Century City firm Peitzman Weg has announced it is joining Minneapolis firm Robins Kaplan Miller & Ciresi, marking the latest shakeup of the bankruptcy law landscape in Los Angeles.

Partner Howard J. Weg attributed his decision to join a national firm to larger trends in the bankruptcy and restructuring market. He said it has become more difficult for bankruptcy boutiques to compete with larger firms that have litigation support.

“It’s become increasingly important in the restructuring world and the Chapter 11 business practice to become competitive on a national platform and to have very deep litigation capability,” he said. “Robins Kaplan will give us a competitive advantage in so many of the significant national cases that continue to be filed where part of the restructuring process is driven by the backdrop of actual or potential litigation.”

As bankruptcy filings drop nationally, larger firms are also fighting for more midmarket work, he added.

“The large national firms that have hundreds of lawyers have built up significant bankruptcy groups across the country,” he said. “And the big firms have moved into competing for a smaller pool of cases nationally.”

The move follows the dissolution last month of Stutman Treister & Glatt, for decades one of the premier bankruptcy boutiques in Los Angeles. Weg, 59, said his 15-year-old firm has remained busy with restructuring work, and he framed the move as “two successful firms coming together to be more successful.”

Seven to eight attorneys will join him in the move. They include Partners Scott F. Gautier, James P. Menton Jr. and David B. Shemano. Weg will chair Robins Kaplan’s firmwide restructuring and business bankruptcy group. Name Partner Lawrence Peitzman will retire from private practice.

The additions bring Robins Kaplan’s attorney count to more than 30 in its Century City outpost, according to Roman Silberfeld, office managing partner. The office was down to 25 attorneys at the beginning of this year, but Silberfeld has plans to expand, especially in entertainment litigation and intellectual property, and said additional hires could be forthcoming.

“We’re open to new and interesting opportunities, and the Peitzman Weg move is an example of that,” he said.

Growth Spurt

Polsinelli of Kansas City, Mo., has used a wave of acquisitions and midmarket rates to become one of the fastest-growing law firms in the country, jumping to more than 720 attorneys from fewer than 300 attorneys in 2008 and nearly tripling its revenues during that span.


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