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June 2, 2011 1:32 PM

California Firm Picks Up D.C. Telecom Boutique

Posted by Brian Baxter

Best Best & Krieger, a 200-lawyer firm based in Riverside, Calif., has acquired six-lawyer Miller & Van Eaton, a telecommunications law boutique based in Washington, D.C. The National Law Journal, a sibling publication, reported Wednesday on the acquisition, which becomes official on July 1.

In snapping up Miller & Van Eaton, BB&K is making its first move to expand beyond its home state, where it has eight offices. BB&K has one of the Golden State's largest municipal and public agency law practices, supplying city attorneys for 30 California cities, according to The NLJ. Many of those municipal clients have a growing need for legal expertise in the telecom sector, managing partner Eric Garner told The NLJ.

"Telecommunications is just an even bigger part of all of our lives, and the transmission of data is becoming a more and more complex thing to accomplish," Garner said. "And so, for our public agency clients, it's just a more pressing issue than it's ever been."

Miller & Van Eaton was formed in 1985 as Miller & Holbrooke and adopted its current name in 1997, according to The NLJ. The firm, which has an office in San Francisco, handles telecom-related legal issues for public and private clients in the cable television, broadcasting, and wireless communications sectors. Miller & Van Eaton is also active in legislative, regulatory, and judicial matters, according to a press release announcing the BB&K acquisition.

Among those joining BB&K from Miller & Van Eaton are name partners Nicholas Miller and Joseph Van Eaton, of counsel Gerard Lederer and James Hobson, and associates Gail Karish and Matthew Schettenhelm. (The NLJ's story has more background on the Miller & Van Eaton attorneys.)

The new hires represent the largest group to join BB&K since the firm snagged an 18-lawyer group last August from dissolving Sacramento firm McDonough Holland & Allen. The municipal, land use, and redevelopment team joined BB&K's Sacramento office the following September.

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