California's climate seems to agree with Boston-based Goodwin Procter LLP.

The firm, which opened offices in Los Angeles and San Francisco last May, is now adding downtown L.A. and San Diego offices. A Silicon Valley location will follow shortly.

Lew Feldman, who runs the firm's Century City office and heads the firm's national public/private development finance practice, will also be chairman of the downtown location. He said there was some luck involved with the growth spurt.

"It's fortuitous that these opportunities have presented themselves and that we've been able act on them, because they fit like gloves with our strategic objectives," Feldman said. Goodwin, one of the nation's leading real estate firms, is on a hiring spree, too.

Joining the firm and working out of the downtown office will be Dean C. Pappas and Dani L. Vogt, from Mayer Brown Rose & Maw LLP and Edward C. Hagerott, Jr., from Munger Tolles & Olson LLP. Mayer Brown has been under intense scrutiny following a restructuring that cut 45 partners out of shares of the firm's profits and has set off a mass exodus over the past few weeks. Feldman said that he approached Pappas months ago and maintains that snagging him and his colleague had nothing to do with the restructuring.

The desire to be close to the financial center and provide an easier commute for the new hires and the rest of the staff was the driving force behind the opening of the downtown office.

"California is a critical component of our long-term strategic plan and the addition of these distinguished lawyers demonstrates our continued commitment to investing in key practices and markets in the state," said Regina M. Pisa, chairman and managing partner of Goodwin Procter.

After starting with six attorneys, Goodwin now has about 20 attorneys in San Francisco, 15 in Century City with three first years starting this summer, and 11 attorneys downtown, with more offers outstanding. Goodwin also hired seven lawyers in San Diego. The firm now has one of the country's largest technology and life sciences practice groups, with more than 100 lawyers working that sector.

Goodwin is actively pursuing attorneys for a Silicon Valley office, which is expected to open by the year's end.

Bruin Bounty

UCLA School of Law is celebrating a $5 million donation, the largest alumni gift it has ever received, from attorney David Epstein.


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