London's calling at Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton LLP.


Since March, the Los Angeles-based firm has brought three entertainment lawyers on board, and two are from London.


The most recent hire, Philip E. Daniels, joined the firm April 21 as an associate after practicing at Beverly Hills-based Goldring Hertz & Lichtenstein LLP. Before moving to the United States, Daniels practiced for a decade in London, where he represented new media and technology companies.


Daniels said he joined 500-attorney Sheppard Mullin because of the firm's international branded entertainment practice.


"The head of the group, Bob Darwell, is very international in his focus," Daniels said.


Entertainment lawyer Robb Klein joined the firm's Century City office one month before Daniels jumped on board.


Klein, who came from the London office of European law firm SJ Berwin LLP, specializes in film financing and production. Before moving to the United States to join the firm, Klein said he had worked with Sheppard Mullin partner Darwell on film deals.


"Los Angeles and London are the two centers of film financing and production, so Bob and I came together under one roof where we continue to service clients in the U.S. and the U.K.," Klein said.


There are other new faces at Sheppard, too. Veteran litigator James E. Curry left the boutique firm he founded, White O'Connor Fink & Brenner LLP, to join Sheppard Mullin's entertainment and media group. Curry's clients include CBS Corp. and SK Intertainment Inc.


Over There

Powerhouse litigation firm Quinn Emanuel Urquhart Oliver & Hedges LLP has been looking to become a player in London's legal market. And the firm finally made the jump across the pond, opening a London office with litigation attorney Richard East.


East, who joined Los Angeles-based Quinn Emanuel as partner, left Kirkland & Ellis LLP to join the firm. He represents private equity and hedge funds, including London-based Harbour Litigation Funding LTD, a litigation funding company.


Name partner John Quinn said he knew of East's reputation as a litigator and mutual clients introduced the two lawyers.


"East has a background in litigation and restructuring which is the kind of work that we do," Quinn said.


Quinn Emanuel, a 400-attorney firm, decided to open a London office after realizing there was an opening in the market for a litigation firm that could represent clients suing large financial institutions.


"Well known London law firms all have conflicts of interest because they represent financial institutions, so they can't be adverse and sue them," Quinn said. "We were being told by our clients that they were having a hard time finding first-rate representation in London."


Within the next six months, Quinn said the firm plans to hire 10 to 15 lawyers in its new office.


Quinn Emanuel's London venture isn't the firm's first international move. The firm opened a Tokyo office in December 2007 to court new Japanese clients.
Some of the firm's international clients include Nokia Corp., Sony Corp. and Seiko Epson Corp.

Private Wealth

Bruce S. Ross, a veteran trusts and estates attorney who represents the estate of the late Anna Nicole Smith, returned to the Los Angeles office of Holland & Knight LLP as partner.


Ross returned to the firm with a group of five trust and estate lawyers, who moved from Holland & Knight in 2006 to join the Los Angeles office of Luce Forward Hamilton & Scripps LLP. The group left after Holland & Knight announced the consolidation or closure of nine offices.


But after a two-year stint with Luce Forward, Ross and partner Sean Higgins, senior counsel Linda Rottman and associates Vivian Lee Thoreen, Jonathan Park and Tony Yu jumped back to the 1,150-attorney firm. Tampa, Fla.-based Holland & Knight has 50 probate attorneys firmwide.


Ross, who has been practicing trust and estate law for 30 years, represented Howard K. Stern as executor of Anna Nicole Smith's will. The litigation ended in March with Smith's daughter, Dannielynn, inheriting her estate.


Business Litigator


Winston & Strawn LLP continued to beef up its Los Angeles litigation practice group with the addition of prominent attorney John S. Gibson.


Gibson served as hiring partner and firmwide real estate litigation chair during his 13-year tenure at Los Angeles-based Paul Hastings Janofsky & Walker LLP. He joined the 70-attorney Los Angeles office of Winston & Strawn in mid-April, and represents Fortune 500 companies in antitrust, unfair competition and real estate litigation.


Chicago-based Winston & Strawn, which houses 950 lawyers, also hired litigation partners David L. Aronoff and Gayle I. Jenkins in February, bringing the total number of attorneys in the firm's Los Angeles office to 65.


Staff reporter Alexa Hyland can be reached at ahyland@labusinessjournal.com or at (323) 549-5225, ext. 235.

For reprint and licensing requests for this article, CLICK HERE.