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Varnum Law Firm to Open Downtown Detroit Office

March 7, 2015

The Varnum law firm has announced the opening of its sixth office and second in Southeast Michigan, to be located in downtown Detroit. The new office will be located in the Federal Reserve Building at 160 W. Fort Street and includes the entire fifth floor. The office space is currently undergoing build out and is expected to open in the second quarter of 2015.

For the past nine 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 ten who joined the firm in just the past year. About a half dozen attorneys will move to the new downtown location initially. The firm anticipates continued growth across all offices and particularly in Southeast Michigan, and the new location features room for growth.

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 this second 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."

As an example, Huizenga noted that Varnum trial attorneys have had 79 cases in Detroit-based federal court in the past year alone. That level of activity is expected to increase, keeping Varnum among the law firms with the highest level of activity in that court, which is within walking distance from the new office.

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."

Although the office will be new, Varnum is not a stranger to downtown Detroit. For the past three years, Varnum attorneys have held regular office hours at the M@dison Building at the corner of Broadway and Woodward, as part of the firm's MiSpringboard program. MiSpringboard is a Varnum initiative to provide $1 million in legal services to entrepreneurs and start-up businesses. A significant number of MiSpringboard clients are from Southeast Michigan.

In addition to serving corporate clients and the burgeoning entrepreneurial community, Varnum's Southeast Michigan client base includes significant work in the financial industry including banking and private equity clients, as well as health care and real estate-focused practices. Varnum's Southeast Michigan office is also known for its highly-regarded tax practice and strong employment and litigation practices.

“On behalf of Bedrock and our diverse community of tenants, we are pleased to welcome Varnum law to downtown Detroit,” said Dan Mullen, Vice President of Leasing and Development with Bedrock Real Estate Services. “Varnum’s highly skilled, specialized team members will love being part of the thriving, entrepreneurial environment downtown. With their arrival, the office space in the Federal Reserve building is now fully occupied.”

The Federal Reserve Building, owned and managed by Bedrock Real Estate Services, underwent extensive renovation two years ago with the Detroit-based architecture firm Rossetti providing lead design work. The newly-renovated building features open, light-filled common areas and a Minoru Yamasaki-designed glass annex. Rossetti remains a tenant of the building. Other tenants include the Detroit Free Press and The Detroit News.

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