BAL Office in Richardson

Commercial Real Estate

Inside BAL’s Atypical Law Office

The San Francisco-based law firm opted for a globally inspired design with very few private offices.

After leasing 61,380 square feet at the former Verizon campus in Richardson last fall, global law firm Berry Appleman & Leiden LLP didn’t want its office to look like a typical law firm. The San Francisco-based law firm is “singularly focused on meeting the immigration challenges of corporate clients around the world,” according to its website, and wanted its office to reflect its global influence.

So BAL turned to Jones Commercial Interiors to create its office space at 2400 North Glenville in Richardson. BAL’s focus in immigration “allowed us to be a little more creative, incorporate the global-ness BAL represents, and offered us a lot more flexibility to think outside the box,” says JCI Director of Operations Tiffany Perez.

For one thing, BAL was committed to opening up its space. JCI estimates that BAL’s office is about 15 to 20 percent private offices and 80 to 85 percent open concept. Most of JCI’s law firm clients are the inverse: 85 percent private offices and 15 percent open concept.

JCI Senior Project Manager Marin Kolb says her firm won the bid to do BAL’s office after the law firm toured JCI’s creative office “We have employee art on the walls. It’s very colorful. We got the job because of that, not necessarily because we were the lowest bid,” Kolb says. BAL also incorporated JCI’s employee art idea into its own office by giving each employee a yellow clipboard to decorate as he or she chooses and displays it on a central wall.

BAL also worked with Levelride Owner and Designer Preston Todd for interiors. “He and I basically spent many hours and late nights just spitballing ideas for each region of the world and then would action it. … He designed all the art and signage on the walls based on bouncing ideas back and forth with me,” BAL Managing Partner Jeremy Fudge says. While BAL built some aspects of its office itself, such as its  beach corner, Todd took the lead on walls and ceilings.

Initially housing 185 employees when it moved in this March, BAL has already grown to 270 and plans to reach 320 in upcoming weeks. The office, which spans three floors within the four-building campus, can house up to 320 employees by 2020, when its Richardson office is expected to be BAL’s largest worldwide.

BAL was also committed to having plenty of daylight throughout its office. “They came to us and said, ‘Look, we know what a typical law firm looks like, but we want to think outside the box.’ So we found ways to be innovative and different,” Perez says. Other unique ideas include murals inspired by the countries in which BAL has offices, the beach corner, and a game room.

The campus’ owner, Q Real Estate, purchased the four-building office in 2015 and has since renovated the buildings’ common spaces, training center, and fitness center. JCI is also the designer of record for the 389,000-square-foot campus and K2 Construction was the general contractor. Cushman & Wakefield’s Trey Smith and Clint Madison lease the property. Avison Young’s Eddie Tillman represented the BAL in the lease.