The firm opened its L.A. office in late 2008 with eight attorneys; it now has 23 there. It also opened a San Francisco outpost last year, and has about 75 attorneys statewide.

Mayer, 51, comes from Westwood-based law firm Liner Grode Stein Yankelevitz Sunshine Regenstreif & Taylor LLP, where he was partner. Before that, he was a partner in the L.A. office of Steptoe & Johnson LLP for 11 years.

Mayer’s previous clients include Honeywell International Inc., Exxon Mobil Corp., Dupont and Procter & Gamble Co.

He said he made the move because of Crowell’s international presence.

“Certainly what we’re seeing is that the clients we represent are national and international companies, with national and international problems that need national and international law firms to help them solve those problems,” Mayer said. “It became clear to me in order to continue doing what I have done for the majority of my career that it was necessary to be with a firm that had that platform.”

John Vandevelde, head of the firm’s L.A. office, said Mayer would complement the firm’s toxic torts practice in D.C.

“Kevin is the latest of what’s really been a natural addition of partners who’ve come in from other practice areas,” Vandevelde said. “The office will continue to grow and expand when the right opportunities present themselves.”

Small Outpost

California has long had a reputation for aggressive employment lawsuits, but a four-attorney employment law and litigation firm in the Washington, D.C., area says its clients are running up against so many issues that it opened a Burbank office last month.

Herndon, Va.-based Welter Law Firm P.C. hired associate Laura Chaimowitz to head up the office, and firm President Eric Welter even took the California bar in February.

The firm handles all employment litigation for Dallas-based 7-Eleven, which has seen an uptick of lawsuits in California. Currently, 7-Eleven is facing two wage-and-hour class-action lawsuits, a single-plaintiff wage-and-hour lawsuit and a racial discrimination case. At one point last year, the law firm was handling seven matters for the company. Some of them involve disputes at franchise locations that 7-Eleven gets pulled into.

“I’ve seen an increase in the volume of cases I’ve had in California in the last two years,” Welter said. “They’re going after not just the primary employer but also against secondary or joint employers in a lot of the cases. The lawyers are becoming more aggressive.”

Welter also will advise government contractor Sayres and Associates Corp. and tech company iDirect Technologies Inc. on employment issues in California.

Staff reporter Alfred Lee can be reached at alee@labusinessjournal.com or at (323) 549-5225, ext. 221.

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