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On the Record

The Daily Record's law news blog

Houston firm opens new location… in a private jet

A Houston law firm was looking to expand into Silicon Valley but found the cost of buying office space and relocating attorneys would be more than $3 million — which happens to be about the cost of a nine-seat private jet.

That is why intellectual property firm Patterson and Sheridan flies a plane full of lawyers every month from a regional airport in Texas to California to meet with clients, the Houston Chronicle reported.

Even though the jet costs $2,500 an hour to operate, the firm says it can still keep its costs down because the lawyers do most of their work in Houston, where office space is 43 percent cheaper, salaries are 52 percent lower and there is a lot less competition for technical talent, the Chronicle reported.

The plane costs $1,900 per passenger, the firm estimates, but it pays off because lawyers work during the three-to-four-hour flights, making the time billable. The firm couldn’t do that on a commercial flight because their work was restricted for confidentiality purposes.

So far, the jet has paid off. The firm has gotten several large clients on the West Coast.

“In some cases clients pay a little less,” Bruce Patterson, the firm’s senior partner, told the Chronicle. “But we make more doing it.”

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