SAN FRANCISCO — Neither love nor friendship detered Richard Gallagher from making his move to a new law firm.

This week the commercial and securities litigator joined Ropes & Gray’s San Francisco office, leaving old friends—and his spouse—at Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe.

Gallagher joined the business and securities litigation group at Ropes as a partner on Friday. He will continue to represent some of his current clients, he said.

Gallagher, who had served as co-defense counsel alongside Ropes & Gray attorneys on many cases over the years, said he was attracted to the firm’s practice area strengths.

“They have a tremendous practice in private equity as well as in the mutual fund space,” he said. “That combined with public company work, specifically in life sciences and pharmaceuticals, generates tons of opportunities for somebody who practices in corporate governance and securities litigation.”

Additionally, he said he “felt really good about the cultural fit and personality fit”—which is saying something considering the friends he’s left behind.

Gallagher joined Orrick more than a decade ago with a group of litigators from the San Francisco office of London-based firm Clifford Chance. The core of that cadre, including managing partner Michael Torpey, remains at Orrick, as does Gallagher’s wife, Natasha Hyman.

Contact the reporter at npierrepont@alm.com.