Law firms choose inexpensive litigation hotel rentals to act as a physical extension of their firms office space when they are on trial.
What is a litigation hotel?
A litigation hotel is a specialized temporary litigation war room rental used by law firms as a base of operations while they are on trial. Litigation hotels are often offered in executive suites located close to courthouses or key ADR venues
Why types of law firms use litigation hotels?
Primarily, two types of law firms generally use litigation hotel services:
- Out-of-state or out-of-town law firms on trial in a city where they do not have an office; and
- Local law firms where their office is not geographically convenient to the trial court, or they do not have the space in their own office for a litigation war room.
Why do law firms choose litigation hotels?
A litigation hotel rental located close to the trial venue gives the firm a base of operations where the litigation team can meet, witnesses can be prepped and trial materials organized and staged. It also give the trial team a convenient place to meet during trial recesses and breaks.
For local law firms, it may be more convenient to rent a litigation hotel that is closer to the trial venue rather than use a litigation war room in the firm’s own office. For example, New York City law firms with Midtown office space may find it more convenient to move their trial team into a litigation hotel closer to the courts, which are all located in Downtown Manhattan. Instead of wasting valuable time shuttling the trial team back and forth between Midtown and Downtown, critical members of the trial team can recapture a considerable amount of billable time by keeping everyone in one place that is walking distance to the Courts.
Limited office space is another reason local firms often rent a litigation hotel. With the high price of Manhattan commercial office space, it may not be cost effective to support the expense of a litigation war room that only gets used when the firm is on trial. This is particularly so for small law firms.
For New York City professional firms, the trend is towards getting the most efficient use of rented workspace. In many cases, it costs much less over the course of a lease to rent temporary space when needed than to pay for space the gets used infrequently. Your typical litigation war room fits squarely into this category, with these rooms often ending up being dumping grounds for miscellaneous junk when the firm isn’t on trial.
Who offers litigation hotel rentals?
Generally, the same type of businesses and organizations that offer temporary conference room rentals offer dedicated litigation hotel services to law firms. These include:
- Executive suites;
- Bar Associations with non-dedicated conference room facilities; and
- Law firms that sublet extra office space.
What types of services are included with a litigation hotel rental?
Law Firms often choose a litigation hotel rental from an executive suite operator because, as compared to a bar association or hotel meeting space, their facilities tend to be most consistent with the professional work environment the firm us used to working in.
Executive suites function like a working professional office. They normally offer all the amenities needed during work productively during a prolonged litigation process, such as:
- A fully staffed, professional reception area;
- High-speed Internet;
- Law firm grade telecommunications systems;
- Professional office equipment, such as copiers and scanners;
- Kitchen facilities; and
- Dedicated 24/7 access.
In addition to executive office suites, hotels often offer litigation hotel services. This may be a convenient option for law firms who wish to have reside and work in the same location. A potential downside may be the office equipment located in the hotel business center, which may not be up to the law firm’s standards.
When choosing a litigation hotel provider, law firms must balance the needs of convenience and productivity.