There’s a quiet turf war being waged between Californian law firms and Washington, D.C., natives. On one side of the battle lines, traditional tech law firms from the Golden State are positioning themselves as regs experts in the nation’s capital. On the other, Washington law firms—with long histories of regulatory prowess—are proving themselves to be formidable competitors in the tech market. How did this all start? What’s to be gained? And who’s winning?

It’s no surprise that full-service law firms generally would be eyeing two specialist practice areas carefully for potential strategic growth. Tech companies have been booming for years and place highly on the list of must-have clients, no matter where a firm is located. Regulations offerings too have become more and more central to a full-service firm’s holistic offering, as corporate governance, legal compliance and environmental, social and governance rise in importance for corporate America. The Biden administration has made regs enforcement a priority for every federal agency, raising the stakes for noncompliance.

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