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The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic hasn’t stopped several elite global firms from acting on long-held plans to move into Northern California, while other firms are taking advantage of the upheaval in the marketplace to boost their own presence in the world’s fifth-largest economy.

Since the start of June, Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison revealed its intention to open a San Francisco office and Freshfields announced its arrival in Silicon Valley with five partners recruited from highly regarded players. The last several months have also seen Haynes and Boone, U.K.-based insurance specialists Kennedys, and financial services boutique Murphy & McGonigle open up doors in San Francisco for the first time.

A lot of this has been strategically in play well before COVID-19, but with COVID, a lot of opportunities are coming out in the marketplace,” said Larry Watanabe of Watanabe Schwartz.

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Dan Packel

Dan Packel covers change and innovation in the legal services market, and writes a weekly briefing for Law.com, "The Law Firm Disrupted," on these subjects. He is based in Philadelphia. Contact him at [email protected] On Twitter at @packeld

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