Schiff Hardin has recruited Mauricio Beugelmans as a partner in the firm’s litigation group in San Francisco.
Beugelmans, who officially started working Monday at Schiff Hardin, was previously at his own law firm, Beugelmans LLP, where he has advised clients in securities and commercial litigation, arbitration proceedings and regulatory matters.
Following the departure of its namesake and two other partners who have started their own firms in Chicago and New York, Beugelmans’ boutique no longer exists, he said.
“As we progress through the bull market, which may or may not be coming to an end, security disputes related to market performance have been down but, at the same time, regulatory scrutiny and compliance issues for financial services clients have increased,” Beugelmans said. “Schiff Hardin provides the ideal platform and team for me to continue to assist clients in navigating this environment.”
Beugelmans, pictured right, said he was particularly attracted to Schiff Hardin’s national platform.
“We think the synergy works well,” said Antony Burt, the Chicago-based co-leader of Schiff Hardin’s litigation group. “We have a national practice, and he needs a national platform for his clients.”
Prior to starting his own firm in 2009, Beugelmans was a former executive director at Morgan Stanley & Co., where he served as counsel on securities litigation and compliance matters at the financial services giant.
Burt noted that because Beugelmans has spent a good portion of his legal career in-house, “he has a good feel about what is needed in that area.”
Schiff Hardin opened its San Francisco office in 2007 after absorbing local litigation firm Morgenstein & Jubelirer. The 282-lawyer firm, which has shrunk in size over the past two years as a result of the departure of some large groups of partners, has about 150 litigators representing clients throughout the country. Schiff Hardin’s San Francisco office has also shrank from 32 lawyers in 2013 to 19 last year, according to data compiled by ALM Intelligence.
Burt said that Schiff Hardin currently has about 18 lawyers in San Francisco—he attributed the decline in head count to a number of lawyers leaving the office to start their own firm in 2016—and noted that Beugelmans is the fifth addition to its West Coast outpost in the last six months.
As national clients demand more services in the Bay Area, Burt said the firm’s San Francisco office expects to grow its services in areas such as class actions, consumer litigation, financial service litigation and products liability.
Schiff Hardin, which recently saw litigation partners Amy Rubenstein and John Scholnick leave its home office in Chicago for DLA Piper, last year recruited Sidley Austin trusts and estates partner Susan Bart and Stetler, Duffy & Rotert white-collar litigation partner William Ziegelmueller to join its Windy City headquarters.
As for Beugelmans’ former outfit, as of last September, it was comprised of Beugelmans, managing partner Douglas Hyman and associate Morgan Johnson in Chicago, partners Daren Luna and Kenneth Murray in New York, and partner David Nemecek Jr. and of counsel Karl Cole-Frieman in San Francisco. Hyman, himself a former in-house lawyer at Morgan Stanley, has reopened DWH Legal, a firm he founded before joining Beugelmans in 2015. Morgan Johnson has joined DWH Legal as an associate.
Cole-Frieman is now a name partner at boutique Cole-Frieman & Mallon, which has offices in the Bay Area and the Big Apple, while Nemecek has become a founder and CEO of The Fortress Law Firm in San Francisco. Murray was recently hired as vice president of business development at electronic discovery company vdiscovery.