Apparently, you can go home again. The Los Angeles office of Mayer Brown LLP announced last week that Brian Aronson has rejoined the firm as partner.

Aronson will head up the firm's real estate practice in Los Angeles, which has been the scene of several departures in recent months. James Tancula, head of the firm's Los Angeles office, couldn't be reached for comment but in a press release he said: "We are pleased Brian has agreed to head up our local real estate group. With an impressive track record representing a large number of major clients, he will play an important role in the further expansion of the practice in both Southern California and globally."

So far this year, Mayer Brown's Los Angeles real estate practice has been contracting, not expanding. In March, two partners left the firm's local real estate practice to establish a downtown Los Angeles office for Boston-based Goodwin Procter LLP. And in August, two more real estate partners left the firm for the Los Angeles office of Proskauer Rose LLP. Aronson was among of a group of real estate attorneys that left the firm for Holland & Knight LLP in 2005. In a press release, Aronson explained why he was now returning to the firm: "(Mayer Brown's) strong platform and commitment to growth provide me with an extraordinary opportunity to develop a stellar West Coast practice and increase the firm's national presence."

Grunfeld Job

Daniel Grunfeld, president of the pro bono organization Public Counsel, was appointed deputy chief of staff in the office of Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa late last month. Grunfeld will coordinate, prioritize and implement the mayor's policy agenda as part of a team.

In his 10 years at the helm of Public Counsel, Grunfeld has become synonymous with the organization, which provided legal services to 25,000 individuals and non-profit organizations last year. The organization describes itself as the "the largest pro bono public interest law firm in the world." During his tenure at Public Counsel, Grunfeld, a former partner at the law firm McDermott Will & Emery LLP, endeared himself to the legal community with his personal campaigns aimed at increasing the industry's charitable outreach. And Grunfeld believes these skills will easily transfer to his new position, which he will assume the second week of October.

"The last 10 years at Public Counsel have been the highlight of my professional career," Grunfeld said. "But given the chance to take what I have learned at Public Counsel and apply them to the mayor's office is hard thing to say no to, and I didn't."


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