Archer Norris, a roughly 70-lawyer firm with four offices throughout California, announced Friday that it will close its doors on Oct. 15.
In an announcement, Archer Norris said its shareholders have voted to dissolve the firm on Thursday, concluding that “it did not make economic sense” to keep operating under its current structure.
Archer Norris was created in 2000 through a merger between two legacy Bay Area firms: Richmond, California-based Norris & Norris, founded in 1949, and Walnut Creek, California-based Archer, McComas, Breslin, McMahon & Chritton, founded in 1981. Archer Norris currently has four Golden State offices located in Walnut Creek, San Francisco, Newport Beach and Los Angeles.
Financially, the firm has not been as successful during the last few years as it once was, said Archer Norris managing partner Douglas Straus, who took over leadership of the firm last year from the retiring Eugene Blackard Jr., now of counsel at Archer Norris. That led to the shareholders’ decision to close the firm, he said.
“We are confident that the firm’s lawyers and staff will find new homes—it is a robust economy and we are already hearing express of interests for many of the folks that work here,” Straus said.
Archer Norris will continue to operate as a full-service firm to assist its clients, lawyers and staff through the transition period, Straus said. As of now, he wasn’t aware as to whether some of the firm’s lawyers have already found new homes.
According to data compiled by ALM Legal Intelligence, Archer Norris has lost 10 partners since January 2017. Among that group, four have joined Mokri Vanis & Jones, while others have moved separately to Buchalter, Gordon & Rees Scully Mansukhani, Hinshaw & Culbertson and Houston-based Cokinos Young.
Partner Sean Senn, who left the firm earlier this year, has started his own boutique and a consulting firm called AIX Accelerator that focuses on intellectual property matters. Senn also brought with him a senior associate and an administrative staffer from Archer Norris.
“We are a full-service law firm, and we will continue to do that for another 60 days,” Straus said. “During that time we’ll continue to provide excellent service to our clients, and we will continue to support our lawyers and staff as they find new homes.”
Archer Norris, which focused on complex litigation and transactional work, also sought to grow its presence in the legal cannnabis space. The firm created a blog to discuss issues specifically centered on the marijuana business. In March, Archer Norris filed a second suit on behalf of growers in Calaveras County challenging a board of supervisors’ cannabis ban.