Austin, Texas – March 21, 2019 – Graves Dougherty Hearon & Moody today announced it has a new address inside Austin’s iconic Frost Tower, its home since the skyscraper’s grand opening in 2004. As an established downtown Austin business and one of Frost Tower’s original anchor tenants, Graves Dougherty selected the 27th floor for its new offices, designed by Page and completed by IE2 and JLL.
The move comes as demand for premier downtown Austin addresses continues to rise, and firm leadership sought to redesign its environment to rely less on the prestige of square footage and more on values of efficiency, collaboration and technology. The new suite eliminates large, private corner offices and increases access to views with common spaces that serve multiple functions.
“Our lawyers’ individual commitment to their professions, both the art and craft of practicing law, remains unchanged, but the office environment needed for our best work has evolved considerably,” explains Graves Dougherty President John McFarland, who leads its oil and gas practice. “We moved up a few floors in Frost Tower, and quite literally, we have a new view of the world in 2019.”
Graves Dougherty worked with Page to design offices and common spaces that take advantage of being fully digital and paperless to the greatest extent possible. Gone are the litigation “war rooms” and walls lined with filing cabinets. Instead of a dedicated library in the middle of the office, volumes of books line a shared space between the reception and a nearby community room that overlooks downtown Austin and Lady Bird Lake.
“Having worked closely with Graves Dougherty for many years, we recognize that they are generous hosts who care about each other, their clients and their guests,” says Wendy Dunnam Tita, Principal/Interior Architecture Director at Page. “Together we’ve created private office spaces that have natural light and views, giving individuals their own places to work. At the same time, we connect them to shared open spaces that promote collegiality and collaboration. These fluid spaces are good for co-working, gathering after a meeting, or sharing a lunch break.”
The new offices are nearly the same size for every attorney. McFarland says this further underscores a positive message for their most senior and most junior attorneys. “We value the time you spend here,” he says. “And we know you want our resources going to people, not to the air around us.”
The new, fresh, and bright office suite connects to Austin subtly through its curated collection of fine art and décor.
“The design combines a classic and crisp overall color palette, with custom furniture and an art collection that holds special importance to the firm. The collection is part of Graves Dougherty’s visual DNA,” says Dunnam Tita.
Preparing for growth
The move to Frost Tower 2700 comes as the firm seeks growth. Two new associates joined the firm in the first quarter of 2019: Kate Davy, as an associate for its real estate practice; and Guillermo Alarcón, an associate in the firm’s civil litigation practice.
New and current attorneys also benefit from some significant changes in the firm’s practice management strategies, says McFarland. “Over the last two years, we sought ways to increase transparency, improve decision-making and give all attorneys a voice with the board,” he explains. Among these developments are appointing associate attorney Natasha Martin as ex-officio advisor to the board, creating more two-way communication between non-shareholder attorneys, staff and firm management.
“We’ve leaned into creating a lean reputation,” says McFarland. “We’re always focused on excellent service to our clients first. We give our attorneys freedom to pursue the client work they choose, flexibility in their billing rates, and choice as to how they run their practices. We also value our efficiency, improved by advancements in both technology and design, which helps keep overhead costs lower.”
About Graves Dougherty Hearon & Moody
Founded in 1946, Graves Dougherty was established on the principles of hiring great people, practicing first class law and focusing on accomplishing clients’ goals. More than 30 attorneys span a range of core competencies including litigation, appellate, real estate, trusts and estates, first amendment, regulatory and oil and gas law.