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LOS ANGELES � Two O’Melveny & Myers lawyers jumped to other Los Angeles-based firms on Monday, both saying their moves were driven by their practice areas. Mitchell Menzer joined Paul, Hastings, Janofsky & Walker’s real estate department as a partner, and counsel Carlos Needham, an insurance litigator, joined Manatt, Phelps & Phillips as a partner. Menzer, who worked at O’Melveny for 20 years, turned to Paul, Hastings because it “has the broadest and deepest real estate practice of any major firm in the United States.” The firm has more than 170 attorneys in its real estate practice. “I was attracted by the fact they have a broad practice with tremendous expertise, basically in all of the practice areas,” Menzer said. He added he’s particularly interested in representing equity funds in land investments and representing developers who need land use help. In addition to broad-reaching expertise in the United States, Paul, Hastings’ international real estate forays were also enticing, in areas such as China, Japan and London. “It’s a tremendous opportunity at a time when real estate is becoming increasingly globalized,” he said. As for Needham, he said his decision to leave O’Melveny after 6 1/2 years was prompted by the future of his insurance practice, which wasn’t jibing well with the direction O’Melveny was heading. “They were steering away from the kind of insurance work I was interested in,” said Needham, who represents large companies in insurance coverage, product liability and commercial contract lawsuits. “They felt strategically they wanted to redeploy resources, which was not consistent with my career.” Meanwhile, Manatt is planning on beefing up that practice area, which is already 30 lawyers strong. Seth Aronson, O’Melveny’s managing partner in Los Angeles, said the firm is refocusing on larger, more complex insurance coverage matters.

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