Five years ago, four litigation attorneys decided to leave one of Milwaukee’s largest law firms and strike out on their own.
With zero clients, the group decided to rent 2,500 square feet of office space at The Landmark Building at 316 N. Milwaukee St. in the city's Historic Third Ward.
[caption id="attachment_133971" align="alignright" width="350"] From left: Erin Dickinson, Timothy Hansen, Thomas Reynolds and Charles Crueger[/caption]
Clients soon followed, and so did other attorneys.
Today, Hansen Reynolds Dickinson Crueger LLC, has handled more than 500 matters, grown the firm to 22 lawyers – including opening offices in Madison and Chicago – and is bursting at the seams.
With a pool table in the middle of the office, a flat screen television on the wall, and a friendly retriever greeting clients who walk through the door, the firm is not planning to transition back to corporate life.
There is a need, however, for more space. The group has already expanded into an additional 3,500 square feet in the building, and now they need about 10,000 total square feet.
David Pudlosky, vice president of JLL, who is representing the firm, said after doing a full analysis of the downtown Milwaukee office market, the firm has narrowed its focus on the Third Ward. But finding a large block of space in the neighborhood is difficult.
So far, the group has looked at the Phoenix Building LLC, 219 N Milwaukee St.; the Renaissance on Water building, 309 N. Water St. and 241 N Broadway.
“We would like some room to rumble,” said founding partner, Timothy Hansen. “Our lease ends in May 2018, but I’m going to bet we won’t be here by then.”
Hansen and his partners, Charles Crueger, Erin Dickinson and Thomas (Toby) Reynolds left Michael Best & Friedrich on good terms in February 2011 to start their own complex commercial litigation firm.
The group specializes in contract disputes and patent law. The firm represents clients across the country as well as in Milwaukee in commercial litigation, class-action and intellectual property cases.
“I wish we could say that we planned this growth, but it seems like we started this and we just got a lot of looks (from other lawyers) who wanted to join us,” Reynolds said.
Said Dickinson: “We bet on us and we bet on our skills. We’re as talented as any big firm in Milwaukee, we’re just more streamlined and we have to be consistently good.”