptcy," Appenzeller told Law360 Pulse in an email Monday.
Munsch Hardt has been in Ross Tower since 2005 and has 175 employees in Dallas, 99 of whom are attorneys, the firm said. Appenzeller said the firm has chosen to focus on an efficient design rather than a boost in square footage so that it can continue to offer clients high-quality services at competitive rates.
"To accommodate for future growth, we either need to take on more space or redesign our space to be more efficient. By focusing on architectural plans that offer more efficiency, such as one-size offices, we are able to keep our overhead relatively low," Appenzeller said Monday. "And by keeping our overhead relatively low, we are able to stay true to one of our core values – offering sophisticated legal services at a price point that is reasonable within the Texas market."
The firm is currently working with global architectural and design firm Gensler to develop plans for the most effective use of the three floors it is moving to, including one-size offices. Gensler designed the firm's existing space in Ross Tower and at its growing Houston office.
Pacific Builders has been tapped as general contractor to complete the work, and Munsch Hardt's target date for moving is fall of 2023, a representative of the firm confirmed to Law360 Pulse on Monday. Owned by the commerical real estate firm HPI, Ross Tower is a 1.1 million-square-foot, Class A office building that has undergone $20 million in capital improvements, according to a statement from Stream Realty Partners, the company that aided Munsch Hardt in its lease negotiatioans with building owner HPI.
HPI Dallas partner Hunter Lee said in a statement that Munsch Hardt is a cornerstone tenant of Ross Tower and that HPI welcomes the firm's decision to keep its headquarters there long term.
Munsch Hardt is a Texas law firm with offices in Dallas, Houston and Austin. It ranked 271st in Law360's survey of the country's largest law firms and employs more than 150 attorneys.
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