Albro Lundy III has already had a big year. In January, he beat Sempra Energy. By May, he was tackling a brain tumor. He finished radiation treatment earlier this month.


Lundy's firm, Baker Burton & Lundy LLP, was part of the plaintiff's team led by Thomas Girardi that negotiated a settlement with Sempra in a case that alleged statewide price-fixing during the 2000 energy crisis. A San Diego judge approved the settlement in June, with a final value of $1.7 billion to $2 billion. The legal team later was awarded $161 million in fees and $9 million in expenses, although the amount is being appealed by another lawyer.


Lundy noticed some dizziness after taking a spill going down a double-black diamond ski trail in February. After a series of doctor appointments, an MRI revealed the tumor, an acoustic neuroma.


Luckily, the tumor was benign and treatable by radiation therapy. It was also fortunate that the tumor was caught early and was a small-to-medium 1.5 centimeters. Lundy got his diagnosis shortly before his brother, a longshoreman, was in a serious truck accident on the docks and his 11-year-old cousin almost lost the vision in her left eye when she was hit point-forward with a football on a playground. His brother is now walking, but has three surgeries to go and his cousin has gotten back most of her vision.


"I am eager to move on to other types of adventures," Lundy wrote in an email to friends and family. "I'd rather ride a real rollercoaster than live with this one in my head."


The 46 year-old, who has four children, aged eight to 17 with his wife Cathi, is the picture of health. Lundy has an athletic build, perpetual tan and the swagger of a successful litigator. With an office just blocks from Hermosa Beach, Lundy and his partners often go body surfing at lunch.


Lundy completed seven weeks of daily radiation treatment at UCLA on July 10. He couldn't believe the outpourings of support.


"I had more people volunteer to drive me than I had spaces to go out," he said. "Attorneys I know were saying 'I'm driving you.' Not my partners, but guys I've known from other cases and they really wouldn't let me say no."


A series of bi-annual MRIs for the next three years will track his progress.


"I'm doing better every day," said Lundy, who completed his first full day back at work last week. "That's the way you have to look at these things."


Finding the bright side of tough situations appears to be a family trait: Lundy's daughter Neva used the MRI images of her father's brain to study for a biology exam.


Firm Transactions
The Los Angeles legal market continues to attract major players as another top-tier firm has established a local presence by acquiring smaller firms.


Washington D.C.-based Venable LLP is integrating Gorry Meyer & Rudd of Century City and Whitwell Jacoby Emhoff of Beverly Hills, each a 10-attorney firm. Gorry Meyer and Whitwell Jacoby are both litigation boutiques that also focus on entertainment transactions, real estate and intellectual property.


Six of the 20 attorneys will be Venable partners. The combined firm will be located at the Gorry Meyer location in Century City, with room to grow. Venable is one of the nation's 100-largest law firms. The firm posted $222 million in revenues for 2005.


"Our increasing size and national practice made this a logical time to establish a permanent California address," said firm-wide chairman James Shea. "Our lawyers have long worked in the state; now they'll have the support of a full-service office in this important market."


Shea noted that two long-standing clients separately identified both firms as outstanding candidates. Another perk is that managing partners of the acquired firms Tim Gorry and Doug Emhoff have been friends for 15 years.


Gorry admitted that he and his partners had consistently resisted offers to join national firms. "All of us had come from large firms, so sheer size and horizontal practices weren't necessarily an attraction," he said.


"Venable is exceptionally strong in litigation, media and advertising, real estate and other areas, but we were especially struck by the firm's eminence in regulatory work and government affairs, which presents numerous opportunities for our existing and future clients."


News You Can Use
Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP will receive the 2006 Corporate Award for Special Achievement in Adoption from the North American Council on Adoptable Children. The firm is being honored for expediting the adoption process for thousands of children. In 1998 Gibson helped launch the Adoption Saturday project, which brings volunteer attorneys and judges to court on Saturdays to finalize adoptions that have been snaking their way through the system. Since the program was created, Gibson Dunn attorneys and staff have personally handled more than 2,000 adoptions Alschuler Grossman Stein & Kahan LLP hired two associates. Maribeth Annaguey has joined the business litigation department and Yael Lustmann has joined the transactional department Matthew C. Kane has joined McGuireWoods LLP as a partner in the labor and employment department. He was previously a shareholder with Strategic Counsel, P.C. in L.A.; and in-house counsel for The Kroger Co. in Compton.


Staff reporter Emily Bryson York can be reached at (323)549-5225, ext. 235, or at eyork@labusinessjournal.com .

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