Law Firm Comes To Chicago Fulton Market

Gerard Pecht, global chief executive, Norton Rose Fullbright, in front of 1045 West Fulton Market Street (Norton Rose Fullbright,

Mark Bâby, an office leasing broker for Stream Realty working out of Chicago’s newly opened 800 Fulton Market building, said this week it’s only a matter of time before a big law firm sets up an outpost nearby in the city’s hottest office market.

Turns out it was only a matter of minutes.

Global law firm Norton Rose Fulbright said Tuesday it’s opening its first Chicago office at 1045 West Fulton Market Street, Crain’s reported earlier. It’s the first law firm to move into Fulton Market, the former warehouse district just west of the Loop that has quickly become Chicago’s best performing office market, even amid the pandemic.

Norton’s decision to move into Fulton Market over the city’s more established business districts was “a symbol of transformation in Chicago,” said Norton’s Gina Shishima.

While law firms have traditionally opted for Loop properties, Fulton Market proved too attractive to pass up, with its bustling retail scene between glassy new office buildings offering tenants premier amenities and outdoor access on high floors. The terms and size of the lease were not disclosed as the deal is still being finalized, although Norton’s office will only need room for 11 lawyers for now, including five partners in the firm, it said.

Its Chicago team will focus on assisting clients with technology transactions, intellectual property and privacy and data security matters. The set of practice areas likely matches the legal needs of Fulton Market’s core tenants, which were mainly tech companies, until the last few years. Recently, businesses of various sectors, like John Deere, which leased at 800 Fulton, have moved into the area.

“A couple years ago, you would have said that would never happen, a large law firm won’t come over to Fulton Market,” Bâby said.

Boston Consulting Group’s decision to move into a new Fulton Market office at 360 North Green Street from its home in a River North tower at 300 North LaSalle Street was a game-changer in terms of putting Fulton Market on the radar of traditional tenants in addition to newer tech companies, Bâby said.

“Making this burgeoning tech environment our home is our way of building a diverse and differentiated presence in the city that we hope is inspiring and refreshing to clients and lateral candidates alike,” Shishima said.

[Crain’s] – Sam Lounsberry