Alex Romain, Irell & Manella.

Veteran trial lawyer Alex Romain has made the jump from a California litigation boutique to the larger firm it spun off from, joining Irell & Manella from Hueston Hennigan.

Romain joined Irell’s Los Angeles office Monday as a partner in the litigation practice group, after just a few years at Hueston Hennigan, which was formed four years ago by a pair of Irell & Manella alumni. Before he moved to Southern California to join Hueston Hennigan in 2016, Romain spent 17 years in the Washington, D.C., office of Williams & Connolly, where he was a partner.

Romain said he chose to join Irell “because it is a world class law firm. I respect the lawyers, I respect the work it does, and I also respect its reputation.”

He brings to the firm 20 years of experience in complex civil and commercial litigation and white-collar criminal defense. He has had leading roles in several high-profile civil and criminal cases, including the successful defense of the late Sen. Ted Stevens.

According to Romain’s LinkedIn profile, he represented the Baltimore Ravens in connection with an investigation into the National Football League’s handling of domestic violence allegations against player Ray Rice, which was conducted by then-FBI Director Robert Mueller.

He also defended Willis Towers Watson in a malpractice lawsuit brought by the City of Houston, with his client settling for less than 5 percent of the city’s initial $830 million demand. And he represented former Fannie Mae CEO Franklin Raines against securities fraud claims, winning summary judgment on all counts.

“I bring my experience in Washington to bear in many of my matters. And that experience benefits clients in California as well as throughout the country,” Romain said.

In addition to his legal practice, Romain is also a classically trained pianist. As a musician, he said he has been enjoying living in the Los Angeles community over the past few years.

“Alex has demonstrated himself to be an extraordinarily gifted trial lawyer with the capacity to handle the largest and most complex disputes,” David Gindler, Irell’s new managing partner as of this month, said in a statement Monday. “He’s a great fit to expand our already leading litigation practice, and his diverse skill set and background perfectly complement several other practice areas.”

Irell recently lost Robert Schwartz, a prominent entertainment litigator in Los Angeles, to Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan. And earlier this week, it saw entertainment finance partner Paul Swanson decamp for Loeb & Loeb.

The Los Angeles-based firm said it has 80 attorneys in its litigation practice.

In a statement responding to Romain’s departure, Hueston Hennigan’s managing partner Brian Hennigan said: “We enjoyed working with Alex for two years. He remains a friend and we wish him well on his new venture.”

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