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September 13, 2012
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City leaders plan welcome reception for Bingham McCutchen

Official announcement to be made

Bingham McCutchen will invest $22.5 million in Lexington to establish a global shared-services center at UK’s Coldstream Research Park. The center will employ 250 professionals.

By Lorie Hailey
lanereport.com editor

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Sept. 13, 2012) — An international law firm will join with city and state leaders next week to make the official announcement of its plan to locate a global services center in Lexington, bringing with it 250 high-paying jobs.

Boston-based Bingham McCutchen will invest $22.5 million in central Kentucky to establish a global shared-services center at UK’s Coldstream Research Park, part of a transformation initiative to enhance the performance of the company’s administrative operations. The firm’s plan was first announced Wednesday by the company and Mayor Jim Gray’s office.

The official announcement is planned for Thursday, Sept. 20 at 1:30 p.m. at City Hall. In addition to the mayor, speakers will include Gov. Steve Beshear, Commerce Lexington’s Bob Quick, Bingham McCutchen Chairman Jay Zimmerman and Bingham CEO L. Tracee Whitley.

Later that evening, Commerce Lexington and the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government are hosting a welcome reception for the company at the Keeneland Clubhouse.

Bingham McCutchen employs more than 1,000 lawyers and 900 support staff in offices on three continents. Its lawyers often play key roles in matters of worldwide importance, the firm states on its website. The company cites Deepwater Horizon litigation, Olympus Corp., the Icelandic banking crisis and The Oracle/SAP copyright infringement case as recent examples of its work.

“The commonwealth of Kentucky and the city of Lexington joined forces to offer us the most competitive incentives package of the metropolitan areas we considered. It will, upon approval, enable us to get up and running quickly in Kentucky. In addition to the strong business opportunity presented, we found in Lexington an inviting community and a shared sense of values, which we believe our people will embrace.” — L. Tracee Whitley, Bingham CEO

Bingham will bring the professional service jobs to Lexington over the next few years from several existing offices across the U.S. The global services center will provide finance, accounting, human resources, information technology, operations, marketing, communications, and research and knowledge services, as well as risk management functions that are unique to law firms.

The average wage for those jobs, including employee benefits, is $37 an hour, according to the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority (KEDFA).

The transition of Bingham’s administrative functions to its Lexington location is anticipated to begin in April and continue through the spring of 2014. Bingham is working with Deloitte Consulting in the planning, design and implementation of its new services center and related operational initiatives. Most of the employees affected by the decision will be offered the opportunity to relocate to Lexington, according to L. Tracee Whitley, CEO of Bingham McCutchen.

“The global services center will position us to operate even more efficiently in an ever-changing, highly competitive economy,” said Chairman Jay Zimmerman, adding that while the focus of the effort is on centralizing U.S. administrative operations, its scope is international. “After 15 years of significant growth by combinations, we are consolidating our operations model to more efficiently support our lawyers around the world and, in turn, provide better service to our national and global client base.”

After a comprehensive review, Bingham selected Lexington because of its access to a deep and dynamic workforce, a developed academic community and a vibrant quality of life, among other factors, Whitley said.

“The commonwealth of Kentucky and the city of Lexington joined forces to offer us the most competitive incentives package of the metropolitan areas we considered,” Whitley said. “It will, upon approval, enable us to get up and running quickly in Kentucky. In addition to the strong business opportunity presented, we found in Lexington an inviting community and a shared sense of values, which we believe our people will embrace.”

On Wednesday, KEDFA preliminarily approved tax incentives for the company of $6.5 million.

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