Blank Rome Set To Add 21 Lawyers In Calif. Expansion

, The Legal Intelligencer

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Jeffrey Richter, Alan J. Hoffman and Mike Margolis
Jeffrey Richter, Alan J. Hoffman and Mike Margolis

Blank Rome will open a San Francisco office and add to its Los Angeles and New York locations with the addition of 21 lawyers from two different West Coast firms, the firm has said.

Five partners along with counsel, associates and additional staff from Los Angeles-based Finestone & Richter and Margolis & Tisman are set to join the firm effective Feb. 1.

Blank Rome first established a California presence with the launch of a Los Angeles office in 2009. Since that time, the firm has gone from five attorneys in the West Coast to what will soon be nearly 50 lawyers in the region.

"We are thrilled to welcome this outstanding group to Blank Rome from two highly respected California-based firms," Blank Rome Chairman Alan J. Hoffman said in a statement. "They bring an impressive amount of corporate M&A, corporate litigation, labor and employment, banking, real estate and trusts and estates experience to the firm's practices in these areas, as well as Chinese and Korean language capability, and will be excellent enhancements to our Asia practice."

According to their websites, Finestone & Richter has 11 lawyers and Margolis & Tisman has 13 attorneys. Margolis & Tisman has offices in Los Angeles, New York and San Francisco. Finestone & Richter has the one location in Los Angeles.

Twelve lawyers are joining Blank Rome from Margolis & Tisman, including three partners. From that group, six are in Los Angeles, three are in San Francisco and three are in New York, Hoffman told The Legal on Tuesday. Nine of the Finestone & Richter attorneys are joining Blank Rome, including two partners.

Hoffman said the firm had been looking to expand on the West Coast to meet client needs and had been eyeing the possibility of opening somewhere in Northern California. He said it was a happy coincidence that Margolis & Tisman had a San Francisco office, which Hoffman said he intends to grow.

The firms were put in touch through recruiters. Talks with Margolis & Tisman began last spring while the talks with Finestone & Richter started even earlier, Hoffman said. He had gone out to the West Coast to meet with the firms and their leadership came to Philadelphia to meet with Blank Rome's executive team and practice group leaders.

Since opening in Los Angeles in 2009, Blank Rome's Asia practice has focused on representing U.S.-based clients doing deals in China, particularly as it relates to intellectual property and corporate mergers and acquisitions, Hoffman said. The Margolis & Tisman firm, which brings with it Chinese and Korean language capabilities, has represented Chinese and Korean companies in their business in the United States, Hoffman said. He said the Margolis & Tisman lawyers felt Blank Rome's Shanghai office would help with that work.

"To best serve the expanding needs of our domestic and foreign clients—particularly the rapidly growing number of Chinese and Korean businesses and entrepreneurs operating in the U.S.—we wanted to combine with a large firm that has a stellar reputation and broad and deep U.S. and Asian practices," said Mike Margolis of Margolis & Tisman in a statement.

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