Ron Schuler Weighs in on Law Firms, Leadership and Pittsburgh

Ronald W. Schuler, Member in Charge of Spilman’s Pittsburgh office, was recently asked about the impact of Pittsburgh’s law firm leadership being located outside of the city. It’s a trend that has materialized with two of Pittsburgh’s largest law firms, but has been avoided by Spilman.

Schuler was interviewed by the Pittsburgh Business Times regarding his take on how outside leadership can impact the city. According to Schuler, “One of the inevitable consequences is leadership shifts outside of Pittsburgh and Pittsburgh becomes de-emphasized to some degree.” He continues, “When the leadership of a law firm is in Pittsburgh, it’s more likely those firms will play a role in or have influence here. If it isn’t, it’s harder for that to occur. The things law firm leaders did in the 1980s and 1990s, participating in the birth of technology and starting business opportunities, were because they were in Pittsburgh. When firms become more nationalized or delocalized, that begins to fall away.”

Examples of the impacts can be seen with other industries. “You might have local leaders but leadership and influence run from the top of the firm and that’s the danger we face,” Schuler said. “I don’t say it’s the end of the world. But it’s akin to what happened to the corporate sector. You could see it in Pittsburgh that large CEOs felt a duty to collaborate. You don’t see that same paternal approach over trying to improve the city when leadership changes from local to national and international.”

So what do the largest firms have to say about this trend? Click here to read the entire article.

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The Golden Triangle Remains Golden and is Growing

The Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership has issued their latest report and the news is good.  According to the State of Downtown report, new development is occurring and going beyond the “golden triangle.”

In 2015, the city saw $636 million in new projects, which is an increase of 21 percent since 2014. The growth is mainly being seen in the North Side and Strip District, which are just outside of the Central Business District.

In addition, there is a wave of real estate inventory coming to the downtown region with:

  • 1.4 million square feet of office space,
  • 761 new hotel rooms and
  • 1,380 residential units

The report notes that the residential population has continually increased, competitive hotel room rates have remained steady and average Class A office rents reaching an all-time high of $27.70 per square foot.

Click here to read the entire Pittsburgh Business Times article.

 

2015 – A Very Good Year for Venture Capital Investment in Pittsburgh

According to a MoneyTree report by PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP and the National Venture Capital Association, Pittsburgh is one of the top metros for venture capital (“VC”) investments.

Out of 133 metros, Pittsburgh ranked 10th for the number of companies that received VC investments last year. More than 80 companies reported investments and the Steel City ranked 18th in terms of dollars invested at $199 million.

Not surprisingly, New York City was a top metro. But, one city had almost double the amount of investment. Read this Pittsburgh Business Times article to get the details.

Pittsburgh is One of the Top Tourist Locations

According to TripAdvisor, Pittsburgh is one of the top 10 tourist destinations in the United States.

The site highlights 295 places to visit and says, “Steel and coal may have built this city, and you’ll see the names ‘Mellon’ and ‘Carnegie’ on an awful lot of things, but Pittsburgh has come a long way from its gritty, industrial past.”

What other cities made the ranking? And, is the number one location a surprise? Read the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette blog post here.

Calling in Sick: Pittsburgh Sick Leave Law Delayed

UPDATE —- March 10, 2016 is the current targeted effective date for an ordinance passed by Pittsburgh’s City Council requiring most city businesses to provide sick leave to full-time and part-time employees.

Implementation of the legislation was postponed by 60 days under an agreement reached by the city and groups challenging the law in court.

Pittsburgh Member Peter R. Rich explains how the proposed law came about, exemptions included and pending legal challenges.

You can read Pete’s article by clicking here.

Pittsburgh is Hot for Millennials

According to Realtor.com, 2016 is anticipated to see Pittsburgh as the second most sought after real estate for millennials. This prediction was based on millennial population, employment growth and housing affordability.

Pittsburgh does not have one the nation’s largest population of those aged 25 to 34. In fact, only 12 percent of the region’s population represents that age group and that percentage is slightly less than the national average. However, job growth and lower housing costs make Pittsburgh exceptionally attractive.

According to Jonathan Smoke, Realtor.com’s chief economist, “The market ranked third out of the 100 largest markets for the 25-34 share of purchase mortgages in 2015, with 47 percent compared to the U.S. average of 36 percent.”

Only Atlanta slightly beat out the Steel City. What likely cities came in behind Pittsburgh? Read the Pittsburgh Business Times article now.

Best Place to Live in the Northeast is………

Pittsburgh.  According to Money Magazine, Pittsburgh’s two universities – University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon – help draw high technology companies. And that draw is exactly why people are finding Pittsburgh THE place to live right now.

Pittsburgh has focused on computer-related jobs. That field has grown twice the national average in the Steel City. And while unemployment rates are slightly higher than the national average, they are well below other industrial cities. With housing prices much lower than other big cities, Pittsburgh seems to have hit its stride.

What cities round out the top five? Check out Money Magazine’s article.