Litigation boutique Pierce Bainbridge Beck Price & Hecht has added two more partners to its ranks on the East Coast, including one who will spearhead a new office in the nation’s capital.
Joan Meyer, who was practice chairwoman of Baker McKenzie’s compliance and investigations group, is joining the firm in Washington, D.C. Ropes & Gray commercial litigator and counsel Michael Winograd is joining in New York.
Their hires bring the firm’s total number of partners to 31.
“Pierce Bainbridge, to me, offered something completely different in the legal industry,” said Meyer, who also served as the litigation chairwoman of Baker McKenzie’s D.C. office. “They’re thinking out of the box in a way that I think a lot of law firms aren’t.”
Meyer handles domestic and cross-border white-collar defense work for companies facing corruption, government contracting, financial fraud and securities and commodities allegations, among other matters.
She joined Baker McKenzie after over two decades in public service, including nearly two years in the U.S. Department of Justice as senior counsel to the deputy attorney general.
Her move to Pierce Bainbridge comes ahead of plans by the boutique to open up a fully staffed office in Washington, Meyer said.
Founded in 2017 by former K&L Gates and Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan partner John Pierce, Pierce Bainbridge has expanded rapidly—and undergone several iterations—in its short lifetime.
The Los Angeles-based firm first opened its offices late last March with the additions of solo practitioner James Bainbridge and several other lawyers.
Since then it has added several Big Law partners in New York, including former Davis, Polk & Wardwell partner Patrick Bradford, Baker & Hostetler’s New York class action practice leader Deborah Renner, and her colleague Thomas Warren, who led the Cleveland, Ohio-based national appellate practice.
The firm also opened up a new Boston office earlier this year, and recently added Fish & Richardson’s Thomas Frongillo there as co-chairman of its white-collar practice.
“It was less a matter of why did I make the jump and more of how could I not,” said Winograd, who began his legal career as an associate at Sullivan & Cromwell in 2000.
Winograd later practiced at Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz and Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati before joining Ropes & Gray’s business and securities litigation group in 2012.
Pierce Bainbridge boasts a disproportionate share of high-caliber litigators, most with Big Law pedigrees, said Winograd, who was one of seven candidates to toss their hat in the ring last fall to become the next president of the U.S. Soccer Federation.
“It’s an exciting place, sort of like all of the best things of those firms without all the stuff that’s probably less desirable,” he added, noting low overhead costs and pricing flexibility, among other benefits.
“Many clients are tired of the lack of cost-effectiveness at a firm, and maybe the lack of energy in servicing their accounts, and Pierce Bainbridge is a completely different option for that kind of client,” Meyer said.
“It’s really what clients want to see happening at the law firms that service them,” she added. “I have every expectation that Pierce Bainbridge is going to continue to grow.”