Defending Business

Becca Wahlquist joined Manatt Phelps & Phillips LLP after spending her nine-year legal career practicing at Kirkland & Ellis LLP.

Wahlquist joined the West L.A. office of Manatt Phelps as partner last week. She said that she opted to join the firm for the opportunity to practice in a different environment.

“I was looking for something new and energizing,” Wahlquist said.

She specializes in complex commercial litigation, including contract disputes, business tort claims and class-action litigation. She enjoys representing corporations that have been sued over unfair business practices or other claims often brought against larger companies.

“I think the complexities in these cases are really interesting,” Wahlquist said. “And so many cutting-edge issues are determined. They end up being bellwether cases for businesses.”

Wahlquist also handles issues before state and federal appellate courts.

Haiti Relief

Attorneys and staff at Hennigan Bennett & Dorman LLP have found a creative way to donate money for Haiti relief efforts – blue jeans.

The downtown L.A. firm decided last month to ask attorneys and support workers to donate $10 to the Red Cross for the privilege of wearing jeans to work on Fridays. So far, the firm has collected $1,480 through its campaign, which will conclude at the end of this month.

Robert Palmer, managing partner at Hennigan Bennett, said the firm decided to give money to the Red Cross after attorneys and staff expressed interest in donating to the cause.

“It’s always popular to support charities by giving people the chance to wear blue jeans to work,” Palmer said.

Hennigan Bennett also made a standalone donation of $20,000 to the Red Cross last month. In addition, the firm’s attorneys and staff members have made $3,938 in individual donations to the organization, which the firm will match up to $5,000.

“There were a lot of people who wanted to do something, and it was easy to decide to make a contribution on behalf of the firm,” Palmer said. “And it also seemed to create an opportunity for other folks to leverage their own individual contributions by offering to match what individuals were contributing.”

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

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