Los Angeles, an attractive target for law firm expansions in 2018, has continued to draw the eye out-of-town-based and national firms, several of which have picked up local talent in recent weeks.
Within the last two weeks, five Am Law 200 firms—Alston & Bird, Perkins Coie, Sidley Austin, Morgan, Lewis & Bockius and Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman—have added partners to bolster their presence in Los Angeles.
Atlanta-based Alston & Bird added Scott Adamson as a corporate partner in Los Angeles. He came from Vedder Price, where he was the founder and head of the Chicago-based firm’s Los Angeles office.
“I am excited to have the opportunity to build out Alston & Bird’s corporate and M&A practice,” said Adamson, who has been practicing in the Los Angeles market for the past three decades.
Adamson concentrates his practice on the construction, health care, manufacturing and technology sectors. Adamson said he has wanted to join Alston & Bird in particular because of the firm’s commitment to the Los Angeles market.
“Los Angeles is a middle-market town primarily, so any firms that are trying to grow a corporate practice in California, [or anywhere on the] West Coast for that matter, needs to be focused on the middle market,” said Adamson.
Alston & Bird opened its Los Angeles office in 2008 with its acquisition of local firm Weston Benshoof Rochefort Rubalcava & MacCuish. According to the firm, it now has 105 attorneys in California, including 80 lawyers in Los Angeles, 35 of which are partners.
As part of the firm’s California expansion, Alston & Bird also opened a San Francisco office in 2017 after bringing on financial services litigator Michael Agoglia from Morrison & Foerster, and a seven-lawyer class action defense team from Reed Smith, led by Robert “Bo” Phillips Jr.
Seattle-headquartered Perkins Coie recruited M&A partner G. Thomas Stromberg from Jenner & Block’s Los Angeles office. Stromberg previously served as the co-head of the latter firm’s media and technology group.
“Jenner & Block is a great firm, but for my practice, Perkins Coie is a better platform,” Stromberg said, noting that he was particularly drawn to Perkins Coie’s M&A and private equity, emerging company and cross-border transactions practices.
Stromberg, who speaks Japanese, handles cross-border transactions involving Asian clients or counterparties. He also works on middle-market M&A transactions, private financings, joint ventures and other matters with technology clients.
Chicago-based Sidley Austin announced Tuesday that commercial litigation and disputes attorney Stacy Horth-Neubert has joined the firm’s Los Angeles team as counsel in its global litigation group, coming from Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom.
Horth-Neubert’s arrival follows that of her former Skadden colleague, civil litigator Lisa Gilford, who joined Sidley’s Los Angeles office in January.
“Stacy has a strong reputation [for] representing clients in high-profile litigation matters,” Dan Clivner, managing partner of Sidley’s Los Angeles offices, said in a statement. “We strive to outperform the expectations of our clients, and are well-positioned to continue doing so with Stacy and Lisa on our team.”
According to the firm, Sidley has about 150 lawyers in Greater Los Angeles, in its Century City and downtown Los Angeles offices. More than 75 of those lawyers are members of the firm’s litigation group, which boasts 700 litigators firmwide.
However, Sidley has also seen itself on the losing end of the Los Angeles race for talent, having lost eight labor and employment lawyers, led by partner Douglas Hart, to Morgan Lewis in Los Angeles earlier this month.
In other Los Angeles moves, Pillsbury this month hired former Tesla associate general counsel Jorge Medina as a partner in its tax practice. He’s also part of the firm’s energy industry team.
Medina has been working in-house since he joined Solar City in 2012, which Tesla acquired in 2016. Before that, he worked briefly at Sidley Austin and spent eight years at Dewey & LeBoeuf, where he handled U.S. tax matters with a focus on renewable energy, equipment leasing, securitization, tax equity and special projects.