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Lasky, Haas & Cohler, a small but prominent San Francisco litigation boutique, has decided to call it quits. The firm’s four partners shut the doors April 30. All have moved on — three to the San Francisco office of Paul, Hastings, Janofsky & Walker and the fourth will be joining Latham & Watkins. “There’s always a touch of emotion to ending one era, but it is more than counterbalanced by the excitement of starting anew,” said Charles “Tim” Cohler, one of Lasky’s founding partners. Cohler, Kevin McCann and Jason Bergmann have gone to Paul Hastings. Christopher Yates, the fourth Lasky partner, is joining Latham. The firm’s two associates landed at Steinhart & Falconer. Ned Isokawa, the chair of Paul, Hastings’ litigation department, said the firm had been in informal discussions with Cohler, McCann and Bergmann for months. “We had a longstanding friendship, and I had an admiration for Tim and the lawyers in his firm. They have given Paul, Hastings a tremendous boost,” he said. Despite the split-up of the quartet of partners, Cohler said there was no bad blood. “It was a joint decision, and there’s not the slightest bit of animosity,” he said. Lasky, Haas, Cohler & Munter formed in 1979 when four Brobeck, Phleger & Harrison partners decided to go it alone. The firm specialized in antitrust litigation, trade regulation, unfair competition, patent and trademark infringement and commercial contract disputes. The best known of the firm’s founding partners was Moses Lasky. Lasky, who died in 2002 at the age of 94, was a 50-year veteran of Brobeck when he started his own firm. He argued several cases before the U.S. Supreme Court, was Howard Hughes’ lawyer and served as co-counsel with former San Francisco Mayor Joseph Alioto for the Oakland Raiders. Lasky also worked as an attorney for Gordon Getty and J. Paul Getty. One of the other original name partners, John Munter, is now a San Francisco Superior Court judge. When Cohler, McCann & Bergmann started at Paul, Hastings on Thursday, they brought over all of their major clients. “We’ve been very busy working on matters at the Lasky firm and will still be working on the same matters. Our clients are delighted,” Cohler said. Cohler joins Paul, Hastings as of counsel. He earned his law degree in 1965 from Harvard Law School. McCann is also a graduate of Harvard Law School, earning his J.D. in 1985. He will also be joining Paul, Hastings as of counsel. Bergmann joins the firm as a senior associate. He earned his J.D. from University of Texas School of Law in 1994. “These attorneys are among the top business and antitrust litigators in San Francisco, and they provide a unique addition to our West Coast practices,” said John Reding, chair of the firm’s litigation department, in a press release.

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