Pierce Bainbridge Beck Price & Hecht, a Los Angeles-based litigation boutique that in late March unveiled a new name and new office in New York, announced Monday that it has hired eight additional partners to build out its base in the Big Apple.
The firm, formed in early 2017 by two former Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan litigators, has brought on eight new partners, including Andrew Lorin, a former Drinker Biddle & Reath partner who most recently served as general counsel of New York’s Special Funds Conservation Committee, and a pair of former Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom litigation associates in Christopher LaVigne and Donald Lewis, the latter of which most recently served as senior counsel for corporate at WeWork Cos., while LaVigne served as an associate at New York’s Lankler Siffert & Wohl and legal counsel for Success Academy Charter Schools.
Other partners joining Pierce Bainbridge include ex-Mayer Brown commercial, intellectual property and trade secrets litigation partner Vanessa Biondo; former Covington & Burling senior litigation associate Douglas Curran; ex-Steptoe & Johnson patent and trade secrets litigation associate David Hecht; ex-Grais & Ellsworth counsel Michael Pomerantz; and former White & Case and Skarzynski Black litigation associate Jonathan Sorkowitz.
“There has really been a snowball effect,” said Hecht, who joined Pierce Bainbridge last month to co-manage the firm’s New York office along with Maxim Price, whom he had previously worked with at Quinn Emanuel and Jones Day.
Hecht said that his new firm now has nine partners in New York, where Pierce Bainbridge’s office has outgrown its West Coast base by three times.
“We found tremendous talent in New York,” Hecht said. “With New York, it just happened so quickly, where we found a bunch of really talented people, all of whom shared the similar vision of doing things more efficiently and less expensively than our Big Law counterparts.”
Hecht also serves as co-head of Pierce Bainbridge’s IP practice. Prior to working at the firm and spending nearly four years at Steptoe & Johnson, Hecht sandwiched a brief stint in 2014 as an in-house lawyer at Vringo Inc., a publicly traded company engaged in patent monetization that is now known as XpresSpa Group Inc., with previous associate roles at Quinn Emanuel and Jones Day, where Hecht and Price worked together from 2008 to 2010.
At Quinn Emanuel, where Hecht spent three years, he met Pierce Bainbridge founding partner John Pierce during his representation of Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. in its high-profile patent war with Apple Inc.
“David and I were at Quinn Emanuel together. Beyond his outstanding skills as a litigator, he has deep experience in management and growing businesses from the ground up,” said a statement from Pierce, who after working at Quinn Emanuel went on to become a partner at K&L Gates and Latham & Watkins. “David envisioned the New York office very soon after the firm launched. I’m thrilled to have David on board to help steer the ship.”
In addition to reuniting with his former colleagues, Hecht said Pierce Bainbridge’s lean startup approach was particularly appealing to him and other partners, many of whom are believers in increasing efficiency in the delivery of high-end legal services.
“The Big Law firms are really at this point dinosaurs in many ways,” Hecht said. By contrast, Pierce Bainbridge utilizes the latest tools and processes, added Hecht, who noted that the firm has adopted upstart communications platform Slack and an agile project management methodology to ensure efficiency.
As a boutique, Hecht argued that his firm has much lower overhead when it comes to office space, supplies, special events and client development and marketing costs when compared to larger firms, allowing Pierce Bainbridge to charge less for its services and offer flexible, alternative fee arrangements for clients. (Litigation finance, an emerging presence in Big Law, has also been used by Pierce Bainbridge, which last year struck a deal with Scottsdale, Arizona-based litigation financier Pravati Capital LLC.)
“It is not the prestige of having the fanciest office that matters,” Hecht said. “What matters is—can you win cases? Are clients getting good work product from you?”
Pierce Bainbridge’s additions this week also include two new of counsel in patent litigation Conor McDonough, a former associate at Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison, and Jialin “Chuck” Zhong, a former Lowenstein Sandler lawyer who comes aboard from his own solo patent firm in Berkeley Heights, New Jersey. Pierce Bainbridge also brought on three new associates in John Dillon IV from Brewer, Attorneys & Counselors; Bryant Lin from Paul Hastings; and Yi Wen Wu from Alston & Bird.
In total, the new hires bring Pierce Bainbridge’s head count to 20 lawyers: 13 partners, three of counsel and four associates.