Complex civil litigator Lisa Gilford is taking her practice from Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom to Sidley Austin, joining the latter firm’s Los Angeles office as a partner in its global litigation group.
Gilford, who joined Sidley Austin Monday, focuses her practice on class actions, multidistrict litigation, products liability matters and large-scale commercial disputes.
“I have had the great fortune to work with a number of Sidley’s lawyers over the years, in the joint defense relationship. I was always very impressed with the quality of the lawyers here and that great client service that Sidley delivered,” Gilford said. “It seems like a perfect home for my practice.”
Gilford has been practicing as a litigator in Los Angeles since 1995. Before her move to Skadden in 2013, she was at Alston & Bird, where she served as co-chairwoman of the firm’s product liability group. Before that, Gilford was with Weston Benshoof Rochefort Rubalcava & MacCuish, an 80-lawyer Los Angeles law firm that was acquired by Alston & Bird in 2008.
“Although I am housed in Los Angeles … a lot of my cases and a lot of clients are in other areas of the country and in the world,” said Gilford, noting that she was particularly attracted to Sidley’s global platform.
Throughout her career, Gilford has represented clients in such industries as automotive, pharmaceutical, communications, oil and gas, aerospace and chemical manufacturing, sports and higher education. She served as lead defense counsel for Toyota in a range of class action and product liability suits against the carmaker over the alleged “unintended acceleration” of some of its vehicles.
“Lisa is an exceptional first-chair trial lawyer who complements the capabilities of our talented trial team in Greater Los Angeles and globally,” Dan Clivner, managing partner of Sidley’s Greater Los Angeles offices, said in a statement. “We have seen Lisa in action and are very pleased to call her a Sidley lawyer.”
Sidley, which opened its second Los Angeles office in Century City in 2015, also recently hired Kenneth Baronsky, who served as Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy’s managing partner in Los Angeles for more than 10 years, to bolster corporate practice. But Sidley also watched California partner Moshe Kupietzky, its former head of the firm’s Los Angeles corporate and finance practice, decamp for Reed Smith last summer.
Gilford worked with Divya Bala and Sabina Lippman of global legal recruitment firm Lippman Jungers in her move to Sidley.
Skadden did not respond to a request for comment on Gilford’s departure.