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Nashville Chosen for Global Law Firm’s Offices

Nashville, Tennessee has been chosen as the location for a global law firm’s offices per the firm’s announcement this past Tuesday. The firm’s back-office functions will be combined in this office, which signals yet another shared-services center coming to the region. The law firm, Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLC announced that the center will handle information technology, human resources, and other non-legal professional services for its 14 offices across the world, including the company’s headquarters in New York.

The new center is slated to open in the fall of 2012, with 150 employees working there. The employees will be a mix between relocated employees and some local hires. The law firm is looking to rent a space that has roughly 30,000-40,000 square footage of working space and is currently in the hunt for a building. The company has said that they have no timetable for picking a location within Nashville.

“We’re excited,” said Jeff Hite, the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce’s business recruitment director. “It’s a good win for Nashville.”

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Local officials from Nashville have been in discussions with the law firm about its selection of a site for roughly six months. The talks included incentives offered by the state, Metro, and the Tennessee Valley Authority. The types of incentives and amounts of those incentives have not been decided upon yet according to local and state officials. Nashville was the winning city, which was on an original list of 300 United States cities when the search began. The list of 300 cities was then narrowed to a dozen for further study to be conducted and then narrowed again to a final four before Nashville was named the winner. The final four sites were toured by representatives of the law firm so that an informed decision could be made. According to Sean Whelan, the firm’s Chief Financial Officer, Nashville won out because of affordable housing, a concentration of educational institutions here, cultural amenities and favorable tax rates.

“We really wanted to find a place that was attractive to our employees,” he said, noting Nashville was the top choice of a focus group of Pillsbury Winthrop employees.

The reason for announcing plans for the firm’s center in Nashville roughly one year ahead of its scheduled opening is because the firm wanted its employees to learn of the center and determine whether or not they would choose to relocate to Nashville. Whelan, along with the firm’s Chief Information Officer, will relocate to Nashville in order to oversee the startup and operations of the new center. In 2010, Loews Hotels opened a 40,000 square foot center in Nashville that performs the same duties as the law firm’s center. Representatives from the firm talked with management of Loews Hotels working in Nashville to get their thoughts about working and living in Nashville.

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