The Atlanta-based Am Law 100 firm has bolstered its California bench by bringing on Steven Selna, who is leaving after 17 years at Drinker Biddle, where he served as regional partner in charge of the latter’s Bay Area base and vice chairman of its products liability and mass tort group.
“I saw this as a unique opportunity to get in on the ground floor,” Selna said about his decision to jump to Alston & Bird, which set up shop in San Francisco last year. “The firm has an outstanding reputation and it also offers a diverse set of practice areas and expertise.”
Selna once served as lead counsel in a Judicial Council of California coordinated proceeding involving more than 18,000 parties in Los Angeles Superior Court. He has also defended companies against actions brought by state attorneys’ general alleging consumer fraud, false advertising and violation of state unfair trade practice statutes, as well as breach of contract and trade secret claims, and product recalls, clinical trials and licensing disputes.
Selna, who made partner at Drinker Biddle in 2004, said he is looking forward to new opportunities for cross-selling his current clients. He is the latest in a steady stream of Golden State laterals landed by Alston & Bird since the 812-lawyer firm, which saw gross revenue and partner profits rise in 2017, set up shop in San Francisco a little more than a year ago.
In March, Alston & Bird picked up a four-lawyer DLA Piper commercial litigation team in Los Angeles that included partner Jeffrey Rosenfeld, who served as the global legal giant’s local managing partner, head of the office’s litigation practice and chairman of its lateral partner hiring program since the firm entered the city in 2001. Alston & Bird, for its part, has had a Los Angeles office since absorbing Weston Benshoof Rochefort Rubalcava & MacCuish in 2008.
Alston & Bird, which in January brought on a pair of environmental litigators in Los Angeles from Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, entered the Bay Area in early 2017 after recruiting seven more litigators from Reed Smith and Morrison & Foerster.
With its lateral addition from Drinker Biddle of Selna, Alston & Bird now has 88 lawyers in Los Angeles, 26 in Silicon Valley and 10 in San Francisco, according to the firm’s website.