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Don't Count On Your Real Estate Broker When you Need a Sublease of Your Law Office Space

Does your law firm have various empty offices, either due to downsizing or lease planning with the expectation of "growth" which has not yet occurred? With surplus space and time remaining on the lease, your law firm has several options. Your office manager can contact a real estate broker, who you will hope to find a sublet which will help defer your costs. The problem is: (i) brokers do not like sublease assignments because the sublease market is twice as competitive as the new space market; (ii) subleases require up to twice the work as a normal assignment; (iii) the fee from subleases averages only 25% of the normal sub-assignment; and (iv) brokers are undoubtedly concerned about the chance of subtenants defaulting on the sublease. With all this in mind, law firm administrators and managing partners currently have to use their valuable time acquiring a subtenant.

Also, sublease assignments generally require the written consent of the landlord. With very few avenues for obtaining a subtenant, hard costs for print advertising, excess expense and the opportunity cost typically deter law firm with surplus space from actually finding a tenant to sublet. Despite the lack of enthusiasm real estate brokers will have for helping you with a sublease, your landlord will want you to use their broker rather than an outside broker. This is a major impediment and will require you to work with someone who really has the landlord's interest at heart. The new solution is an on-line matching service for law firms seeking to sublease surplus space and lawyers hunting down a turn-key office for their law practice. Simply go to

Your problem will be solved when you post a short description of your surplus office space, identifying various amenities including copying, internet, research tools, conference room, and whether the office is furnished or not. Add a photo and you are done. This cost is minimal. Potential subtenants exist--lawyers who are seeking to find empty law space as a result of a move, layoffs from law firms where they were employed, or simply part-time lawyers who are moving back into a full-time law practice.