Thursday, August 25, 2016
New downtown LA firm adds former Pillsbury partner
By Justin Kloczko
Daily Journal Staff Writer
New litigation boutique Larson O’Brien LLP has acquired a former Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP partner as well as four associates, partner Robert C. O’Brien confirmed.
Scott Sommer, who left his position as an equity partner in Pillsbury’s environmental and land use group, has become of counsel at the downtown Los Angeles firm.
He was previously co-counsel with O’Brien on a number of cases. Sommer has done about 100 trials against state, federal and local agencies, litigating many environmental contamination issues.
“He’s got tremendous trial experience. He is one of the few guys out there that really knows water, oil and gas litigation,” O’Brien said Tuesday.
Before his time at Pillsbury, Sommer worked for 11 years at Miller Starr Regalia, a Bay Area firm with a real property focus.
He came to Pillsbury 10 years ago. Sommer did not return messages seeking comment.
New additions to Larson O’Brien also include associates Andrew Bedigian, Shane Baumgardner, Erica Graves, and Uri Niv. O’Brien said the firm is looking for the “best and brightest young associates” to join the firm and is looking to fill one more associate position.
The firm started with 11 lawyers and has now grown to 16. When O’Brien started Arent Fox LLP’s Los Angeles office in 2007, he had nine lawyers and expanded it to about 100 before departing to start Larson O’Brien in January, he said.
The firm is not looking to grow exponentially, but wants to maintain a boutique perspective. “We’re basically going to grow to support client needs,” O’Brien said.
Sandy Lechtick, a legal recruiter with Esquire Inc., said O’Brien was the architect behind the growth at Arent Fox and shocked many when he left. A core group at Arent Fox followed O’Brien to his new firm.
“It’s harder to find leaders than it is rainmakers,” according to Lechtick, who said O’Brien is both. “I think that firm will be very successful.”
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