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Drinker Biddle & Reath has continued its expansion spree in Los Angeles with the acquisition of six-attorney litigation boutique Eisenberg Raizman Thurston & Wong. The move bolsters the commercial litigation and labor and employment practices already in the Philadelphia firm’s rapidly expanding office in West Los Angeles. With the latest additions, the office now has 14 lawyers. Joining Drinker Biddle & Reath are name partners Sheldon Eisenberg, David Raizman, Adam Thurston and Christopher Wong, as well as associates Ryan Fife and Elena Min. Eisenberg, who will join the firm’s commercial litigation practice as a partner, is a former Irell & Manella attorney. He was heading the litigation practice at Bryan Cave’s Los Angeles office when he co-founded Los Angeles-based Eisenberg Raizman in 2006. He said the time was right to return to a big firm. “We were dealing with larger matters, and interviewing and being considered to do larger matters, and we were getting our share of them, but a lot of those matters were remaining with big firms. It’s hard for general counsel who know us well to sometimes justify to their chief executive officers that $20 million to $30 million matters should be handled by a six-person boutique,” Eisenberg said. Raizman, another co-founder who worked with Eisenberg at Irell and Bryan Cave, specializes in labor and employment matters. In particular, he is defending the city of Los Angeles against claims brought under the Americans with Disabilities Act. He joins Drinker Biddle’s labor and employment practice as a partner. Thurston, chairman of the entertainment section of the Santa Monica Bar Association, joins of counsel in the commercial litigation practice. He handles commercial, intellectual property and entertainment litigation. Wong, a business litigator, also joins the firm’s commercial litigation practice of counsel. Two other former Irell partners, George Caplan and Henry Shields Jr., launched Drinker Biddle’s West Los Angeles office in 2009 after leaving Epstein Becker & Green’s Los Angeles office. Eisenberg said joining his former colleagues was a factor in his move to Drinker Biddle. “When we started thinking about going back to a large platform, we found out George and Henry had been hired to try to build out a Los Angeles practice,” he said. “And we had what we thought was a special opportunity of getting back together with old Irell & Manella colleagues.” Drinker Biddle opened a second office in downtown Los Angeles in 2001. That office, which has suffered from departures in recent years, has four attorneys.

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