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Heller Ehrman announced Thursday that former chairman Barry Levin will take over as managing partner of the San Francisco office, the largest of the firm’s 14 worldwide offices. Levin’s new job will begin Jan. 1. He will be replacing Jonathan Hayden, who has been in the role since 2003. Hayden will return to trial work and complex class action litigation. Levin served as firmwide chairman from 1999 to 2005. He says the post of managing shareholder will be slightly different than in years past. “It’s in part an effort — because I am more senior than some of the people who have had these jobs in the past — to change the job a little to let our administrative staff focus more on the administrative parts of the job,” he said. “I’m going to focus my attention more on people and on business and practice development.” Levin, who joined the firm as an associate in 1979, hopes to practice just as much as he has since returning to his practice area — complex litigation, with a focus on insurance matters. “Hopefully this will not be a big time drain,” he said.

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