Wednesday, May 2, 2007
Santa Monica’s Alschuler Grossman Combines With Bingham McCutchen
By TINA BAY, Staff Writer
What was formerly the local law firm Alschuler Grossman yesterday officially became the Santa Monica office of Bingham McCutchen LLP, Bingham Chairman Jay S. Zimmerman said.
Alschuler Grossman’s combination with Bingham, a national firm with several overseas locations, expands Bingham’s local presence by 40 lawyers and increases its statewide attorney workforce to 350.
“Southern California is one of our key markets for growth,” Zimmerman told the MetNews. “This is for us a very important addition because we have a market-leading private equity and corporate practice, a market-leading environmental practice…and with the addition of Marshall [Grossman] and the Alschuler Grossman firm, we’re really adding a market-leading litigation capability, which is something we’ve been looking for some period of time and is not easy to come by.”
In particular, he said, Alschuler Grossman—which over the last 50 years had gained prominence as a high-stakes business litigation firm—will “greatly enhance” Bingham’s strength in litigating commercial, securities and intellectual property matters.
Grossman said Alschuler Grossman had been “courted aggressively” over the last several years by over a dozen leading national law firms, but decided on Bingham after talks that began “very preliminarily” last November.
“For about 5 years now our firm has been open to a merger or combination with a national firm and preferably with a firm with a great strength in the state of California,” Grossman said. “Bingham presented a unique opportunity for us because it had that pre-existing strength already in California, and also offered major talent and client representation on the East Coast.”
Moreover, he added, the two firms share “remarkably similar” expectations, working culture, and values.
“We haven’t lost anything, we have gained much” he said. “We have managed now to leverage one of the wonderful work environments and client bases into a law firm of equal quality and greater capacity.”
Grossman noted that Alschuler Grossman had been enjoying “its best year ever,” with profits pro forma for the year projected at about a 20 percent increase over last year. Joining Bingham, which has consistently been one of the top law firms in the world, will create enhanced opportunities for the lawyers in our firm beyond those which Alschuler Grossman alone was able to provide, he remarked.
Bingham’s deal with Alschuler is its third combination with a California firm in five years.
In 2002, Bingham—then-Bingham Dana and based in Boston—secured a West Coast presence by combining with McCutchen Doyle Brown & Enersen, which at the time had a combined total of 300 lawyers in its San Francisco, Los Angeles, Silicon Valley and Walnut Creek offices.
In 2003, Bingham absorbed Riordan & McKinzie, a Los Angeles-based private equity boutique founded by Richard Riordan—who is now of counsel to Bingham—before he was elected mayor.
Zimmerman said Bingham is continuing to build “a very attractive and very focused platform” in the Southern California market, and has an eye toward further growth through attracting quality lateral hires.
Copyright 2007, Metropolitan News Company