Clint Rockwell

Buckley Sandler announced on Tuesday that it has opened an office in San Francisco, looking to capitalize on what the firm said is a growing technology sector client base, including in the areas of financial and regulatory technology.

With the San Francisco outpost, fast-growing Buckley Sandler has expanded its operations to a total of six offices in the U.S. and London. Clint Rockwell, head of the firm’s California offices, will “co-locate” in San Francisco and Buckley Sandler’s Los Angeles office, as will regulatory and transactional partner John Redding and enforcement partner Fredrick Levin, the firm said in a statement. Those partners will be joined by two counsel-level lawyers, Shara Chang and Kate Shrout, who had been working remotely for Buckley Sandler but will be based full time in the newly opened San Francisco office.

In an interview, firm chairman and executive partner Andrew Sandler said the move to San Francisco was meant in part to give Buckley Sandler a physical presence at “the epicenter of the convergence of technology and financial services,” an area that he believes will remain highly active in the future.

“Our firm is perfectly positioned to bring technology and financial services together in a way that meets regulatory expectations,” Sandler said. “It had become clear to us that this was going to be one of the most significant growth areas for the firm over the next several years.”

Although the firm is starting the office with several partners who will co-locate in Los Angeles and San Francisco, along with Chang and Shrout based their full time, Sandler said he also expects to add new lawyers over time.

“We expect to grow the office over the next several years to have the same kind of critical mass that we have in all of our other offices,” he said.

The firm intends to offer a full slate of services out of San Francisco, but the office will have particular focuses on advising companies in the fintech, regtech and payments markets. Buckley Sandler’s workplace cultural compliance group, which focuses on sexual harassment, gender pay equity and diversity issues, will also be active in the new office, the firm’s statement said.

“Being in San Francisco will help us work more closely with innovators as they pursue their strategic vision,” Rockwell stated. “Our insight and in-depth experience on regulatory and enforcement trends throughout the U.S., including Washington and Sacramento, combined with our extensive knowledge representing businesses that move money, position us to become a leading law firm in the Bay Area for companies bringing new financial products and technologies to market.”

The move to San Francisco marks the latest expansion by Buckley Sandler. In 2017, among other developments, the firm hired Tina Tchen, the former chief of staff to former first lady Michelle Obama, to lead Buckley Sandler’s Chicago office.

In addition to her time in government, Tchen previously spent more than two decades as a lawyer at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, where she was a colleague of Sandler’s. After formerly heading Skadden’s consumer financial services enforcement and litigation practice, Sandler left in 2009 to create Buckley Sandler.