Updated 5:06 p.m.
A two-year search process that included 20 possible new homes across Washington ended Monday for McDermott Will & Emery, with a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the firm's new Capitol Hill office.
McDermott is touting the office's unconventional location near Union Station, at 500 North Capitol Street, NW, unlike many big-firm law offices in Washington, which are congregated near the Farragut North and Metro Center neighborhoods in downtown Washington. The move gives McDermott a rare presence a stone's throw from Congress.
“Capitol Hill McDermott has arrived,” said Bobby Burchfield, co-partner-in-charge of the firm's Washington office.
The name of the firm is clearly visible soon after leaving the Union Station metro stop. “Every member of congress will see our sign,” said McDermott's other co-partner-in-charge in D.C., Paul Thompson.
McDermott's former location, at 600 13th Street, NW, closed its doors September 28 after 15 years at that location, giving the attorneys and staffers this past weekend to make the move the new site.
According to a firm press release, the 229,112 square-foot “McDermott Building” will be home to more than 400 lawyers and staff, as well as other business and retail outlets.
Thompson said the past two days entailed an “overwhelming amount of work.” The building had been undergoing renovations since last April, which allowed the firm to add some personal touches to the building such as the name of the community room announced today as "Waterworks," named after former D.C. managing partners Timothy Waters and Charles Work.
After the ceremony, Burchfield said he's looking forward to the new location giving the firm a higher profile, including “the ability to tell the story of who we are and what we do in a new and brighter light.”
Photo by Diego Radzinschi. From Left: Jim Dinegar, President and CEO of the Greater Washington Board of Trade, Bobby Burchfield, Paul Thompson