Kathleen Brown moved to Chicago from Los Angeles in 2010 not only to pursue a “tremendous business opportunity” as chairman of investment banking in the Midwest for Goldman Sachs, but also to avoid the potential appearance of a conflict of interest. Her brother, Jerry Brown, had been elected governor of California, and as head of Goldman’s public sector and infrastructure business for the West, her largest client at the time was the state.

But in June, Brown decided to retire from Goldman and come back to California, where she had served as state treasurer from 1990 until her own losing bid for governor in 1994. That led to a chain of negotiations that led her into the role of partner at West L.A.’s Manatt Phelps & Phillips this month.

“I thought it was time to focus on returning to California,” said Brown. “Ultimately, California is home and I’ve got three of five children here.”

At Manatt, Brown will advise clients in the health care, energy and financial services industries on matters including government and regulatory affairs. The 67-year-old, who graduated from Fordham University School of Law and worked as an attorney at L.A. firm O’Melveny & Myers in the 1980s, said she will not be lobbying the governor’s office.

She will also serve on the boards of San Diego’s Sempra Energy and Austin, Texas-based Forestar Group Inc. Her desire to serve on boards also influenced her decision to leave Goldman.

George Kieffer, chairman of Manatt’s government and regulatory policy division, said the addition was a coup for the firm.

“She mentioned she was going to be coming back to California, and I said, ‘How about Manatt?’” he said. “She brings extraordinary energy, creativity and brains. People are just attracted to her as an adviser.”

Another Return

A. Howard Matz, who retired as a federal judge in the Central District of California in April, has rejoined Bird Marella Boxer Wolpert Nessim Drooks & Lincenberg, the Century City firm he co-founded 30 years ago.

Matz, 70, will represent lawyers and law firms in professional disputes, and spearhead internal investigations at businesses, especially those involving the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, an area in which he made key rulings as a judge. He also plans to do pro bono cases and work as an arbitrator and mediator. He left the firm in 1998 after being nominated to the federal bench by President Bill Clinton.

“It’s a firm really led by second and third generation lawyers and I had a large hand in recruiting them,” he said. “These are people I know very well. The fit was really comfortable.”

The firm he will be rejoining has grown[RTF bookmark start: }_GoBack[RTF bookmark end: }_GoBack recently. Bird Marella now has 41 attorneys, up from about 25 three years ago, and took additional space this year at 1875 Century Park East. The litigation-only firm primarily handles white-collar defense work and complex civil litigation, which has driven much of the growth.

“We’ve had pretty steady expansion,” said Co-Managing Partner Mitch Kamin. “We have really hit our stride in complex civil business litigation.”

Changing World

Entertainment attorney Jamie Young, whose roster of musician clients includes Celine Dion, Stevie Nicks and Perry Farrell, has joined Beverly Hills boutique Hertz Lichtenstein & Young as a name partner.

Young said she was drawn by the opportunity to expand her clients’ business opportunities outside of traditional music avenues and into areas such as new media. She also wants to continue steering her clients’ ventures outside of record deals, such as Dion’s residency show in Las Vegas and Farrell’s co-ownership of the Lollapalooza music festival. The shrinking recording industry makes that a necessity.

“The music business is so contracted that it’s kind of a danger to be that kind of lawyer. I don’t think there’s a future there,” she said.

She noted that partner Ken Hertz is also founder of marketing consulting firm memBrain. That affiliation has led to deals such as one naming law firm client and musician will.i.am as “director of creative innovation” at Intel Corp., a memBrain client. The law firm also counts actor Will Smith and musicians Britney Spears and Gwen Stefani as clients.

“The world’s changed,” Hertz said. “Convergence is about marketers’ and content creators’ businesses collapsing into each other.”

Young previously worked for 22 years at influential entertainment law firm Ziffren Brittenham.

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

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