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April 27, 2017

'Boxing day' for Eaton Peabody on eve of Portland move

Photo / Renee Cordes
Photo / Renee Cordes
A mover unloads boxes Wednesday at Eaton Peabody's new Portland office.

After outgrowing its Portland office in just four years, Bangor-based law firm Eaton Peabody will move to bigger digs this Friday at 100 Middle St.

"Right now we have bins and boxes everywhere and our staff is working hard to get us moved efficiently," Neal Pratt, managing partner of the firm's Portland office, told Mainebiz.

The move, from One Portland Square a few blocks away, comes after the Portland office tripled its number of attorneys to 13 since it opened in March 2013. The office employs 19 people in total, all of whom will move.

Eaton Peabody also has offices in Augusta, Brunswick and Ellsworth. It began searching for new space in Portland about a year ago, choosing the Middle Street location in part because it offers room to grow further. The new office is 14,097 square feet in size, compared to 8,519 square feet at One Portland Square.

"We're always looking to grow with our clients, so I think we will continue to grow and add both new attorneys as well as experienced lateral hires," said David Austin, the firm's Bangor-based managing partner.

Pratt said the firm was doing everything to ensure a smooth transition.

"The most important part of it is maintaining the continuity of our client service," Pratt said. "It's certainly a disruption from a business operations standpoint, but we are making sure that our client matters are unaffected. Everybody is working very hard to ensure that."

At its new premises, the firm will share an address with accounting firm BerryDunn, Morgan Stanley and, its new neighbor on the second floor, the U.S. Secret Service.

Eaton Peabody will open for business at its newest location on Monday, and envisions a small staff celebration rather than a big to-do.

"Once the boxes are out of the halls and we're in the new space, there's certainly going to be an internal celebration," Pratt said. "It's a very significant move, and it's a sign of the good work and the success that the firm has had here in Portland."

Eaton Peabody ranked No. 6 among Maine law firms by attorney numbers in a Mainebiz list published last November.

The firm employs 53 attorneys -- and 119 people in total -- across its five locations. In 2016 it merged with Portland's Wakelin, Hallock and O'Donovan to expand its employee benefits and executive compensation practice, which executives say continues to grow along with litigation.

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