For the attorneys at Los Angeles-based Rutter Hobbs & Davidoff, experience matters. That’s because the 30 lawyers at the firm have to know they can count on their colleagues to pick up the slack, especially given a client list that includes big-name companies such as Fiji Water.

Rutter Hobbs seeks out top-tier attorneys who graduated from top 20 law schools and have Big Law experience. Partner Andrew Apfelberg said the hiring practice attracts attorneys who “perform at a very high level,” which in turn enables the firm to attract large-company clients. (The firm also does litigation work for Enterprise Rent-A-Car, The Home Depot Inc. and MassMutual Financial Group.)

“You’re never concerned to hand off part of the deal to someone else,” Apfelberg said. “Everyone has the same skill set. It’s seamless.”

In July, the firm represented frozen-food supplier Contessa Premium Foods in its $51 million sale to Sun Capital Partners Inc. Contessa had filed for bankruptcy protection in January.

In 2010, the firm helped in the sale of the California locations of Asian restaurant Pick Up Stix to Chinese-American food chain Leeann Chin. Also in 2010, the firm assisted in the sale of OPI, one of the largest nail polish manufacturers, to cosmetics company Coty Inc.

In 2004, the firm handled the acquisition of Fiji Water by Roll International — now Roll Global. The exact financial details of the transaction were not made public, but the deal was speculated to be worth more than $1 billion.

Joel Weinstein, a partner, said the firm also represents a handful of companies on Inc.‘s list of America’s 5,000 fastest-growing companies.

“While they’re smaller companies now, they are better at what they’re doing,” Weinstein said. “We are very pleased to be part of that process as we help guide these companies on their day-to-day operations.”

One of those companies is Smarsh, a Portland, Ore., company that offers a secure e-mail archiving service for investment advisers, banks and hedge funds. The firm assisted Smarsh in the acquisition of CentraScan LLC and Financial Visions Inc., two e-mail hosting services.

Matthew Huisman can be contacted at