Spokane Journal of Business

Witherspoon Kelley remodels its downtown offices

Longtime law firm here also has added several new attorneys recently

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Witherspoon Kelley PS, Spokane's oldest and largest law firm, says it has launched a major remodel of its longtime quarters in the U.S. Bank Building, at 422 W. Riverside, and has added several attorneys recently.

The law firm currently occupies all of the 10th and 11th floors in the building and part of the eighth floor. Ryan Beaudoin, a partner in the firm, says the remodel will include modernizing the two upper floors and a portion of the ninth floor. The firm will vacate the space it occupies on the eighth floor when it establishes operations on the ninth floor, he says.

The firm leases a total of about 29,000 square feet of office space in the building, Beaudoin says, adding that after the renovation "we're going to be in about the same amount of space as we were before."

The remodeling project will include adding an internal staircase between the 10th and 11th floors and revamping and enlarging client conference rooms, including relocating the firm's main conference room from the southeast corner of the 11th floor to the north side of that floor, he says. It also will include moving all of the administrative functions to the ninth floor space and all of the attorneys onto the 10th and 11th floors, he says.

"It was overdue. We hadn't remodeled in many years," Beaudoin says. "We really wanted to refresh the look of the firm, show our clients that we're the largest firm in the region, that we have what we feel is some of the top-level legal talent, and we wanted to showcase the long history of Witherspoon Kelley."

In the still-unsettled wake of the Great Recession, the project also helps signal "how we've weathered and survived that and come out strong," Beaudoin says, adding, "We've been quite fortunate."

Work on the remodel began about a month ago and hopefully will be completed by mid-January, he says. Because of the renovation work now occurring, the law firm currently is spread over four floors in the building, he says. He declines to divulge the total cost of the project, but says it will be "significant." Baker Construction & Development Inc., of Spokane, is the contractor on the project.

Meanwhile, new attorneys the firm has added in recent months include Pete Svennungsen, Robin Haynes, Emily Kelly Arneson, Todd Adolphson, and Jason M. Gray, Beaudoin says.

Svennungsen is a 2009 Gonzaga University law school graduate who also holds a master's degree in law from the University of Washington. His practice is focused on tax and employee benefits matters, including the design and implementation of qualified and nonqualified retirement plans and health and welfare benefit plans for small and large employers, as well as on estate planning.

Haynes, who started with the firm just last week, is a seven-year attorney who formerly worked for another firm here and will focus on commercial litigation.

Arneson, a 2009 University of Washington law school grad, started there earlier this year and has a couple of years of legal experience, Beaudoin says. Her practice includes employment, health, and media law.

Adolphson is a fresh Gonzaga law school graduate who recently passed the state bar exam and will do litigation work, primarily in medical malpractice here, Beaudoin says.

Meanwhile, Gray is a 2010 Gonzaga law school graduate who recently joined the firm's Coeur d'Alene office and will focus on general litigation and employment law, he says.

Witherspoon Kelley was established here in 1884, and its main office has been located in the U.S. Bank Building since 1937. It employs a total of 46 attorneys, including six in Coeur d'Alene, and about 100 people overall. It says on its website that it has specialized attorneys in 17 practice areas who collaborate on a daily basis.

Kim Crompton
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