Smith Haughey Rice & Roegge

The recent economic downturn and softening of the commercial real estate market have offered law firms, like other businesses, a unique opportunity to optimize space and reduce occupancy expenses. Smith Haughey Rice & Roegge’s Grand Rapids office is no exception. The 53-lawyer office will move this November into the city’s Flat Iron Building (a smaller version of its New York City namesake, but with a similar triangular shape and prominent corner location) on Monroe Center, in the center of downtown.

Committed to Downtown Grand Rapids
Smith Haughey is pleased to make a strong commitment to downtown Grand Rapids, historic preservation and sustainability, while reducing expenses at the same time. The office build-out will combine contemporary, modern design, furnishings and lighting, with the exposed brick and timbers of the old building. The resulting loft-style workspace will be a major change from the more conventional office space the firm occupies currently in Grand Rapids.

The Evolution of the Practice of Law
A great deal has changed in the 30 years the firm has occupied its space at Calder Plaza. Technology has transformed law practice and reduced the need for office space. The firm has fewer support staff relative to the number of attorneys. Library books and paper files have been replaced with electronic equivalents to a great degree. A generational and legal industry cultural shift towards uniform attorney office sizes and hoteling for part-time and visiting attorneys have further reduced space requirements.

Quick Facts
–        4 offices: Ann Arbor, Grand Rapids, Muskegon and Traverse City
–        91 attorneys: 53 – Grand Rapids, 4 – Muskegon, 29 – Traverse City, 9 – Ann Arbor
–        36 practice areas; 4 industry teams
–        100 employees, total, in Grand Rapids
–        Founded in 1941 in Grand Rapids; 2011 is the firm’s 70th anniversary
–        The Smith Haughey Flat Iron Building office space is approximately 26,600 square feet, with an additional 4,100 square feet in the Ledyard Building
–        In 2011, the firm was named an “Economic Bright Spot” by Corp! Magazine