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May 25, 2011 6:12 PM

Epstein Becker Loses Seven More Lawyers to Crowell & Moring

Posted by Brian Baxter

Crowell Laterals

A day after Epstein Becker & Green lost its Houston office to Cozen O'Connor, seven more lawyers are leaving the firm's San Francisco office for Crowell & Moring.

The Am Law Daily reported on one of those departures on Tuesday--William Helvestine, a former member of Epstein Becker's executive committee and managing partner of the firm's Bay Area office.

The moves to Cozen and Crowell come on the heels of Epstein Becker's closure of its Miami office and the loss of the firm's former real estate practice chair in Atlanta earlier this year after similarly-sized groups of laterals left for Duane Morris and DLA Piper, respectively.

The health care litigation and life sciences team now leaving for Crowell includes Helvestine, partners Andrew Hefty and Damian Capozzola, counsel David Johnson, and associates Joanna Allen, Carri Becker Maas, and Lisa Caccavo. All are based in San Francisco except for Capozzola, who will work out of the firm's Los Angeles office. (The Recorder, a sibling publication that has more on Crowell's new hires, reports that the move was brokered by San Francisco-based legal search firm McClure & Feuer.)

"Our move to Crowell comes at an important time for our managed care clients, who are navigating widespread changes at the federal and state levels resulting from national health reform and new initiatives in California," said Helvestine in a statement. "We'll be able to tap into Crowell's deep resources in complex litigation, government investigations, and federal regulatory matters as we help our clients adjust to these changes and manage their risks."

The lateral moves leave Epstein Becker with six lawyers in San Francisco. The remaining attorneys specialize in labor and employment work. Steven Blackburn, who has been named the office's new managing partner, wished Helvestine and his team well in a statement. He said Epstein Becker is looking at additional expansion opportunities in the life sciences area that fit the firm's "unique strategic platform."

"We remain committed to the Bay Area, and have recently added Dena Narbaitz to our San Francisco office as a partner in our labor and employment practice," Blackburn said. "In addition, Dale Bonner, a former partner in our Los Angeles office, has recently rejoined the firm as strategic counsel with EBG Advisors, Inc., after serving in the Schwarzenegger administration as secretary of California's Business, Transportation, and Housing Agency."

Epstein Becker claims that the recent spate of departures were set off by a larger strategic plan by the firm to focus on core strengths and to better address the changing needs of its clients.

Photo: Courtesy of Crowell & Moring (left to right: Johnson, Allen, Hefty, Maas, Helvestine, Caccavo, and Capozzola.)

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