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DLA Piper to move Baltimore office to Harbor East

“We are excited to return to downtown Baltimore after 20 years,” said Brett Ingerman, managing partner of DLA Piper’s Baltimore office.

Global law firm DLA Piper is moving its Baltimore office from Mount Washington to Harbor East. The move, which is expected to be completed in June 2023, will position the firm near other major Baltimore companies that have recently relocated or plan to relocate to Harbor East or the nearby Harbor Point, including T. Rowe Price, Exelon and Bank of America. 

The law firm’s new office will take up the 11th floor at 650 South Exeter St. — the same building occupied by JP Morgan, which is located on the ninth floor. DLA Piper has a ten-year lease in the space. 

Brett Ingerman, managing partner of the firm’s Baltimore office, said “a confluence of events” led to the decision to relocate. The firm’s lease in Mount Washington was scheduled to come to end in 2023, and the pandemic had caused the firm to become interested in seeking out a more hybrid-work-friendly office.  

Plus, he said, “certainly, (downtown Baltimore) is the economic hub of the region. That’s where a lot of the clients and community that we serve are.” 

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According to Ingerman, DLA Piper conducted a comprehensive search for a new location for its Baltimore office. Harbor East stuck out as a strong contender due to its proximity to the water and amenities like restaurants, bars, fitness facilities and more. Plus, many of the firm’s employees already live in nearby areas like Fell’s Point and are excited to be able to walk or bike into work. 

“It’s just a whole different work environment for us and better suits the way our lawyers work in this day and age,” he said. 

In DLA Piper’s announcement Monday morning, Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott lauded the firm’s decision to move to Harbor East, saying, “I am delighted that DLA Piper is returning to downtown Baltimore. This is an exciting time for our downtown area, especially as our businesses emerge from the pandemic, and having a firm of DLA Piper’s caliber anchor one of our premiere buildings is a true testament to the area’s reputation as a great place to do business with potential to grow and thrive.”  

In recent years, many office tenants have relocated from the central downtown business area, which borders Harbor East to the west, in some cases in favor of nearby areas like Harbor East and Harbor Point.  

The new office will be designed to further develop the company’s hybrid work strategy, which DLA Piper calls “high performance flexibility.” This means that the space, which is being designed by Gensler, will aim to accommodate everyone from fully remote employees to employees working from the office full-time.  

For example, the Harbor East office will do away with traditional corner offices; instead, the corners will be occupied by collaborative workrooms decked out with technology that lets employees working from the office communicate with those working from home or other DLA Piper offices. 

The space will be smaller than the firm’s current location in Mount Washington, but Ingerman said the new office will accommodate the same number of employees the current office does — 213 — with room for growth. Rather, it will do away with spaces like file storage rooms, which have been made redundant now that the firm’s files are all stored in an electronic management. 

Ultimately, Ingerman said, DLA Piper’s Baltimore staff is excited to return to downtown Baltimore after more than 20 years, in a space that he hopes will help the firm continue to balance flexible work schedules with face-to-face interaction. 

“Having an office is critically important,” he said. “It’s important to the firm’s culture and the collegiality and the collaboration.”