Philadelphia’s Blank Rome has absorbed two boutique L.A. firms, its biggest hiring move here since opening an office in Century City nearly five years ago.

The acquisition of attorneys from Margolis & Tisman and Finestone & Richter adds 15 lawyers to the firm’s L.A. outpost. Blank Rome now has 42 attorneys in Los Angeles, up from the five it opened with in 2009.

Gregory Bordo, administrative partner of Blank Rome’s Century City office, said the hires would greatly expand the office’s capabilities. Margolis & Tisman worked closely with Chinese and South Korean clients doing business in the United States, while Finestone & Richter focused on corporate, and trusts and estates work.

“It’s always been the plan to have a full-service office in Los Angeles,” Bordo said. “We were very fortunate to find two groups that have practices that not only complement one another but the existing practices in Los Angeles.”

Mike Margolis, 59, said that an increase in work from Chinese and South Korean clients required his former firm to join a larger one. In addition to clients from those countries, his firm also represented American companies that serve Korean or Chinese communities in the United States, such as Pasadena’s East West Bank. About half of its business also came from business law work for non-Asian clients.

“The Chinese businesses and entrepreneurs coming into and operating in the United States were really increasing very fast,” he said. “We knew that our platform wouldn’t allow us to really serve that market in a significant way, so when we were approached by Blank Rome, we started exploring that.”

Attorneys from Margolis & Tisman will also open a San Francisco office for Blank Rome.

Litigation Addition

Silicon Valley’s Cooley has become a go-to firm for the L.A. startup scene since opening a Santa Monica office in 2012, representing tech companies and financiers alike in a flurry of deals. Now, the outpost has added its first litigation partner, Bill Donovan, a trial lawyer who made the jump from DLA Piper last week.

Donovan, 47, specializes in class-action cases, accounting malpractice matters and commercial litigation. In addition to bringing over large corporate clients, he will service the litigation needs of Cooley’s startup clients and build out the office’s new litigation practice.

“Cooley has made great strides and the office is doing incredibly well,” he said. “We intend to be aggressive in the L.A. market to bring in appropriate litigators and other lateral hires.”

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