San Francisco Panorama and Golden Gate Bridge/photo by Jason Doiy

Cleveland-based Benesch has planted a flag on the West Coast, opening its first California office in San Francisco.

Benesch, an Am Law 200 firm, already has a growing client base in California, managing partner Gregg Eisenberg said in a firm announcement Thursday, noting that the San Francisco office will provide opportunities to serve more clients on the West Coast.

“Many of our clients are based in California and the legal landscape is energetic and exciting,” Eisenberg said. “It goes without saying that California is home to some of the best companies in the country. We want to be a part of that.”

The San Francisco office, which is located at One Montgomery Tower, is led by commercial litigation partner Krista Enns. Enns joined Benesch in December from Winston & Strawn, along with litigation associates Jennifer Miller and Whitney Carlson.

“To start with, [the San Francisco office] is going to be litigation heavy,” said Enns of her plan for running the office. “As we grow, we are looking to add attorneys in the IP space [and] we would love to add labor and employment to provide California-specific assistance.”

As of now, the San Francisco office is made up of Enns, Miller and Carlson, all of whom focus on commercial litigation. Enns said she expects to hire another paralegal and associate by the end of February.

Before the move, Enns spent 17 years at Winston & Strawn, where she represented industry and individual clients in complex commercial matters, including class actions and appeals. Enns also has experience with antitrust, fiduciary duty and intellectual property matters.

Miller was at Winston & Strawn for seven years. She also concentrates her practice on complex commercial litigation and has represented clients in the energy, food, health, media and technology industries. Carlson joined Benesch from litigation firm Murphy, Pearson, Bradley & Feeney, but she spent nearly two years as a litigation associate at Winston & Strawn. She focuses her practice on commercial litigation, intellectual property disputes and white-collar defense.

“We are offering the talents that we have come to acquire over the years of litigating at bigger firms, and we are able to offer it at a lower price,” Enns said regarding her group’s move to Benesch.

Benesch now has nine offices across the United States and China, according to its website. In addition to San Francisco and Cleveland, the firm lists offices in Chicago; New York; Philadelphia; Columbus, Ohio; Wilmington, Delaware; Hackensack, New Jersey; and Shanghai.

But the firm closed its Indianapolis outpost last spring, after losing nearly all of its lawyers there to Taft Stettinius & Hollister.