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'East Meets West' in Varnum's Detroit Office

October 7, 2015

With build-out recently completed, the Varnum law firm is now occupying its new downtown Detroit office in the Federal Building at 160 W. Fort Street. Varnum's move into the fifth floor space completes occupancy of the Bedrock Real Estate-owned Federal Building. Varnum now has six offices across the state.

The firm worked with the Rossetti design firm, which redesigned the Federal Building a few years ago and also occupies the third floor of the building. Varnum's new office space features iconic furnishings from West Michigan-based Herman Miller, including chairs and tables from the Eames and Nelson lines. Herman Miller is a long-time client of the firm.

"We are very pleased with our decision to locate in the Federal Reserve Building and with the finished space created by our design team," said Varnum partner Dick Hooker who serves as administrative partner of the new office. Hooker noted that the firm intentionally avoided "typical mahogany and granite" law firm finishings.

"It was great to work with both an innovative Detroit-based design team and a West Michigan-based furniture icon," Hooker said. Coincidentally, the inaugural event in the law firm's new space is an East meets West reception for the Detroit Regional Chamber later in the week.

In addition to Hooker, attorneys now based out of the Detroit office include Matt Bower, Barbara Buchanan, Kevin DiDio, Tim Kroninger, Terry Miglio and Bethany Sweeny. Other attorneys based in the Novi office also plan to spend one or more days a week in the downtown office. Additionally, the office is set up to accommodate visiting attorneys from the firm's other offices who work with clients or courts in Detroit.

According to Rossetti senior interior designer Jennifer Sutton, the new office design is meant to "embrace Varnum's new connection to the city" while also representing the firm through elements such as the graphic in the entry lobby, which is an adaptation from the art work on the Varnum business card.

For the past 11 years, Varnum has served clients in the metro Detroit area primarily from its office in Novi. That office has grown to more than 30 attorneys, including 14 who joined the firm in just the past 18 months. In addition to the Novi and Detroit offices, the firm recently opened a satellite office in Ann Arbor.

Varnum managing partner Scott Huizenga said the expansion to downtown is reflective of the firm's growth strategy as well as a commitment to clients in the region.

"Our investment in another southeast Michigan location is driven in large part by a commitment to our growing client base in the Detroit area," Huizenga said. "This office, with its location in the Financial District and close proximity to several courts, will help us more efficiently serve many of our corporate clients as well as other clients with business in this area."

A downtown Detroit office also provides additional growth opportunities, both through the addition of new clients and as experienced attorneys join the firm, Huizenga said.

"Our attorneys who practice in southeast Michigan have flourishing, growing practices and many attorneys from our other offices do a significant amount of work with clients in the metro Detroit area," Huizenga said. "The general state of the economy and level of opportunity in southeast Michigan right now is providing the kind of high-level, challenging work on which our attorneys thrive. We are very excited to have a bigger role in this growing market and look forward to having an expanded physical presence."

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