A quintessential Silicon Valley boutique law firm is opening for business in Los Angeles.
Twenty-seven lawyer Durie Tangri announced Tuesday it has hired Michael Proctor from Boies Schiller Flexner. Formerly of Caldwell Leslie & Proctor, the white-collar and complex commercial litigator will join Durie partner Benjamin Au at an office in the Los Angeles arts district.
“The market in Los Angeles is super interesting for a whole bunch of different reasons,” firm co-founder Daralyn Durie said. A lot of tech companies are opening offices in the region—Durie Tangri ‘s new digs will be across the street from Spotify, for one example. Plus patent litigation is on the upswing in the Central District of California in the wake of the Supreme Court’s TC Heartland decision.
Durie recently litigated a case against Hueston Hennigan. It got her thinking about opportunities in the Southland for tech-savvy boutique firms that handle high-stakes trials. She and co-founder Clement Roberts plan to split their time between Northern and Southern California for the foreseeable future while looking to ramp up the L.A. office initially to 10 lawyers.
“I really want people to see us as a California firm,” Durie said.
Proctor was a natural fit because the two once practiced together as associates at Keker & Van Nest, the firm Durie Tangri spun off from in 2009. Proctor joined Caldwell Leslie & Proctor from the Federal Public Defender in 2002. Boies Schiller acquired Caldwell Leslie last year.
Durie said Proctor has a proven track record in white collar and complex civil litigation, including trade secrets. That will make him a good fit for the firm’s tech-oriented roster. “So many of the cases we see have trade secret components or hacking components,” she noted. Plus, Proctor is “one of the most naturally gifted people I know in the courtroom,” she said.
Durie Tangri made an L.A. hire in 2016 when it brought aboard Benjamin Au, who also was a Caldwell Leslie and Keker alum. Au has been practicing largely from the firm’s home base in San Francisco, but will now be helping Proctor lead the Los Angeles office.
Proctor’s bio indicates he has represented GE Capital in a $53 million securities fraud action, Gap. Inc. in a $6 million real estate dispute and has been appointed by the district court to act as an independent prosecutor in an under seal criminal investigation. He’s also conducted numerous investigations for Fortune 500 companies and advised corporate clients on governance and compliance.
Proctor said in a statement that rejoining Durie and co-founder Ragesh Tangri “is a homecoming for me. The opportunity to build a first class trial practice in Los Angeles, with my friend and colleague Ben Au, was a huge draw.”
Durie said there’s some irony in the firm’s hiring of a high-profile white collar attorney. “We grew up at Keker back in the days when people thought of it as a white collar firm,” she said, “so everything really does come full circle in the end.”