Spokane-based law firm Lee & Hayes PLLC has seen both its staff numbers and billings jump more than 40 percent so far this year, and it expects its brisk growth to continue as it plans expansions at its offices here, in Seattle, and in Austin, Texas.
Next up, says CEO Shaun Cross, will be the opening of a long-planned office in Beijing, China, early next year, and perhaps a branch on the East Coast of the U.S.
Cross says Lee & Hayes employment growth this year was twice as large as what the firm had expected. It has grown to 93 employees, plus 12 contract attorneys, up from a total of 75 employees and contract attorneys when Cross joined the firm in February, he says. The firm plans to hire at least six more attorneys before years end, Cross says. About half of those new hires would be in the firms Austin, Texas, office, which it opened in June with four attorneys and patent agents, and the rest would be in its Spokane and Seattle offices.
The 13-year-old firm, which represents some of the worlds largest technology companies in a fast-growing legal niche that focuses on intellectual property, expects its billings in its current fiscal year, which began July 1, to be up by 40 percent to 50 percent over the previous year, Cross says.
Cross says Lee & Hayes plans early next year to open an office in Beijing, China, something it has talked about for a couple of years. Lee & Hayes already has five attorneys on staff who speak Mandarin Chinese fluently, he says.
Meanwhile, the firm already is seeking a larger space for its Austin office, which it hopes to double in size to about 4,000 square feet, and also is preparing to more than double the space of its Seattle office, by moving into a 9,300-square-foot space on the 16th floor of 1 Convention Place there in November, with the option to expand in the future. The firms Seattle office currently is located in a 4,000-square-foot space, Cross says.
In Spokane, Lee & Hayes is completing the remodeling of its new headquarters office, which will occupy 32,000 square feet of space on the 13th and 14th floors of the Bank of America Building downtown. Cross says the firm expects to move there later next month, from the 17,000-square-foot space it currently occupies in the Paulsen Center.
In addition, the firm hopes to announce the opening of another office in the U.S., possibly on the East Coast, by years end, Cross says.
Were basically growing everywhere, he says.
Cross says the young age of the firm and the quickly-evolving fields of technology and intellectual property together are fueling its growth. He says all but a handful of the firms 61 attorneys are under 40 years old, giving it an even more youthful feel.
He says Lee & Hayes seeks to grow in such a way that it stays nimble enough to make decisions quickly, and to maintain what Cross describes as an egalitarian culture within each office.
He says the firm has formulated a five-year strategic plan to manage the growth, which would entail adding a lot more attorneys and staff while it seeks to structure its practice groups, though he declines to disclose specific details of the plan. Cross says most of Lee & Hayes work is for technology and intellectual property clients such as Hewlett Packard, General Electric, Boeing, Microsoft, and Chinese business-to-business online marketplace AliBaba.com Ltd.
Contact Jeanne Gustafson at (509) 344-1264 or via e-mail at email@example.com.
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