Litigation boutique Pierce Bainbridge Beck Price & Hecht is growing again, bringing on Fish & Richardson’s Thomas Frongillo in Boston to co-chair its white-collar practice.
Frongillo’s addition comes on the heels of additional new hires in New York office and a move to a new office space in Los Angeles.
“Our level of talent is simply unmatched at this point. We have built a better mousetrap, pure and simple,” said Pierce Bainbridge managing partner John Pierce, a former K&L Gates and Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan partner who founded the firm in early 2017.
“Clients, lawyers and capital continues to flood to our platform, [and] as these folks all realize, it is a great time to still get in on the ground floor of what is now undeniably nothing less than a phenomenon,” added Pierce, who last year boasted that his firm was “the fastest-growing law firm in the history of the world.”
Frongillo, who began his career in the early 1980s at what was then Hale & Dorr, said that after reading several articles about Pierce Bainbridge’s expansion efforts, he reached out to Pierce directly via email to inquire about the firm.
“This is something that I’ve wanted to do my whole life, to be a trial lawyer,” said Frongillo, who spent a decade as an assistant U.S. attorney in Massachusetts, where he worked on several high-profile drug trafficking and homicide cases.
After serving as a prosecutor, Frongillo went on to head the Boston litigation group of Weil, Gotshal & Manges, where he co-chaired the firm’s white-collar and investigations practice. In 2009, he obtained the acquittal of a former W.R. Grace and Co. senior vice president in a three-month criminal trial that the Department of Justice characterized as the most significant criminal environmental prosecution in U.S. history. He joined Fish & Richardson in 2013.
“The idea of the type of preparation that’s required for success, the discipline, the ingenuity, strategy, having people with high intellect collaborating on the best approach—that’s been the way I’ve tried to practice law my whole career,” he said.
In his new role at Pierce Bainbridge, Frongillo said that he will co-head its new Boston office, which opened its doors in early January, and help lead its expansion efforts in the city’s booming legal market.
“We’re looking for the best of the best,” Frongillo said.
In addition to his practice, he will also work to develop and implement an extensive internal trial training program for the firm’s attorneys.
“If you’re going to groom your lawyers and hold yourself out as being the best, you train to be the best too,” said Frongillo, who led similar efforts at the U.S. attorney’s office.
Frongillo’s move follows the addition of Denver Edwards and Jeff Alexander as partners in Pierce Bainrbidge’s New York office, which first opened late last spring.
Edwards, a former senior counsel at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and the Department of Treasury, joins from Florham Park, New Jersey-based Bressler Amery & Ross, while Alexander joins from Kasowitz Benson Torres, where he was a senior associate.
Across the country in Los Angeles, where the firm was first founded as Pierce Sergenian in early 2017, Pierce Bainbridge is moving into a new space on the 44th of the Wells Fargo Center South Tower, a building that houses other law firms such as Reed Smith and Latham & Watkins, which occupies several lower floors.
“We are now literally and symbolically leagues above my former firm,” said Pierce, who spent nearly two years at Latham before decamping for K&L Gates.
“The traditional Am Law 100 firms simply cannot compete with us in the digital age,” Pierce said. “We litigate 10 times better, 10 times faster, and at a fraction of the cost. It is not a linear difference—it is exponential.”