Cozen O’Connor has added the former San Diego office managing partner of Jackson Lewis to its growing labor and employment practice.

Craig Schloss, Cozen O’Connor’s newest partner, specializes in employment and trade secret litigation and represents management before the National Labor Relations Board. His addition comes shortly after Cozen O’Connor added 10 lawyers from Santa Monica firm Gilchrist & Rutter, and in the midst of numerous additions to its labor and employment practice.

Before joining Jackson Lewis in 2012, Schloss was also the office managing partner in Morrison & Foerster’s San Diego office. He said Cozen O’Connor actively recruited him to grow the employment practice in California.

“Cozen’s got a lot of momentum in building their employment law practice,” Schloss said.

While he wasn’t actively seeking to move his practice, he said, Cozen O’Connor’s growth strategy got his attention.

According to the firm, its labor and employment practice has more than doubled in size since 2015, reaching 70 lawyers, including recent additions in Denver, Pittsburgh and Washington, D.C., as well as 22 lawyers from Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney’s labor and employment practice who made the move to Cozen O’Connor in the spring.

“The big firms … they’re all really shedding a lot of their employment law practice,” he said. And “a lot of national and regional labor and employment law boutiques … have good aspects to them but I believe a firm like Cozen is a higher quality firm overall.”

Schloss said Cozen O’Connor offers a midmarket niche to labor and employment clients who want full-service capabilities and are willing to pay more than they would at a boutique, but don’t want to dish out the highest rates in the market.

Just a few of the firm’s 70 labor and employment lawyers are located in California. But it’s an important place for any firm that wants to be truly national, Schloss said. Since he has a history of managing and growing law offices, he said he is looking forward to helping with that effort at his new firm.

“He is very experienced in employment and trade secret litigation and is well known in the San Diego legal community and beyond,” said Joe Tilson, co-chair of the labor and employment department. “A lawyer of Craig’s caliber is a key addition to our San Diego office and furthers the firm’s goal of expanding its California presence as well as continuing to grow our national labor and employment practice.”

A spokeswoman for Jackson Lewis did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Lizzy McLellan writes about the Pennsylvania legal community and the business of law at firms of all sizes. Contact her at lmclellan@alm.com. On Twitter: @LizzyMcLellTLI