Co-founding Partner Andrew Kirsh said the firm, which charges rates less than $500 an hour, has been busy. Matters handled by the firm include representation of Pacshore Partners in its acquisition of creative office properties in Santa Monica for about $20 million, and handling asset sales for Lehman Bros. Holdings Inc. Sklar Kirsh has also made several hires from larger firms, most notably Jennifer Borow, formerly a partner at Century City’s Loeb & Loeb.

“We’re getting a lot of traction in the market,” Kirsh said. “We see there’s certainly a need to fill a void of sophisticated transactional law firm work, from former big law firm attorneys who are providing services at rates in line with clients’ expectations.”

Kirsh also said that before signing the new lease, firm leaders had considered reducing overhead by having attorneys work from home on some days, but decided against it.

“We talked about whether we wanted to go more virtual, whether we wanted to be more 21st century,” he said. “But in the end there’s something you gain in terms of intangibles when everyone is there together.”

New Entertainment Practice

Another firm making inroads in Los Angeles this year is New York’s Kasowitz Benson Torres & Friedman, which opened a Century City office in May.

Kasowitz, which focuses almost exclusively on complex litigation, launched the office with Jerry Oshinsky and Linda Kornfeld, two heavyweights in the field of insurance litigation. But the hiring last month of John Berlinski and Mansi Shah from NBCUniversal signals the firm is branching out into entertainment.

At NBCUniversal, Berlinski and Shah defended against profit-participation lawsuits. They’ll be taking the other side at Kasowitz, representing producers and actors in the same kinds of matters. The firm does not represent studios in transactional work, allowing them to take an adversarial position.

“We were approached over the years by representatives of talent to take our expertise to this niche area and to go on the other side to maximize profit-participation shares,” Berlinski said. “Kasowitz is a national litigation powerhouse unencumbered by studio conflicts.”

The firm’s L.A. office now has seven attorneys and could be well beyond 10 within the next year or two, said Kornfeld, who heads the L.A. office.

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

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