May 28, 2024

Los Angeles Business Journal profiled Willkie’s Los Angeles office as one of the city’s fastest-growing firms that has leveraged local talent and a strong culture to become a market leader. 

The profile focused on the ongoing growth of Willkie’s L.A. office, which launched in September 2021 with three partners and now numbers nearly 100 attorneys, highlighting the business acumen, recruitment and talent development, and culture that are keys to its success.

Alex Weingarten, managing partner of the Los Angeles office and Chair of the Entertainment Litigation Practice, spoke at length about Willkie’s rise and presence in the market, an expansion that is notable for its caliber as well as its speed and scale. 

“The speed of our growth is definitely something that we’re very excited about,” Weingarten told Los Angeles Business Journal, “but more important to me has been the quality of our growth.”

The publication noted that Willkie has built marquee commercial litigation and corporate M&A practices, with particular entertainment industry strengths, as well as leading private wealth and real estate practices. These will continue to be areas of growth for Willkie while it also develops a full-service platform, soon to be housed in a new 160-lawyer office. 

The article also discussed how Willkie’s successful expansion, a goal that has eluded other East Coast firms, involved recruiting top local talent with deep ties to the business community and civic life in Los Angeles. 

Since he launched the office with Alan Epstein, Chair of the firm’s Entertainment Transactions Practice, and Michele Mulrooney, Chair of Willkie’s Private Wealth Group in Los Angeles, Alex Weingarten has remained focused on pinpointing the right talent. He has looked for additions where “one plus one equal three” – leading attorneys who not only complement the group’s capabilities but fit the culture and mindset of the firm. 

Recent high-profile lateral hires include Misty Sanford, West Coast Chair of the Real Estate Department, who said Willkie represented a “Goldilocks” scenario, offering clients a global platform while giving lawyers the opportunity to contribute to the growth and character of a dynamic local enterprise. 

The success of the Los Angeles office reflects a drive for collective excellence and a shared commitment to both clients and colleagues. 

“There are a lot of large law firms that are more sole proprietors operating under a common brand. Willkie is really a true partnership in the old school sense,” Weingarten told Los Angeles Business Journal. “If someone needs you, you say, ‘Yes.’”

Read the full profile in Los Angeles Business Journal here (subscription may be required).