Plaintiff firm’s 200-plus employees now occupy new eco-friendly, 6-story building
ALTON, Ill., April 12, 2011 – Simmons Hanly Conroy LLC, announced today that it has completed the relocation of its national headquarters to historic downtown Alton, Ill.
The firm’s nearly 210 employees now occupy a six-story, eco-friendly building that is pending LEED certification at One Court Street along the banks of the Mississippi River near St. Louis, Mo. The national plaintiff’s firm purchased the building in July 2009 and began refurbishing it that November.
“Our employees haven’t been in one building since I first started the firm more than 10 years ago,” said Chairman and CEO John Simmons. “It’s long been my vision to bring everyone together under one roof, which I have no doubt will be good for our clients and our employees.”
Simmons started the firm in 1999 in nearby East Alton, Ill., with a focus on representing victims of mesothelioma, a rare cancer caused by exposure to asbestos. After several substantial verdicts, including $250 million on behalf of a single plaintiff, the firm rapidly expanded to more than 200 employees working out of six locations in the region’s Riverbend area. Today the firm is one of the largest plaintiff’s firms in country with growing practices in pharmaceutical injury litigation and contingent-fee commercial litigation.
In 2009, Simmons announced his intention to relocate the firm’s headquarters to Alton. “The new centralized location will allow our team of skilled attorneys and staff to continue providing our clients with the highest level of legal services they’ve come to expect from us over the years,” Simmons said.
The Simmons building was originally built in 1971 and housed the Jefferson Smurfit boxing company. It was vacant for several years and in foreclosure when the firm bought the property in 2009. As a result, the building underwent extensive repairs to make it suitable for the firm’s needs.
The nearly 70,000-square-foot building now houses 70 offices, 130 workspaces, six meeting rooms and one auditorium. The building has a number of eco-friendly features: energy efficient glass panels, a “green” roof, an energy-efficient HVAC system and lighting. The firm intends to apply for LEED-certification in April.
Additional repairs included installing new elevators, expanding the parking lot, bringing the bathrooms in line with standards set by the Americans With Disabilities Act and other cosmetic updates.
“We want to thank Holland Construction, Hurford Architects, the sub-contractors and everyone who has brought the project to life over the past months,” said Chief Operating Officer Gregg Kirkland. “We’re also especially appreciative to the Alton city officials who have helped make this vision a reality.”
The historic river town is located 30 miles north of St. Louis, across the Clark Bridge, and has approximately 31,000 residents. Several conference rooms in the building reflect the town’s unique history. The auditorium is called the Lincoln-Douglas auditorium, a nod to Alton’s distinction as one of seven Illinois towns that hosted the Lincoln-Douglas debates in 1858. The 5th floor board room is called the Lewis & Clark Board Room in recognition of the two explorers who launched their journey across the Louisiana Purchase in the Riverbend region.
“When we were deciding how we were going to bring everyone under one roof, Alton just stood out,” Kirkland said. “It has the infrastructure we need, and the community made a distinct effort to make us feel welcome. We’re very excited to call Alton home.”