Law firm settles into downtown


The Grand Rapids-based law firm Henn Lesperance specializes in defense: William Henn, partner, left, Kevin Lesperance, partner, and Cathy Greer, paralegal, are part of the team.

The Trust Building’s proximity to the 17th Circuit Court, Michigan Court of Appeals and U.S. District Court make it a good spot for a law firm.

Approaching their one-year anniversary, Henn Lesperance's partners, William Henn and Kevin Lesperance, recently agreed the historic building in downtown Grand Rapids is the right choice for their burgeoning defense practice.

The space

Henn Lesperance has 2,000 square feet of space in the Trust Building, which includes four private offices, a common area and a large conference room, at 40 Pearl St. NW.

“We’ve all been at large firms where it was cookie cutter, looked more industrial, and this has real character,” said Cathy Greer, paralegal at Henn Lesperance.

Greer noted that the office space provides the right balance of privacy, as well as an enjoyable environment.

“We spend more time here than we spend at home,” said Greer, emphasizing the importance of a great atmosphere.

Another feature that the building offers is executive suites that will be available soon for shorter-term rental.

“That is the sort of thing that gives a small business like ours some flexibility,” Henn said.

Lesperance said that the firm is considering renting one of the executive suites for a part-time associate, who would be able to use the office space during the one day of the week she's at firm.

The space also fits the firm’s style as a boutique firm.

The Trust Building’s history gives the firm some fun facts to share with clients: former president Gerald R. Ford had an office in the building, and when it was first built, it was the tallest building in Michigan.

The firm worked with Grand Rapids-based CWD Real Estate Investment to secure the space. 

Defense specialty

The startup law firm is growing downtown. In addition to Henn, Lesperance and Greer, the firm employs two associates and two secretaries.

The firm focuses on defense litigation — with Henn focusing his practice on government entities and health care providers and Lesperance focusing on medical malpractice law.

“I think that the fact that we do solely defense work is appealing to a number of our clients,” Henn said. “They like the fact that we only do defense work and that because we are a smaller firm, we can control our overhead better and keep it low.”

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