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Los Angeles litigator Michael Heumann will take the helm at Nossaman Guthner Knox & Elliott after the abrupt departure of the firm’s managing partner, Scott DeVries, late last month. The firm also announced the appointment of Marcia Wasserman, who has joined the L.A. office as the firm’s first chief operating officer. Heumann, whose practice focuses on business and real estate litigation, said his No. 1 priority will be to foster collegiality at the firm and support growth in its core areas, which include a robust infrastructure practice that has fueled growth nationwide. Heumann said he plans to travel regularly between the firm’s seven offices. “The first priority of my time and attention will be firm management,” he said. “I intend to be accessible in every way that I should be. … I think it’s very important for a managing partner at this firm to actually engage in practice group meetings in other offices and be available informally to talk to people.” DeVries sent a surprise e-mail to his colleagues at Nossaman announcing his departure Jan. 31. He joined the growing San Francisco office of Winston & Strawn. Heumann’s prior management experience includes a post at the Santa Monica Rent Control Board as general counsel in the early 1980s, as well as serving on Nossaman’s compensation committee. He is currently co-chair of the firm’s financial services practice group. Heumann earned his J.D. from Boalt Hall School of Law in 1975 and joined Nossaman in 1991. Wasserman joins Nossaman from Comprehensive Management Solutions Inc., where she was president.

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