In a combination that brings together lawyers for the Olsen twins and President Bush's emissary to the California legal community, the Santa Monica-based Dreier Stein & Kahan and the Beverly Hills law firm Browne Woods & George, announced last week that they would merge, effective Jan. 1, 2008.

The resulting firm will be called Dreier Stein Kahan Browne Woods & George LLP and have over 70 lawyers practicing at offices in both Century City and Santa Monica.

"They are a premiere group of trial attorneys and we are a premiere corporate and entertainment litigation firm. Adding these lawyers dramatically expands our capacity to do top notch trial work for our clients," said Larry Stein, a name partner at Dreier Stein, which in addition to Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen, has also represented professional skateboarder Tony Hawk and Marvel Entertainment.

Dreier Stein was formed in January, by some partners formerly with the now defunct firm Alschuler Grossman Stein & Kahan and Marc Dreier, a New York-based lawyer at Dreier LLP. Drier Stein is an affiliate of the New York firm.

Browne Woods was founded 22 years ago by attorneys Allan Browne and Edward Woods, both of whom have tried dozens of cases over the course of their careers including complex commercial matters.

In a written statement, Browne described the merger as "the right move at the right time."

Eric George, a name partner at Browne Woods, said "It is a great deal for us because we expand and enhance our ability to serve clients. We now have some of the finest entertainment, transactional and intellectual property attorneys as a part of our outfit."

George, who is the son of California Supreme Court Chief Justice Ronald George, was appointed in 2001 by President Bush to oversee nominations for district court judge and U.S. attorney positions in California.

Reunion in L.A.

Not surprisingly, much of the attention surrounding the merger of New York law firms Dewey Ballantine LLP and LeBoeuf Lamb Greene & McRae LLP has focused on the impact the union is having in New York.

Nearly 600 attorneys will practice in the New York office of the combined firm, Dewey & LeBoeuf. But the combination, which became effective last week, is also having an impact on a smaller scale in Los Angeles.

Dewey Ballantine has a 37-attorney Los Angeles office and LeBoeuf Lamb's 21-year-old Los Angeles office has 12 lawyers.


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