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A heavyweight Manhattan law firm is transferring some of its back office employees to Metrotech, but the firm’s attorneys won’t dirty their white shoes in Downtown Brooklyn.

News that the venerable firm of Weil, Gotshal will relocate workers from its IT, finance and operations departments, currently in Midtown, to Bruce Ratner’s Downtown campus this summer was hailed as a major win for the Brooklyn business community.

But the announcement initially sounded more monumental for Metrotech — whose tenants include behind-the-scenes employees of JPMorgan Chase and Bear Stearns. On Tuesday, Forest City Ratner Executive Vice President MaryAnne Gilmartin trumpeted the Weil, Gotshal news at the Brooklyn Real Estate Roundtable, claiming that the deal would involve high-priced law partners and their big expense accounts.

Such “front office” relocations are “a paragon shift” for Metrotech, Gilmartin said.

But hours later, the law firm put out a press release that revealed that only a small portion of its staff will move to 15 Metrotech, between the Myrtle Avenue promenade and Tech Place, this summer. The firm would not say how many of its 1,300 Manhattan-based employees would end up in Brooklyn.

Still, Downtown boosters were pleased by the news.

“Attracting a blue-chip law firm to the mix of tenants here sends a strong signal that Brooklyn’s economy is strong,” said Robert Catell, co-chairman of the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership.

The Weil, Gotshal report follows other rental news for Ratner’s Metrotech complex. El Diario, the Spanish-language newspaper, recently inked a deal for office space there.

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Reader Feedback

Michael from Bay Ridge says:
I wasn't aware that "dirty their white shoes" was an expression. I don't really imagine lawyers wearing white shoes, and I have never heard this figure of speech before.
May 13, 2008, 7:25 am

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