Law Firms

More than 110 lawyers leave this BigLaw firm to join new shop

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More than 110 lawyers are leaving Lewis Brisbois Bisgaard & Smith to join a new law firm founded by two of its longtime lawyers.

The new firm is Barber Ranen, which will focus on commercial and employment litigation, reports. About 60 lawyers will be joining the new firm as partners, according to Reuters.

Eventually, the new firm could bring as many as 140 Lewis Brisbois lawyers on board, the articles report.

It’s not entirely clear which lawyers are leaving, said Mary Smigielski, a Lewis Brisbois partner, in an interview with

“In the coming days, we’ll have a clearer picture of what will transpire,” said Smigielski, who is the newly named Midwest regional vice chair of the labor and employment practice at Lewis Brisbois.

Lewis Brisbois will continue to provide clients “the same high level of support,” Smigielski said. “We’re moving forward with an updated leadership plan, centralizing and making it clear who has responsibility in various regions.”

Partner Elior Shiloh has been named chair of Lewis Brisbois’ labor and employment practice. He replaces John Barber, the outgoing employment practice chair and one of the founders of the new firm. Barber had been a partner at Lewis Brisbois for 25 years, according to

The other Barber Ranen founder is Jeff Ranen, the outgoing Lewis Brisbois employment law national vice chair who has practiced at Lewis Brisbois for two decades.

Ranen will be the new firm’s chief financial officer, while Barber will be the firmwide managing partner.

The new firm will have offices in the California cities of Los Angeles, Newport Beach and San Francisco, Barber told Reuters. Lawyers will be working remotely in several other states.

The new firm will be run like a business and will “provide consistently excellent legal services at extremely reasonable rates,” according to its website.

The exodus isn’t the only mass departure from Lewis Brisbois. In January, 32 cybersecurity and data privacy lawyers left Lewis Brisbois to join labor and employment firm Constangy, Brooks, Smith & Prophete.

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