PALO ALTO — Diamond McCarthy, known for its work on the Dewey & LeBoeuf and Howrey bankruptcy cases, is opening a San Francisco office with the team of trial lawyers representing the Heller Ehrman estate.

Partners Christopher Sullivan, Kenneth Brunetti, Gregory Rougeau and Matthew Schultz and associate Matthew Sepuya, who served as the lead trial counsel to the creditors committee and plan administrator for Heller Ehrman in its bankruptcy case, opened Diamond McCarthy’s San Francisco office on May 1. The five join from Greenfield Sullivan Draa & Harrington, where Sullivan was a name partner for three years.

Diamond McCarthy’s managing partner, Allan Diamond, said in a statement that the firm has wanted to open a Bay Area office for some time, and “this group is a perfect match for us.”

But the Texas litigation boutique isn’t betting on an increase in law firm bankruptcies in the area, said Sullivan, who will manage the new office. “We’re a business litigation firm first, and there’s certainly a lot of high-stake litigation cases in California as well as bankruptcy work that we’re interested in here,” he said.

Sullivan said he was attracted to Diamond McCarthy’s platform because he’s been interested in working on “cases that are national in scope, if not international.” Diamond McCarthy also has offices in New York, Los Angeles, Houston, Dallas, Austin and Denver.

Sullivan and Diamond, who is the trustee of the Howrey estate, have “coordinated their approaches in the Heller and Howrey cases,” Sullivan said.

“I think we’ll both make each other’s work better, because we’ve both spent a lot of time thinking about these issues,” he said. “Several more minds added to the mix will help.”

A group of former Howrey partners filed a $4.2 million settlement with the estate in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of California on Monday. According to The Wall Street Journal, Diamond has spent two years negotiating for clawback money paid to the equity partners when the firm was allegedly insolvent.

“I’m feeling pretty good about this,” he told the Journal on Tuesday.

Contact the reporter at