Law Firms

8 more partners will exit Downey Brand; they plan to form 2 new boutiques


Eight more partners have announced that they plan to leave Downey Brand, the largest law firm in Sacramento, Calif., in order to form two new boutiques.

Former managing partner Jeff Koewler is leading a five-lawyer group that plans to specialize in business and family law. Another three attorneys will focus on banking, commercial real estate and business, the Sacramento Business Journal reports.

Departing attorneys say the time is right to go out on their own—as other lawyers also have been finding, throughout the country.

“I’ve had visions of starting my own firm for 10 years,” Koewler told the business publication. “These are partners I have worked with and enjoy practicing with—and a boutique business firm seems to make a lot of sense.”

He said his firm plans to add associates at some point and become a full-service business law firm, but has no thought of growing to the size of Downey Brand.

Including the latest planned departures, the Downey firm has lost 18 lawyers so far this year. It had 122 lawyers last June, but will soon list 91 on its attorney roster.

“It is always hard to see good friends go, but just being good friends doesn’t mean you should practice together,” said the Downey firm’s recently appointed managing partner, Scott Shapiro. “They don’t represent the majority of the firm, which is still the largest and most significant firm in the Central Valley.”

See also:

ABAJournal.com: “7 lawyers exit Downey Brand to form new firm focusing on energy and land-use”

Sacramento Business Journal: “Downey Brand wrestles with lawyer exodus”

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