The law firm Loeb & Loeb LLP announced last week the formation of a practice group focused specifically on the apparel and luxury goods industries.

The firm hopes the section, which is called the Fashion and Luxury Brand Industry Group, will allow it to better serve clients such as Polo Ralph Lauren, Donna Karan and True Religion Brand Jeans while also better positioning itself to solicit work from other apparel and luxury brand companies.

The industry-specific practice group will be made up of Loeb & Loeb attorneys in New York and Los Angeles who are familiar with transactional matters, intellectual property litigation and other areas of legal expertise commonly used by apparel and luxury goods companies.

"The high-end brand and fashion apparel business is an industry where there are obvious synergies across many practice areas," said John Frankenheimer, chairman of the Los Angeles-based firm. "The aim is to find places where we can serve clients across a multitude of needs, whether it is branding, licensing, intellectual property protection, corporate work or finance."

This sort of interdisciplinary practice group is not new to the legal profession. Industry targeted practice groups that focus on hospitality, advertising and entertainment, among others, are commonplace at national and regional law firms.

Law firms have even found it beneficial to form interdisciplinary groups that focus on entire countries or regions of the world such as Israel, France and Latin America.

Loeb's decision to set up an apparel practice follows a similar move by Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton LLP, which formed a fashion and apparel group last year.

James Williams, the Loeb & Loeb partner who will head the fashion and luxury brand industry group, said the industry's "tremendous growth" in part prompted the firm to establish the group.

Policing Police

Anthony Pacheco, a partner in the Los Angeles office of Proskauer Rose was elected president of the Los Angeles Police Commission, the main civilian oversight board for the Los Angeles Police Department. The attorney, who was already a member of the commission, has been elevated to the position.

"I'm extremely honored to hold this position and look forward to continuing to serve the community," said Pacheco, in a written statement. "My last two years on the commission have given me an in-depth understanding of the issues facing the LAPD and the community."

The former federal prosecutor takes charge during a sensitive time for the LAPD and the commission. There are currently several investigations regarding the actions of LAPD officers during an immigration rally in MacArthur Park in May.

But Pacheco is no novice when it comes to dealing with allegations of police abuse. Before being appointed to the police commission, he served as counsel to the Rampart Independent Review Panel, which investigated allegations of excessive use of force by officers in the police department's Rampart Division.

Pacheco has been an attorney in the Los Angeles office of New York-based Proskauer Rose since 2001. He was made partner at the firm in 2005.

Pacheco currently serves as deputy chair of the firm's corporate defense and investigations practice group. He focuses on litigation, regulatory and white-collar criminal matters.

Referral Anniversary

The Los Angeles County Bar Association's Lawyer Referral Service celebrates its 70th anniversary this year. The service, which describes itself as the oldest and largest lawyer referral service in the United States, was established by the association to connect members of the public with legal counsel.

"There was a concern back then that people were calling the bar association looking for a lawyer and there was no trusted database of attorneys the association could recommend," said Patricia Holt, directing attorney of the referral service.

Today the service fields more than 100,000 calls from both English- and Spanish-speaking members of the public in search of legal representation. A large percentage of these callers are of limited means and able to access the referral service free of charge.

Additionally, the service arranges for legal representation in civil matters for foster care of children under the jurisdiction of the Dependency Court.

Holt, who has been with the service for 12 years, added, "We provide an opportunity for all segments of our community to access legal service."

Staff reporter Drew Combs can be reached at , or at (323) 549-5225, ext. 228.

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