A pair of large law firms with Midwest roots have bolstered their outposts in Los Angeles.

Barnes & Thornburg, an Indianapolis-based Am Law 100 firm, announced Tuesday its hire of Raines Feldman corporate partner Ryan Barncastle. The move came a week after Lathrop Gage, a Kansas City, Missouri-based Am Law 200 firm that a year ago saw a six-lawyer team jump to Raines Feldman in Los Angeles, land two intellectual property partners in the city, which has been a hotbed this year for lateral partner hiring.

“As my clients continue to grow, operate their business and do transactions in other areas of the U.S., [it helps to be] part of a larger firm with resources throughout the country,” said Barncastle, whose advises clients in the consumer product, entertainment, family office, hospitality, real estate and technology sectors.

Prior to joining Barnes & Thornburg, Barncastle spent four-and-a-half years as a partner at Raines Feldman, a Century City, California-based business law firm, where he represented a range of institutional, family office and private clients in corporate, finance and real estate transactions.

Ryan Barncastle

Barncastle began his career as an associate at McNamara, Ney, Beatty, Slattery, Borges & Ambacher. After nearly three years at the Bay Area-based insurance defense firm, he left in 2008 to become an associate at Southern California-based boutique Stuart Moore Staub. Barncastle made partner at the firm in 2011 and joined Raines Feldman three years later.

“Ryan has an impressive track record representing clients ranging from startups to fast-growing and mid-market companies to mature global enterprises, all of which operate in hyper-competitive industries,” said a statement from David Gotlieb, chair of Barnes & Thornburg’s corporate department. “Moreover, his cross-section of experience in the finance, real estate and corporate realms enables him to provide clients with unique insights on how to successfully grow and scale their businesses.”

With Barncastle’s arrival in Los Angeles, where Barnes & Thornburg opened an office in 2011, the firm now has 55 lawyers in Southern California. Earlier this year, Barnes & Thornburg set up shop in San Diego after hiring a team of lawyers from Cooley.

“For me, the opportunity to join Barnes & Thornburg was an opportunity to leverage the firm’s improving platform for the betterment of my clients,” said Barncastle about his decision to join a 529-lawyer firm that saw gross revenue and partner profits rise in 2017.

Andrew Choung

As for Lathrop Gage, a firm that this summer closed a small office in Springfield, Missouri, it recently welcomed aboard former Glaser Weil Fink Howard Avchen & Shapiro partners Andrew Choung and Erica Van Loon in Los Angeles.

Both lawyers said they were lured to Lathrop Gage by the firm’s national platform. In June, Lathrop Gage bolstered its Los Angeles office—one that opened in 2009 following a merger—by bolting on a four-lawyer boutique in Pasadena, California. That move came after the firm moved to rebuild an outpost decimated by partner departures by picking up former Proskauer Rose insurance recovery and counseling practice co-head Nancy Sher Cohen.

“I don’t view this as a move to a ‘Kansas City-based’ firm,” said Choung, a former head of Glaser Weil’s patent and technology practice. “Instead, I view this move as one to a firm with a deep and diverse IP platform that spans across key cities and venues, with Los Angeles being one of them. And the commitment to build a Los Angeles office with a robust IP litigation practice was very appealing.”

Choung is joined at Lathrop Gage by Van Loon, a former head of Glaser Weil’s copyright, trademark and media practice and the daughter of the firm’s recently retired IP practice head Adrian Pruetz, as noted last week by The Recorder.

Erica Van Loon

“This firm has a much larger platform, it is a national firm and has offices all over the country, which is great for me because I have a federal-based practice,” said Van Loon, who noted she was drawn to Lathrop Gage’s established IP practice and the fact that it is more open to alternative fee arrangements.

“We continue to grow the L.A. office with high-caliber attorneys like Andrew and Erica, who share our firm’s dedication to providing exceptional legal services and value to our clients,” said a statement from Cohen, partner-in-charge of Lathrop Gage’s Los Angeles office. “The addition of their IP expertise also continues the diversification of practices in [Los Angeles], where we have developed a group of exceptionally talented litigators that can service needs in a number of practice areas.”

Van Loon joined Glaser Weil in 2011 after it absorbed the Pruetz Law Group, an El Segundo, California-based boutique she founded with her mother in 2007. Choung came to Glaser Weil the following year from the Echelon Law Group, a patent litigation boutique he founded in 2009. Choung’s practice focuses on complex patent litigation and strategic counseling, while Van Loon specializes in copyright, trademark, trade secret and patent litigation.

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