ALM Spotlights Willkie’s Success in Los Angeles One Year After Opening

August 31, 2022

The Recorder, ALM’s California-focused publication, featured Willkie’s Los Angeles office in a story titled “’People Want to Be Here’: How Willkie Built a 60-Lawyer Los Angeles Office in 1 Year.”

The story, which quotes Firm Chairman Thomas Cerabino and L.A. Managing Partner Alex Weingarten, captures the Firm’s rapid growth in the Los Angeles market over the past year and the expansion of Willkie’s work in the entertainment industry and private wealth space.

Since launching the office in September 2021 with three partners – Alex Weingarten, Alan Epstein and Michele Mulrooney, the office has scaled to more than 60 lawyers and more than 20 partners. When asked about why he made the move to Willkie and what makes it such an attractive destination, Alex commented: “Ultimately, what made this opportunity so compelling was the people. We have a lot of energy in the marketplace [because] people want to be here.”

Willkie added several partners in 2022 with strong ties to the entertainment industry, including Sid Fohrman, Steven Hurdle and Ray LaSoya in Los Angeles, as well as sports entertainment lawyer Jared Bartie in New York. Alex explained that, as a result of this, Willkie has “become one of the leading firms in entertainment in Los Angeles” with a group of litigation, private wealth and private equity lawyers servicing industry clients.

The article also focused on Willkie’s growth of its private client group through recent Los Angeles and Chicago expansions. Tom commented, “Some firms have backed away from private client work, but we’ve doubled down on it. Adding a Los Angeles private clients practice has helped give us a truly national practice that is second to none [as] wealthy individuals and family offices are becoming very important investors in their own right.”

Alex also highlighted that one of the advantages of practicing at Willkie is how interconnected your practice can be with your partners, and how he and others in L.A. have successfully expanded relationships with clients by introducing them to other partners at the Firm.

When asked what’s next for Willkie in California, Tom explained that Willkie is planning for more growth in Los Angeles as well as in Willkie’s northern California offices in San Francisco and Palo Alto.

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