Steptoe & Johnson has hired a first-chair trial lawyer from Boies Schiller Flexner to co-lead its Los Angeles office.
Robyn Crowther joined Steptoe & Johnson last week to serve as its Los Angeles office’s co-managing partner. She is the third partner to have left Boies Schiller this year, after Travis LeBlanc, who joined Cooley to help build out its East Coast litigation practice, and IP partner Michael Jay, who joined DLA Piper’s Century City office.
With Crowther’s arrival, Steptoe & Johnson now has women at the helm of five of the firm’s nine offices, including both offices in California, the firm said in an announcement.
“I was intrigued by the opportunity to be part of Steptoe & Johnson’s strategic planning in California, teaming up with their non-litigation groups,” said Crowther, adding that she looks forward to working with lawyers in Steptoe & Johnson’s criminal defense and investigations practice and its international trade, compliance and investment practice.
As a trial lawyer, Crowther primarily focuses on complex commercial disputes, specifically trade secret matters and copyright enforcement. She also handles employment matters and intellectual property litigation.
“Steptoe’s top-notch litigation and regulatory practices will allow me to expand relationships with my clients in Los Angeles and to work with my colleagues firmwide and particularly in San Francisco to increase the firm’s profile in California,” she added.
Crowther spent the majority of her career at litigation boutique Caldwell Leslie & Proctor, which was acquired by Boies Schiller in 2017.
During her time at the Los Angeles-based boutique, Crowther represented Los Angeles artist Shepard Fairey’s clothing company in its controversial battle with the Associated Press over the “Hope” poster created in connection with Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign. (The two parties settled the case in March 2011). She also won summary judgment for the former owners of Nylon magazine, against claims that they had wrongfully sold assets to a third party, Steptoe’s announcement said.
“Robyn brings considerable experience as a first-chair trial lawyer and in firm management,” said Steptoe Chair Phil West in a statement. “Her arrival strengthens our presence on the West Coast and adds depth to the litigation capabilities we have in our Los Angeles office.”
Washington, D.C.-based Steptoe & Johnson, which opened its first California outpost in 1997, has also been in the Los Angeles market for over 20 years. The firm’s San Francisco office officially opened in July 2017 after relocating attorneys from Palo Alto, where it opened an office 2014.
According to data provided by the firm, Steptoe & Johnson has 18 attorneys based in Los Angeles and 15 in San Francisco. The San Francisco office grew considerably last January when the firm added a seven-lawyer litigation group led by Stephanie Sheridan, who serves as that office’s managing partner.
Crowther, who was named one of the Most Influential Women Attorneys by the Los Angeles Business Journal, said she was “impressed by the number of women who hold leadership positions at Steptoe and the firm’s intentional efforts to increase diversity at all levels.”
In an emailed statement on Crowther’s departure, Boies Schiller Flexner partner Chris Caldwell said, “Robyn has been a friend and colleague for 20 years. We wish her all the best.”