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After 16 years running his own real estate boutique, focusing on rent control and eviction control and related landlord-tenant matters, Jeffery Woo and his five attorneys are joining Sedgwick, Detert, Moran & Arnold. Effective Monday, Woo joins as special counsel and David Blumenfeld, Harrison Nam, Scott Okamoto, Stanley Riddell and Stephen Sherman join as associates. They will be integrated into Sedgwick’s commercial practices division and real estate litigation group. Woo said he wanted to expand his practice outside San Francisco to include the East Bay and Southern California. In Los Angeles, for example, he said a movement to allow condo conversions could mean fertile ground for his practice. He added that he’s had to pass larger litigation and transactional work that came in from his clients to other law firms. “It would be impossible for a firm my size with just one shareholder to expand,” Woo said. “And even if I could, I could never do it as well as a firm like Sedgwick.” Real estate chief Steven Roland said the larger plan is to create a full-service real estate practice. Traditionally a litigation firm, Sedgwick added a transactional practice “seven or eight years ago” with the additions of Gary Sheppard and Martin Fleisher. Until now, Roland said, Sedgwick’s real estate roster has included Fortune 100 and Fortune 500 clients and moreregional developers, property managers, lessees, buyers and sellers. “Woo brings the residential landlord side,” Roland said. “His clients are more local.” Woo’s group brings the total number of real estate and construction lawyers to 26 in San Francisco. Roland said that Woo’s billing rates are compatible with Sedgwick and would remain unchanged. Sedgwick real estate partners charge between $350 and $495 per hour, Roland added. Special counsel’s rates range between $300 and $350. Roland said the 390-lawyer firm hopes to beef up the transactional side of real estate with additions of partners and special counsel.

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