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LOS ANGELES � Out of the rubble of the latest failed merger in Los Angeles, one lawyer has emerged: Marc Dreier, whose New York firm has ambitious West Coast plans to hire more than 30 lawyers from Santa Monica-based Alschuler Grossman Stein & Kahan, including name partners Stanton “Larry” Stein and Robert Kahan. And he’s not stopping there. Dreier, founder and managing partner of New York-based Dreier, said he wants to build a 100-lawyer affiliate firm in Los Angeles. The move would double the size of his 10-year-old firm, which he built through a collection of independent affiliate firms and recent hires, such as last month’s arrival of four partners from Milberg Weiss Bershad & Schulman. “My plan is to have a bicoastal practice in New York and Los Angeles,” Dreier said. The former head of the litigation department in the New York office of Houston’s Fulbright & Jaworski started his firm to address complaints from lawyers at branch offices that their firms alienated them, failed to promote them and paid them diluted profits. At Dreier, partners are given bonuses tied to the fees that they generate, he said. Some of the firm’s lawyers work for separate legal entities, called affiliates, that share resources but remain independently marketed and managed. “They are trying to be innovative,” said Lawrence Mullman, managing director and co-lead of the partner practice group in New York for legal search firm Major, Lindsey & Africa. “It seems to be more like a business than a law firm.” On Sept. 1, all eight lawyers of New York bankruptcy boutique Traub, Bonacquist & Fox joined Dreier’s New York office. That same month, four former partners joined from Milberg Weiss, the New York-based plaintiffs’ firm specializing in securities class actions that was indicted in May on money laundering and conspiracy charges. Lee Weiss, one of the Milberg Weiss partners, said he and the other partners founded Dreier’s class action litigation department. “Rather than go to another existing plaintiffs’ firm, we were looking for an opportunity,” he said. Dreier’s affiliate law firms are Schles�inger Gannon & Lazetera, a trusts and estates group; Pitta & Dreier, in labor and employment; and Pitta, Bishop, Del Giorno & Dreier, a consulting and government relations firm. Other practice areas include entertainment, corporate, commercial litigation, intellectual property and real estate. Last year, the firm opened an additional office in Stamford, Conn., which now has 10 lawyers. The firm also has a small �office in Albany, N.Y. Stein, Kahan and the others at Alschu�ler began looking to Dreier after merger discussions failed last month between their firm and Palo Alto-based Cooley Godward, now Cooley Godward Kronish. Stein said Dreier’s firm fits better with his practice, which includes entertainers Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen. Amanda Bronstad is a reporter with The National Law Journal, a Recorder affiliate based in New York City.

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