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SONNENSCHEIN OPENS OFFICE IN PHOENIX Sonnenschein Nath & Rosenthal just opened its first office in Phoenix with a group of hospitality and real estate attorneys from Squire, Sanders & Dempsey. Richard Ross, who is leading the exodus from Squire, Sanders, said the group started Wednesday at Sonnenschein. Seven lawyers, including three partners, are joining the firm in Phoenix and three lawyers, including one partner, are headed for Sonnenschein’s Washington, D.C., office. “We have one of the largest hotel resources practices in the world,” Ross said. “We found a compelling need for additional resources to service our clients.” Ross will head Sonnenschein’s hospitality and leisure practice group, which also includes lawyers in L.A., Chicago and Washington, D.C. There will be about 20 attorneys in this practice group with the additions from Squire, Sanders. The group includes Phoenix partners Meghan Cocci, Mark Daliere and Washington, D.C., partner Michael Kosmas, as well as Phoenix of counsel Bruce Martin and Washington, D.C., of counsel Nina Eldred. It represents most of Squire’s U.S.-based hotel and leisure industry group attorneys. Unlike many lawyers in the hospitality business, Ross said he represents both hotel owners and operators and high net-worth individuals. He expected many of his clients to follow him to Sonnenschein, including Starwood Hotel and Resorts, Hilton Hotels, Fairmont Hotels and Resorts, Montage, Canyon Ranch ,Vail Resorts and Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants. “The hotel business is booming,” said Duane Quaini, chairman of Sonnenschein. “There is a great deal of activity in selling hotels and in building new facilities.” The firm has named Chicago partner Marlene Nations and Los Angeles partner J.A. Shafran as interim co-managers of the new Phoenix office. Though Cleveland-based Squire, Sanders merged last year with Miami’s Steel Hector & Davis to create an 800-plus-lawyer firm, Ross said the merger had little to do with his move. “Rick and Sonnenschein have been talking for a year or more,” said Robert Matia, who heads Squire, Sander’s Phoenix office. He adds that, “We practiced with Rick since 1989, and when you practice that long [together] it is always a loss you feel.” Matia said his firm intends on rebuilding its hospitality practice group. � Marie-Anne Hogarth PAYNE & FEARS ADDS SAN FRANCISCO OFFICE The labor, employment law and business litigation firm Payne & Fears opened a San Francisco office Thursday with a team of 10 lawyers from the Louderback Law Firm. Trial lawyer Charles “Chuck” Louderback, who joined Payne & Fears as an equity partner, will lead the office. Payne & Fears will not be changing its name. Payne & Fears Managing Partner James Payne said the firms are an ideal match, sharing similar practice areas and employee-focused cultures. Additionally, a Northern California presence makes it easier for the Irvine-based firm to service its clients here, which include Safeway Inc. and Bank of America. “We have a fair number of cases ongoing that we have been servicing from Southern California, so that was a driver [in the merger] as well,” Payne said. The move brings Payne & Fears’ total number of lawyers to 50, with 13 equity partners. The firm opened its Los Angeles office in 2003 and its Las Vegas office in 2004. With 11 attorneys and one office, Louderback said his firm was also limited in servicing out-of-state clients, or even those located outside the Bay Area. Joining forces with Payne & Fears will help cut down on litigators’ travel times and make the firm more available to the client, he said. “This is an excellent opportunity to better service our clients in Southern California [for example] with very high quality attorneys,” he added. � Petra Pasternak

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