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Five-Lawyer Gordon & Rees Group Jumps to SNR DentonA team of five commercial litigators has moved from Gordon & Rees to SNR Denton in San Francisco. Partners Fletcher Alford, Laura Geist and Douglas Scullion joined the international behemoth last month with two associates. The group was drawn to SNR Denton's global footprint, in light of the increasingly global nature of commercial litigation.
2013-03-04 04:05:23 PM
A team of five commercial litigators has moved from Gordon & Rees to SNR Denton in San Francisco.
Partners Fletcher Alford, Laura Geist and Douglas Scullion came to the international behemoth last month, bringing associates Kelly Fair and Anna Rassouli with them. The team practices commercial litigation and class action defense, serving clients in the financial services and insurance industries. Alford, who spent nearly 23 years at Gordon & Rees, said the group wanted to join a firm with a global footprint in light of the increasingly global nature of commercial litigation.
"I really enjoyed my time [at Gordon & Rees] and have the utmost respect for the people there," he said. "But SNR Denton is a very exciting place, an expanding and growing global firm that I think will be a great platform for my practice."
The firm got even more global this fall, when partners from SNR Denton, Canadian firm Fraser Milner Casgrain and French firm Salans signed off on a three-way union, which will result in an approximately 2,500-lawyer firm, Dentons.
Now, the megafirm wants to expand its ranks in California, said Sonia Martin, managing partner of the San Francisco office. Martin said she would like to use lateral hires to deepen the office's practices in Indian law and tribal representation, IP, insurance regulation and corporate work. And she added she has been looking to add litigators with the Gordon & Rees team's expertise for some time -- the office was founded to do insurance litigation, and that remains its focus.
"They do what we do. It's a natural fit," she said. "They really boost our bench strength in San Francisco in the core area."
The group from Gordon & Rees also complements the office's work in insurance regulation, Martin added. Many of the team's clients already turned to SNR Denton for regulatory assistance, Geist said. Most of those clients are expected to stay with the trio of partners after their move, she added.
"It was pretty nice for us to be able to combine with the folks here and bring our litigation and class action experience to the table," Geist said.
SNR Denton has not traditionally recruited from regional firms like Gordon & Rees, several people in the legal industry said. But the firm may be looking beyond its typical sources of talent to grow in the San Francisco Bay Area.
"It's a fiercely competitive market for talent, and it's gotten fiercer in the recent past," law firm consultant Kent Zimmermann said.
A Gordon & Rees spokeswoman said the group of lawyers will be missed but noted that the firm is growing elsewhere. Last month, the firm announced that it will open an office in Philadelphia with seven partners from Cozen O'Connor.
"Our depth remains extremely robust, and we will continue to build Gordon & Rees' national offices through the addition of excellent attorneys," the spokeswoman wrote in an email.
Alford said it was hard for him to leave his longtime firm -- especially his mentor, Stuart Gordon, who founded the firm in 1974.
"He taught me everything that I know not only about being a lawyer, but about being a gentleman and a professional," Alford said. "He is the consummate example of both."