Willkie Farr & Gallagher hires the Best to expand West operations
Top-50 firm signals its California commitment with the launch of a new office in Los Angeles
The New York-headquartered Willkie Farr & Gallagher has announced its launch of a new office in Los Angeles, a move towards fulfilling its California commitment.
The Top-50 US firm has been making strategic moves to expand its operations on the West Coast for some time. The Los Angele office will be the third for the firm in the region following the opening of offices in Palo Alto in 2018 and San Francisco in 2019.
The firm has announced signing on a trio of partners from Venable to launch its Los Angeles office. They include Alan Epstein, Mihele Mulrooney and Alex Weingarten who are joining the firm as partners.
Willkie's chairman Thomas Cerabino termed the decision to launch the Los Angeles office as part of the firm's quest to build out its presence on the West Coast which he termed as a "strategic focus" in the Golden State.
"Los Angeles is a diverse and vibrant business center and several of our existing clients are based in or near LA, or have significant operations there," Cerabino said.
"Alan, Michele and Alex know the market, have key relationships, and are a great fit for our collaborative and entrepreneurial culture," Cerabino added.
Epstein chaired Venable's entertainment and media group and the West Coast business transactions group. He represents a wide range of clients across the entertainment and media industry, including production companies, influencers, and technology companies, among others. His practice focuses on M&A, joint ventures, financing transactions and executive compensation, and complex tax planning.
Mulrooney, on the other hand, focuses on real estate planning for high-net-worth individuals and their companies and nonprofits, while Weingarten specialises in commercial litigation and has represented clients across the areas of entertainment, probate, restructuring and business litigation.
Willkie had made its first foray on the West Coast by opening its Palo Alto office with a pair of partners from Paul Hastings followed up by launching its second Bay Area location in San Francisco with two lawyers from Keker Van Nest & Peters.
With the hiring of the trio in Los Angeles, Willkie's lawyer strength in California has now gone up to more than 30.