Amid Reports of Lawyer Losses, Akin Gump Leader Gives Blog a Call
Posted Jul 30, 2008 11:16 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss
The chairman of Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld emphasized plans for an expansion in the San Francisco office as news reports focused on lawyer defections from the firm.
R. Bruce McLean called the blog Legal Pad yesterday afternoon, the day before Alston & Bird's announcement that it is opening a Silicon Valley office staffed with former Akin Gump intellectual property lawyers. Akin Gump closed in Silicon Valley office after it lost rainmaker Yitai Hu, reportedly because of a dispute over his desire to practice entirely from Taiwan.
McLean said the firm has made its California practice a key priority and toward that end it will expand its 11-lawyer San Francisco office, the blog reports. He said the office’s renewable energy practice has enormous potential. He also hopes to expand the office’s litigation, corporate, and labor and employment practices.
McLean attributed the loss of the Silicon Valley office and the departure of three Austin, Texas, partners primarily to a “reshaping” of practices. The firm now focuses on 10 core practices and higher-billing parts of practices such as labor and employment and intellectual property. The three lawyers who left the firm in Austin focused on legislative work.
McLean said other recent lawyer losses weren’t the result of the reshaping, but he refused to elaborate. The losses included the recent defections of five partners in Washington, D.C., and four labor and employment partners in California and Texas.
Meanwhile, Texas Lawyer is reporting that seven Akin Gump lawyers will staff a new Austin office for Greenberg Traurig, and nine Akin Gump lawyers are moving to Hunton & Williams.