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Case Study

Baker & McKenzie LLP

Baker & McKenzie


Strategic Planning, Transaction Management, Project Management , Capital Markets, Engineering & Operations


  • JLL was initially engaged five years before lease expiration to develop and execute a strategic real estate plan for the Chicago office and the global HQ for this international law firm.
  • Our team conducted extensive surveys and interviews with attorneys and staff to develop a plan focused on efficiency, flexibility and cost. Working together, the JLL Law Firm Practice Group and Baker’s architect designed an optimal floor plan to support their vision of the “law firm of the future.”
  • We performed an exhaustive market evaluation of all options and our teams partnered on a myriad of levels in order to present a comprehensive set of options.
  • JLL secured a long-term lease at Hines’ iconic, to-be-constructed, River Point development (444 W. Lake).
  • The two most important elements of this transaction were that it was executed well in advance of Baker & McKenzie’s lease expiration (40+ months), and that JLL negotiated a significant penalty to be paid to Baker in the event that the Landlord could not satisfy the financing contingency.


  • When the credit markets collapsed in the Fall of 2008, it kept the project from moving forward and Baker collected a significant break-up fee. We took them back to market with plenty of time before their lease expiration.
  • JLL quickly positioned Baker & McKenzie to secure the last block of space in the “last new development”, the vertical expansion to the Blue Cross / Blue Shield building, 300 East Randolph.
  • JLL helped Baker & McKenzie secure a 237,000 s.f. lease with superior economic advantages, saving them more than 35% on occupancy costs as compared to the earlier transaction.
  • In addition, maximum flexibility options were achieved including expansion and contraction and termination options. Baker & McKenzie also achieved distinct building and lobby identity rights; and rights to corporate quality amenities such as food service located in the high-rise, state of the art conferencing facilities, and a first class health club.