As California’s legal market continues to enjoy revenue and demand growth in 2018, fueled by the fast-growing tech sector in the Bay Area and a rebound in the Los Angeles market, the Golden State has welcomed a number of new players seeking to ride the economic wave.
Here is a short list of some of the new offices in both Northern and Southern California.
New York-based Willkie Farr & Gallagher lured away a pair of corporate partners from Paul Hastings in Palo Alto to launch its first West Coast office. The new office is led by corporate partners Tiffany Lee and Matthew Berge, which will also be staffed with Willkie attorneys relocating from New York.
East Coast-based Antitrust and IP boutique Axinn, Veltrop & Harkrider also branched out to the West Coast, opening a San Francisco office to be closer to technology clients. Antitrust partner Daniel Bitton and IP partner Jason Murata relocated from New York and Connecticut, respectively, to lead the new Bay Area office.
After establishing its presence on the West Coast for more than a century, Loeb & Loeb finally opened an office in San Francisco after hiring a group of six trusts and estates lawyers from Cooley. The group, led by partners Audrey Scott, Myron Sugarman and Nicole Webb, also includes associates Alison Sundberg, Jessica Mills and Elizabeth Mak. The team focuses on estate planning and wealth management for high-net-worth individuals and families.
Detroit-based Dickinson Wright opened a new office in Silicon Valley after taking over the local office of Downey Brand, a move that will bring on four intellectual property lawyers and two senior patent agents.
Birmingham, Alabama-based Maynard Cooper & Gale, which has been busy growing in Northern California in recent years, absorbed a Los Angeles-based litigation boutique to expand its operations in the Golden State. Judy Lam and Duane Kumagai, formerly partners at the Kumagai Law Group, co-lead the new Maynard Cooper Los Angeles office, which is in Century City at 1901 Avenue of the Stars.
Nearly 25 years after leaving Los Angeles, Baker McKenzie returned to the market as part of a move to hire five lawyers from Hogan Lovells in California.
Commercial litigators Mark Goodman and Ethan Miller work out of Baker McKenzie’s Northern California offices in San Francisco and Palo Alto, while Hogan Lovells’ former local head of employment Robin Samuel, litigator Barry Thompson and counsel Joe Ward founded Baker McKenzie’s new Los Angeles office.
Florida-based Greenspoon Marder has continued its West Coast expansion with the opening of its third office in California. The fast-growing Am Law 200 firm added four lawyers from entertainment boutique Eisner Jaffe, as well as a former California judge and ex-solo practitioner.
Longtime Los Angeles legal mainstay Paul Hastings also launched its second Los Angeles office in Century City. In addition to the four high-profile entertainment lawyers the firm brought aboard from Loeb & Loeb, Paul Hastings has also picked up partner Erik Hyman and five more lawyers from the firm to join its newly established entertainment and media practice.
The California firm that closed in 2018
Archer Norris, a roughly 70-lawyer firm with four offices throughout California, filed for Chapter 11 protection in San Francisco on Aug. 22. Several of the firm’s former partners, including its former leader, found new homes after officially ceasing to provide client services.
Douglas Straus, a commercial litigator who became managing partner of Archer Norris last year, joined the Bay Area office of Los Angeles-based Buchalter as a partner.