In the L.A. firm's first international foray, Quinn Emanuel Urquhart Oliver & Hedges LLP has opened an office in Tokyo.

"This is a response to our growing practice representing Japanese in litigation venued in the United States," said firm co-founder John Quinn, who recently returned from Tokyo; he attended the office's opening party there on Dec. 4. "We are very optimistic that this will raise our presence in the Japanese legal and business community."

The new outpost stems partly from Quinn Emanuel's recent combination with Koda & Androlia LLP, a small Century City firm founded by Henry Koda and William Androlia that specializes in handling intellectual property matters for Japanese companies. The two attorneys joined Quinn Emanuel as partners.

The Tokyo office is co-headed by Koda and Ryan Goldstein, a Quinn Emanuel partner. Androlia remains based in Los Angeles. Koda attended law school in Japan.

"We have been talking to Quinn Emanuel about coming over and opening an office for years. It was time," Koda said in a written statement.

The firm said the Tokyo office is charged with assisting Quinn's Japan-based clients, including corporations, institutions and other law firms, with litigation matters in the United States. Sony Electronics, Seiko Epson, Nissan Chemical and Asia University are among Quinn Emanuel's Japanese clients.

This new satellite is Quinn Emanuel's fifth office. The 375-attorney firm has previously opened offices in New York, San Francisco and Silicon Valley.

The firm has represented both plaintiffs and defendants in business disputes. Quinn Emanuel claims to have won over $6.2 billion dollars in judgments and settlements for clients.

The firm is known for what could be described as a more whimsical approach to the practice of law. Quinn Emanuel's Web site boasts that some of its lawyers wear flip-flops to work. And when it recently won a suit that was filed against the University of Southern California, the firm used terminology more fitting a football game, describing the legal victory as a "Big Shutout Win for USC."

New at Jams

Jams, one of the leading local providers of alternative dispute resolution services, announced that Chris Poole has been named president and chief executive of the company. He will take over on Jan. 2.

Poole succeeds Steve Price who has helmed the company for the past decade.

"Chris possesses the personality, collaborative leadership style and valuable legal services expertise which make him perfect to carry on our mission of providing the highest quality resolution services," William Bettinelli, a retired judge who is chair of the board of directors at Jams, said in a written statement.

Poole was most recently chief executive at Thomson Elite, which provides management services to the legal industry. He has also held the position of executive director at Latham & Watkins.

As the cost and length of court trials have increased in recent years, more disputing parties and their lawyers have turned to private mediation and arbitration services to resolve cases. The industry has also benefited by the growing prevalence of clauses in contracts that require parties resolve their dispute with a private arbitrator.

Jams was founded in southern California in 1979. Today, the company employs more than 200 full-time neutrals across the country, many of which are former judges.

The former California-based federal judges employed at the company include Loudres Baird, Stephen Haberfeld and Dickran Tevrizian.

New at Reed

Attorneys David Halbreich and Douglas Rawles have joined the Los Angeles office of Reed Smith LLP as partners. The attorneys most recently worked in the local office of Morgan Lewis & Bockius LLP. Both practice in the area of insurance recovery. Halbreich co-chaired the insurance recovery practice at Morgan Lewis.

"I was attracted to Reed Smith because of its expanding insurance recovery practice and the successful recruitment of other leading practitioners with whom I am familiar," Halbreich said. "The firm has a top-end, nationally recognized insurance recovery practice, and I look forward to contributing to its further growth."

He has represented clients across several industries in relation to claims and policies, including coverage for securities fraud and fiduciary liability.

Rawles' practice is similar in scope, but he also handles consumer class action and intellectual property litigation.

"Doug and Dave bring a world-class insurance recovery practice, building on our national strength in that area," said Peter Kennedy, managing partner of Reed Smith's Los Angeles office.

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

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