Tower Bridge and downtown Sacramento, California.
Tower Bridge and downtown Sacramento, California. (Photo: Andrew Zarivny/Shutterstock.com)

Having just opened an office in Sacramento, Buchalter sought this week to grow its new outpost in California’s capital by recruiting a team of lawyers from LeClairRyan.

LeClairRyan partner Robert McWhorter, senior counsel Kevin Collins and associates Jarrett Osborne and Jacqueline Vu have joined Buchalter in Sacramento, where Collins will now be of counsel at his new firm.

McWhorter and Collins opened LeClairRyan’s Sacramento office in January 2015 after lateraling to the firm from Nossaman. LeClairRyan still has two partners and an associate in the city, where Buchalter set up shop in February after bringing on a seven-lawyer group led by Downey Brand financial regulatory and compliance partner James Dyer Jr.

Dyer, now managing partner of Buchalter’s Sacramento office, was joined in his move to the firm by two Downey Brand associates and Buchalter’s new energy and natural resources group head Gwenneth O’Hara, who took with her three other lawyers from the California Power Law Group. (O’Hara was a founder of that firm.)

McWhorter, Buchalter’s most recent local hire, specializes in handling commercial, business and bankruptcy litigation for financial services client. He said that Buchalter’s banking focus made the firm an obvious fit for his team. The strength of the transactional expertise held by Buchalter’s other new hires on the ground in Sacramento helped sell him on making the move. (Buchalter, formerly known as Buchalter Nemer, dropped the latter name from its shingle on Jan. 1.)

“I’m a litigator, but as I’m getting more seasoned, my practice is also having more transactional work,” McWhorter said.

Collins, who has worked closely with McWhorter for about five years, represents insurers, public agencies, financial companies and automotive manufacturers in commercial litigation. Both Vu and Osborne handle employment matters, with Osborne additionally focusing on bankruptcy and construction work, and Vu representing banks.

“Robert and his team are welcomed additions to our new Sacramento office and I am confident they will make strong contributions to both the local office culture and the firm,” said a statement by Buchalter president and CEO Adam Bass, who spoke with The Recorder last month about the potential for mergers in the Los Angeles market. “As we continue to expand, I’m looking forward to further deepening our footprint in the Sacramento region and all of our office locations in the months to come.”

With the new additions, Buchalter’s head count in Sacramento now stands at 13. The 200-lawyer firm, which has California offices in Los Angeles, Napa Valley and Orange County, as well as Scottsdale, Arizona, has been busy on the lateral hiring front in recent months.

Last month Buchalter landed Kennerly Lamishaw & Rossi real estate partner J. David Hitchcock in Los Angeles, where the firm also recently hired health care litigation partners Andrew Selesnick and Damaris Medina from Nixon Peabody. (Selesnick and Medina, who did not immediately return requests for comment, only joined Nixon Peabody in February after leaving Michelman & Robinson.) In December, Buchalter added Archer Norris litigation partner Gabriel Green in Los Angeles.

Buchalter, which a year ago this month brought back former managing partner Leonard Venger as a senior adviser and chair of its entertainment and litigation groups after he spent 13 years as head of litigation at Sony Pictures Entertainment, recruited Liner’s Masahisa “Masa” Mitsunaga in November to serve as senior counsel for its Japan practice in Los Angeles. Last summer Payne & Fears partner Eric Kennedy joined Buchalter in Los Angeles to chair the firm’s automotive industry group.

That same month Buchalter added special counsel Carrie Gallagher in Saint Helena, California, from her role as deputy general counsel in the Office of the County Counsel of Napa Valley, where she spent the past 13 years. Gallager now works in the firm’s litigation group.

Having just opened an office in Sacramento, Buchalter sought this week to grow its new outpost in California’s capital by recruiting a team of lawyers from LeClairRyan .

LeClairRyan partner Robert McWhorter, senior counsel Kevin Collins and associates Jarrett Osborne and Jacqueline Vu have joined Buchalter in Sacramento, where Collins will now be of counsel at his new firm.

McWhorter and Collins opened LeClairRyan ’s Sacramento office in January 2015 after lateraling to the firm from Nossaman . LeClairRyan still has two partners and an associate in the city, where Buchalter set up shop in February after bringing on a seven-lawyer group led by Downey Brand financial regulatory and compliance partner James Dyer Jr.

Dyer, now managing partner of Buchalter’s Sacramento office, was joined in his move to the firm by two Downey Brand associates and Buchalter’s new energy and natural resources group head Gwenneth O’Hara, who took with her three other lawyers from the California Power Law Group. (O’Hara was a founder of that firm.)

McWhorter, Buchalter’s most recent local hire, specializes in handling commercial, business and bankruptcy litigation for financial services client. He said that Buchalter’s banking focus made the firm an obvious fit for his team. The strength of the transactional expertise held by Buchalter’s other new hires on the ground in Sacramento helped sell him on making the move. (Buchalter, formerly known as Buchalter Nemer , dropped the latter name from its shingle on Jan. 1.)

“I’m a litigator, but as I’m getting more seasoned, my practice is also having more transactional work,” McWhorter said.

Collins, who has worked closely with McWhorter for about five years, represents insurers, public agencies, financial companies and automotive manufacturers in commercial litigation. Both Vu and Osborne handle employment matters, with Osborne additionally focusing on bankruptcy and construction work, and Vu representing banks.

“Robert and his team are welcomed additions to our new Sacramento office and I am confident they will make strong contributions to both the local office culture and the firm,” said a statement by Buchalter president and CEO Adam Bass, who spoke with The Recorder last month about the potential for mergers in the Los Angeles market. “As we continue to expand, I’m looking forward to further deepening our footprint in the Sacramento region and all of our office locations in the months to come.”

With the new additions, Buchalter’s head count in Sacramento now stands at 13. The 200-lawyer firm, which has California offices in Los Angeles, Napa Valley and Orange County, as well as Scottsdale, Arizona, has been busy on the lateral hiring front in recent months.

Last month Buchalter landed Kennerly Lamishaw & Rossi real estate partner J. David Hitchcock in Los Angeles, where the firm also recently hired health care litigation partners Andrew Selesnick and Damaris Medina from Nixon Peabody . (Selesnick and Medina, who did not immediately return requests for comment, only joined Nixon Peabody in February after leaving Michelman & Robinson .) In December, Buchalter added Archer Norris litigation partner Gabriel Green in Los Angeles.

Buchalter, which a year ago this month brought back former managing partner Leonard Venger as a senior adviser and chair of its entertainment and litigation groups after he spent 13 years as head of litigation at Sony Pictures Entertainment, recruited Liner’s Masahisa “Masa” Mitsunaga in November to serve as senior counsel for its Japan practice in Los Angeles. Last summer Payne & Fears partner Eric Kennedy joined Buchalter in Los Angeles to chair the firm’s automotive industry group.

That same month Buchalter added special counsel Carrie Gallagher in Saint Helena, California, from her role as deputy general counsel in the Office of the County Counsel of Napa Valley, where she spent the past 13 years. Gallager now works in the firm’s litigation group.