The San Francisco-based administrative services center of Littler Mendelson PC, a large employment law firm, will move to Kansas City, and the firm will consolidate its 33 administrative offices at Crown Center.
The moves are expected to generate 275 new jobs in the 2301 McGee building.
It’s the second major law firm service center gain for that building announced in recent months. Last March, the California-based law firm Sedgwick LLP said it would hire 100 workers at the Crown Center location.
The Littler announcement on Friday, made in partnership with the Kansas City Area Development Council, echoed Sedgwick’s attraction to Kansas City’s lower cost of living and Central time zone location.
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“We’d been working on this for eight months,” said Bob Marcusse, development council chief executive. “They looked at eight to 10 cities, and Kansas City came out on top in large measure because of the capacity of the workforce and the demonstrated ability to attract talent to Kansas City.”
The time zone advantage and cost savings could have been found in many Midwest cities, but Kansas City’s talent was the driver in the site selection, Marcusse said.
He said it was coincidence, not planned, that both law firms would choose the same building for their service centers.
Co-managing directors at Littler, Tom Bender and Jeremy Roth, agreed that a “quality and diverse labor force” helped tip the move in Kansas City’s favor.
Marcusse said Mayor Sly James and his office were influential in encouraging Littler to select Kansas City.
The development council also credited many other agencies or offices with contributing to the Littler deal: the Missouri Partnership, Missouri Department of Economic Development, Economic Development Corporation of Kansas City, KCP&L, CBRE, Alliance Relocation Center, University of Missouri-Kansas City, University of Kansas, Metropolitan Community College, Missouri Gas Energy, Colliers International, Crown Center Redevelopment Corp., Aerotek and the Full Employment Council.
The Littler firm employs more than 1,000 attorneys in more than 60 offices. Sixteen Littler attorneys work in downtown Kansas City. That office is not affected by the administrative move, a firm spokeswoman said.
The Kansas City administrative office will house an array of its administrative and back office operations.