Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton LLP may be a big beneficiary behind the recent dissolution of Coudert Brothers LLP, whose managing partner in Los Angeles just joined the firm.
The 152-year-old Coudert announced plans last month to dissolve its 20 offices worldwide, including a Los Angeles office with 10 partners and 13 associates.
David Huebner, the former managing partner of Coudert's local office, said a portion of "the team" may be joining him soon at Sheppard.
"It is likely other Coudert partners from Los Angeles and elsewhere will be coming to Sheppard," he said. "It's a very strong and attractive platform for those of us from Coudert."
Huebner, who handles international technology and pharmaceutical disputes, will be a partner in the business trials practice. He said he is creating an international arbitration sub-practice team at Sheppard.
Sheppard has attracted Coudert's former partners in other cities. Last month, Kevin Goering, who was head of Coudert's litigation group in New York, joined Sheppard's New York office.
Hurricane Katrina impacted only a few local lawyers and law firms.
Fisher & Phillips LLP, an Atlanta-based firm with an office in Irvine that serves Southern California, sent its 28 people in the New Orleans office to temporary space in Atlanta, Dallas and Baton Rouge, La.
James McDonald, managing partner of the 26-lawyer Irvine office, said the firm's 200 lawyers used emergency phone numbers to reach everyone in the New Orleans office.
"We have clients in the Gulf area that have a lot of questions about employment issues related to the rebuilding process," McDonald said. "We thought it was important to get back online as soon as we could in order to serve our clients."
Several local firms established charitable funds to raise money for relief efforts. Foley & Lardner LLP, a Chicago firm with several offices in Florida, agreed to match up to $100,000 in contributions made by the firm's employees, including those in Los Angeles.
Locally based Loeb & Loeb LLP upped its matching contributions to $2 for every $1 it receives and expects to raise more than $100,000 as of this week, said Ron Yano, chief financial officer of the firm.
Other local lawyers contributed whatever they could.
"If any attorneys have temporarily located to California, my law firm in Los Angeles has a number of vacant offices available without charge," wrote Jon Gallo, a partner at Greenberg Glusker Fields Claman Machtinger & Kinsella LLP, on the Louisiana State Bar Association's Web site. The site has posted an online chat room for clients looking for lawyers, lawyers looking for clients and lawyers seeking office space.
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