Century City law firm Foley & Lardner LLP is adding a downtown office.

"It's a move we've been talking about and planning for some time now," said Jack Lasater, who will manage both offices. "Foley has a national strategy to expand its corporate and litigation practices in strategic markets. We'll be able to improve our ability to expand the corporate and litigation practices downtown."

The firm is moving 55 of its 70 lawyers to the new downtown offices in the City National Building at 555 So. Flower Street. The remaining 15 lawyers, entertainment and IP specialists will keep the two-floor location at 2029 Century Park East. The firm has two years remaining on the existing lease. Lasater said the goal is to refill the space with new hires.

"Lawyers move around a lot more than they used to," Lasater said, adding that the firm has eight new hires starting in late summer and 10 summer associates coming in that will also help with the transition. The firm also hired former Assistant U.S. Attorney Jaime Guerrero and business law attorney Craig Wood last month.

Foley, a Milwaukee-based firm, arrived on the L.A. scene in 1996 after acquiring Weissburg & Aronson Inc. The firm has six offices in California.

Changing Horses

Liner Yankelevitz Sunshine & Regenstreif LLP has been adding a lot of top talent and has now landed particularly big fish.

The firm snagged Michael M. Carlson, a partner from Morrison & Foerster LLP's San Francisco office, who will now work principally from Liner's L.A. location.

"We have been recruiting Mike for almost a year," said Stuart Liner, managing partner of the firm, admitting that the process involved "transitioning out" some other IP lawyers.

"We are all excited to have such a well-regarded litigator join us, especially when our intellectual property practice is exploding with work. In addition to work for existing clients, we anticipate that Mike may well bring work from his former firm," he said.

Liner is on a hiring roll. Since the end of 2006, he has brought in Mathew Rosengart from O'Melveny & Myers LLP's New York office as a senior counsel in white collar and criminal litigation, as well as Christopher C. Fowler of Heller Ehrman LLP as a litigation associate, Tuneen E. Chisolm, a litigation associate from Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP. He also hired recent Pepperdine grad Allen Lohse and Northwestern grad Cherie Song.

Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton LLP snagged a new partner for its Los Angeles construction, environmental, real estate and land use practice. Randolph C. Visser, an environmental specialist, is leaving Morgan Lewis & Bockius LLP.

"Randy's practice adds depth to our strong environmental and land use groups in Los Angeles," said Sheppard Chairman Guy Halgren. "His regulatory knowledge and expertise, particularly related to air quality, is a valuable addition in our ability to serve clients."

Around Town

Greenberg Traurig LLP elected three female attorneys to shareholder: labor and employment specialist Michelle Flores, litigation ace Valerie Ho and corporate media specialist Robyn Polashuk. The firm also promoted three associates to counsel: Grace Chung, tax, trusts & estates; Joseph Geisman, intellectual property and entertainment; and Lisa Nitti, entertainment. McDermott Will & Emery named two new partners: Jason P. Trenton and Charles E. Weir.

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

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