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Former Federal Prosecutors to Start Own ShopFormer U.S. Attorney David Shapiro has left Boies, Schiller & Flexner to start a firm of his own with Martha Boersch, another former federal prosecutor and Big Law refugee. Their firm, which has yet to be named and will be finalized in about a month, will focus on federal criminal defense and related civil proceedings.
2013-04-08 05:51:37 PM
Former U.S. Attorney David Shapiro has left Boies, Schiller & Flexner to start a firm of his own. He's teaming up with another former federal prosecutor and Big Law refugee to do it.
Shapiro and Martha Boersch, who left Jones Day in late 2011 to open her own shop, have agreed to launch a partnership that will be finalized in about a month, Shapiro said Wednesday. Their firm, which has yet to be named, will focus on federal criminal defense and related civil proceedings.
Shapiro and Boersch worked together for seven years at the Northern District of California U.S. Attorney's Office, and they had long wanted to reunite in practice, Shapiro said.
"I'd been wanting to see what it would be like to have my own firm," said Shapiro, who ended a 10-year run at Boies Schiller March 29. "[Boies Schiller] was very enjoyable, but I want to try something different and maybe have different kinds of cases."
The pair decided that they can accomplish much more on their own than in the fabric of Big Law, Boersch said. Shapiro said he is eager to have the freedom to handle smaller matters and represent individuals. And they will sidestep many of the conflicts that spring up at large firms, Boersch added.
"In a smaller shop, we'll have much more flexibility to do the cases that we find interesting," she said. "And we can do the work much more efficiently and cost effectively."
It's an amicable parting.
"David is a great lawyer and a great friend, and he's going to do well in whatever he does," said John Cove, a partner at Boies Schiller's Oakland, Calif., office. "We anticipate working closely with him in the future."
Boersch and Shapiro will be joined by Lara Kollios, a former Jones Day associate. And the former federal prosecutors have further growth in mind.
Boersch already has an office in the Russ Building in downtown San Francisco, and the pair is looking to acquire a larger space of 1,500 to 2,000 square feet there, she said. That space would accommodate four lawyers, and several adjacent offices could eventually house more, she added.
Boersch is optimistic about the firm's profitability. In her first year on her own, she made almost as much as she did at Jones Day, she said. She's teamed up with veteran appellate specialist Dennis Riordan on several matters, most notably U.S. v. Nosal, the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act case that's taken a high-profile trip to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Boersch and Riordan are trying that case before a jury this week. Shapiro expects to stay busy, too. He said he is fielding several investigations, handling criminal appeals in the Ninth and Second Circuits and helping a large company comply with requests from regulatory agencies -- all matters he brought with him from Boies Schiller.
In a decade at Boies Schiller, including eight years as administrative partner of the Oakland office, Shapiro defended corporate clients ranging from American Express to Tyco International in litigation. Before entering the law firm fold, he helped launch sections for securities fraud and computer hacking and intellectual property, or CHIP, at the U.S. Attorney's Office. He capped off a 16-year career as a federal prosecutor with an interim appointment as U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of California before Kevin Ryan was awarded the permanent position.