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April 29, 2011 12:48 PM

DLA Picks Up 10 Lawyers in Sacramento After Absorbing Boutique

Posted by Brian Baxter

DLA Piper continued its growth surge on Thursday by adding 10 lawyers in Sacramento from local litigation boutique Stevens, O'Connell & Jacobs, which has two former U.S. attorney's as name partners.

Stevens O'Connell, founded in 1997 by Charles Stevens and George O'Connell (both of whom once served as U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of California), will fold after all of its lawyers decided to join DLA. The firm's third name partner, former federal prosecutor Matthew Jacobs, had once worked at DLA before joining Stevens O'Connell in November 2008.

Jacobs previously managed the litigation practice in DLA's Sacramento office and has represented former NBA player-turned-Sacramento-mayor Kevin Johnson on federal investigations and probes of his charitable organization. In returning to the firm, Jacobs now brings with him a team well versed in white-collar defense, internal investigations, and civil litigation work.

Before forming his own boutique, Stevens served as partner-in-charge of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher's former Sacramento office. He will join DLA as a partner, along with Jacobs, a former chief of the criminal division at the U.S. attorney's office in Sacramento, and Bradley Benbrook, a Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati alum.

O'Connell will join DLA as senior counsel, along with of counsel David Cheit, Craig Allison, Todd Noonan, Steven Kimball, Alexander Medina, and associate Daniel Croxall. The new hires will put the size of DLA's Sacramento office at roughly 25 lawyers.

Stevens told The Sacramento Bee that the move to DLA is not structured as a merger or buyout, but will just see all of Stevens O'Connell's former lawyers transfer to DLA. He said his colleagues were attracted by the larger platform offered by the firm.

DLA has been busy in recent months expanding its operations in places outside of Sacramento. In early April the firm brought on 12 lawyers--nine of them as partners--to its offices in Chicago, Miami, and Dubai. The lateral hires joined from Paul, Hastings, Janofsky & Walker, Hunton & Williams, and Reed Smith. Those additions followed new office openings by the firm in Delaware in March and Miami and Venezuela in February. DLA also reportedly is in the market for a Canadian merger partner.

According to the most recent Am Law 100 financial data, DLA had more than $1.9 billion in gross revenue in 2010 and profits per equity partner exceeded $1.1 million. The firm, which is structured as a Swiss verein and thus keeps its U.S. and foreign profit pools separate, saw its U.S. profits rise 12 percent last year, according to our previous reports.

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