Veteran insurance coverage litigator Jerold Oshinsky, a former name partner of Washington’s Dickstein Shapiro, has joined Jenner & Block’s Los Angeles office just 10 months after teaming with colleague Scott Gilbert to launch a Southern California office for their firm.
Oshinsky, who represents policyholders in various industries, said he left Gilbert Oshinsky to join a firm with a bigger national presence.
“Scott and I are good friends and will continue to be good friends,” he said. But the opportunity to work at Jenner & Block, which opened its first California office in April, was too great, he said.
“Jenner & Block has a great national presence with an established insurance coverage practice and they have opened up to be a substantial presence in California,” he said.
“Having an established firm an established presence in California is very attractive to me.”Oshinsky, who has been practicing at Gilbert Oshinsky in Santa Barbara, starts at Jenner & Block’s Los Angeles office on Aug. 24. Gilbert did not respond to requests for comment. In a press release announcing Oshinsky’s departure, the firm, which has fewer than 35 attorneys, plugged its new name: Gilbert LLP.
“Although our firm has active litigation and other business in most regions of the United States, including California, virtually all our lawyers are headquartered in Washington, D.C.,” Gilbert said in the press release. “We found that, notwithstanding our mutual best efforts, this long-distance relationship was not practical for either of us.”
Ellen Katkin, director of marketing at Gilbert LLP, said that the firm, which has offices in Washington and Austin, Texas, would no longer have a California office but would serve West Coast clients from its Washington office.
Gilbert and Oshinsky have worked together on and off during the past 30 years. In 2001, Gilbert formed his own firm after leaving Dickstein Shapiro, where he worked in Washington from 1997 to 2000. While there, he was head of Dickstein Shapiro’s complex dispute resolution group and a member of the executive committee.
In October, Oshinsky joined Gilbert’s firm, then called Gilbert Randolph, from Dickstein Shapiro, where he had been a name partner before the firm shortene d its name from Dickstein Shapiro Morin & Oshinsky in 2006.
In March, Gilbert Oshinsky hired another Los Angeles attorney, Vered Yakovee, a sole practitioner in Marina del Rey, Calif., and editor of the journal for the American Bar Association’s Forum on the Entertainment and Sports Industries. Yakovee, a lecturer at the University of Southern California Gould School of Law, said that she left Gilbert Oshinsky, where she was of counsel, earlier this month. She declined to comment about her reasons for leaving the firm, noting that she would continue to maintain her own law practice.
“I was the only lawyer in that firm in California after Vered decided to leave,” Oshinsky said.
Meanwhile, Jenner & Block had hired two litigation partners from Kirkland & Ellis–Rick Richmond and Brent Caslin–to open its first California office in Los Angeles. The firm now has three partners and three associates in Los Angeles.
Those attorneys are all commercial litigators, said Susan Levy, managing partner of Chicago’s Jenner & Block. Oshinsky adds a specialization of insurance coverage, she said. The firm’s other offices already collectively have nine partners in the insurance coverage practice group.
“It’s one of our core practice groups, part of our litigation department, but it’s a very, very strong practice and it’s nationwide in scope, so he will be a terrific addition for the new L.A. office,” she said.
Oshinsky said that he knows several of the lawyers at Jenner & Block, including Lorie Masters, a partner in the Washington office, with whom he worked at Anderson Kill & Olick during the 1980s. At Jenner & Block, Oshinsky said, he expects to work with attorneys in the firm’s other offices, particularly on matters in New York, Washington and Chicago.
And in Los Angeles, he said, he hopes to help build the insurance coverage practice.
“I’ll help to make it more established,” he said. “It’s all a very exciting new adventure.”