Los Angeles Los Angeles

Atlanta-based Constangy, Brooks, Smith & Prophete has further expanded its California footprint by adding seven lawyers and opening an office in Orange County.

Constangy’s chairman, Neil Wasser, called the state an important market for the national labor and employment firm.

“California is a bellwether for some of the most complex employment issues that are emerging in the gig economy, and we’re excited to increase our already strong presence with this outstanding group of new attorneys and expand our reach in this critical market,” Wasser said in a statement.

The additions give Constangy almost 200 lawyers, with more than 30 in California.

Constangy has made an aggressive growth push in California in the last few years, opening offices in Century City in 2016 and then San Francisco last year, after entering the market a decade ago through an affiliation with a Los Angeles-area boutique.

Ken Sulzer, who heads Constangy’s California practice, said in a statement that its lawyers there “mirror the diversity of California’s workplaces.” Sulzer, who specializes in class-action defense, opened the Century City office two years ago, joining from Proskauer Rose, where he co-headed the California employment law group.

“We’re quickly becoming a destination firm in California for top-credentialed, top-quality, diverse legal talent,” Sulzer said, adding that, in the state, “the majority of our partners and two-thirds of our lawyers are women, and a third of our partners and nearly half of our lawyers are minorities—far exceeding state and national averages.”

Constangy landed partner Carolyn Sieve from another national labor and employment firm, Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart, to start the Orange County office. Sieve is a founding member and treasurer of the Filipino-American Lawyers of Orange County, and she’s served on the board of governors for the Women Lawyers Association of Los Angeles and the Philippine American Bar Association.

In San Francisco, Constangy added Sarah Robertson as a partner from Oakland-based Donahue Fitzgerald, where she’d chaired the employment law practice, and Christin Lawler as an associate from California labor and employment firm Hirschfeld Kraemer. Robertson is on the executive committee of the Alameda County Bar Association’s labor and employment law section and an adjunct professor at Tulane University Law School, where she teaches an online class she designed on employee medical leaves of absence.

The firm opened the San Francisco office in January 2017 with partner L. Julius Turman and senior counsel Philip Smith, employment litigators from Reed Smith.

Another four lawyers joined Constangy’s Los Angeles office in Century City, giving it 26 lawyers, according to the firm’s website: Sayaka Karitani as senior counsel from Hirschfeld Kraemer, Jonathan Stein, also as senior counsel, from his own firm, and Thy Bui as senior counsel and Lisa Yumi Mitchell as an associate from California business litigation firm LTL Attorneys.

Constangy has consolidated its Los Angeles-area lawyers in larger digs at 2029 Century Park East.