Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP has expanded its presence in Southern California with the opening of a Century City office.

The Philadelphia firm, which opened a downtown L.A. office in 2001, announced the opening of its Century City outpost two weeks ago with the addition of six attorneys.

George Caplan and Henry Shields Jr. joined as partners from Epstein Becker & Green P.C. Kristopher Davis joined as partner and Pamela Graham as associate from the Century City office of Irell & Manella LLP. Kate Gold joined as partner and Paul Gelb as counsel from the Century City office of Kaye Scholer LLP.

Caplan said he and Shields opted to join Drinker because they were looking for a bigger firm.

“Drinker has a very broad practice space that is compatible with the litigation background that we both have,” Caplan said.

Caplan and Shields have known each other since starting at Irell & Manella in 1975. They handle complex commercial litigation, including the representation of Fortune 100 companies in intellectual property disputes, First Amendment issues and securities fraud allegations.

Davis and Gold also handle commercial litigation, and Gold has expertise in defending companies in labor and employment disputes.

Caplan said he was also attracted to Drinker because the firm allows alternative billing, such as flat fees and success premiums.

“The firm has a flexible fee structure that can be tailored to the kind of work you are doing and the needs of clients,” he said.

Tax Boost

Philadelphia-based Fox Rothschild LLP has begun building a West Coast tax and estates practice with the addition of attorneys Mark Hess and Michelle Stimson.

Hess joined Fox as partner and Stimson as special counsel two weeks ago, both from West L.A. firm Manatt Phelps & Phillips LLP.

Hess said he and Stimson decided to join Fox’s Century City office for the chance to establish and grow a tax and estates practice group.

“This was an opportunity to really create something new and really build something from the ground up,” Hess said. “And that was exciting for me.”

Hess focuses his practice on employee benefits, executive compensation, corporate and individual tax matters, and tax-exempt organization. He has also served as management-appointed co-counsel to the Screen Actors Guild-Producers pension and health plans since the early 1980s.

Stimson focuses her practice on employee benefit plans and retirement plans, and federal and state tax issues.

What Retirement?

He may be a retired corporate attorney, but he’s still working double duty.

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