Meredith Riley


Meredith is a senior recruiter specializing in the placement of partners and practice groups in both Southern and Northern California and throughout the Nation. Since 2000, she has successfully represented practice groups, individual partners and associates to several leading law firms including: Winston & Strawn; Skadden Arps; O’Melveny & Myers; Akin Gump; Alston & Bird; Norton Rose Fulbright; White & Case; Crowell & Moring; DLA; Greenberg Traurig; Morrison & Foerster; Perkins Coie; Quinn Emanuel; Proskauer; Jeffer Mangels; Loeb & Loeb; Gibson Dunn; Reed Smith; Baker & Hostetler; Arent Fox; Blank Rome; Vedder Price; Buchalter; King & Spalding; Holland & Knight and Snell & Wilmer. Her focus in the last fifteen years has been partner placement.

In June 2021, Meredith successfully completed Winston & Strawn’s highest search priority which resulted in the placement of Khoa Do to chair the firm’s corporate practice in No. California. Winston Chairman Tom Fitzgerald noted “Khoa adds valuable private equity and M&A capabilities to our highly regarded corporate practice in three of our West Coast offices”. (Do was formerly a major rainmaker at DLA). Meredith recently handled the moves of top patent litigation partner Kenneth Parker to Gibson Dunn & Crutcher; healthcare partner David Balfour (See letter) from Nossaman to Buchalter; Arash Beral, prominent business litigation partner to Blank Rome; Joshua Henderson, a leading labor partner at Seyfarth to Norton Rose Fulbright (S.F.); Seyfarth consumer class actions litigation partner Joseph Escarez to Theodora Oringher (L.A.) (See Letter) and intellectual property partner Thomas Speiss to Buchalter (L.A.).

In the last two years, she handled the moves of several other partners including Germain Labat, former litigation chair at Vedder Price to Greenspoon Marder; Mark Nys and Susan Chelsea, the core group to launch the San Diego office of Burke Williams & Sorenson (BWS); a two partner litigation group to BWS in L.A. office; and Daniel Wu, Squire Patton Boggs litigation partner to Buchalter (L.A.)

Meredith and Esquire President Sandy Lechtick have collaborated together on several notable transactions, including the core groups to launch Alston & Bird’s newest office in San Francisco- representing nationally known trial lawyer Robert “Bo” Philips and his nine-lawyer litigation team from Reed Smith and Michael Agoglia, former Managing Partner of Morrison & Foerster (S.F.) and co-chair of the firm’s financial services litigation practice group; Amar Thakur, formerly IP chair at Foley & Lardner- (lead trial lawyer in a successful $160M major IP lawsuit) to Quinn Emanuel; a prominent white-collar partner and litigation group to King & Spalding (L.A.); L&E partner Michele Beilke and her five lawyer group from Reed Smith to Hunton Andrews Kurth; a 4-lawyer corporate and tax group (headed by former Stradling partner Goodarz T. Agahi) to Baker & Hostetler (O.C.). The two also handled the moves of prominent Akin Gump project finance energy partner Elliot Hinds to Crowell & Moring; patent litigation partner Scott Feldman (MSEE) to Baker & Hostetler; Gordon & Rees life-science co-chairs William Pedranti and George Ng to Snell & Wilmer and Arnold & Porter trademark specialist Diane Lambillotte to Arent Fox (see letter).

In addition, Ms. Riley placed litigation partner Daniel Rygorsky from Troy & Gould to Buchalter; insurance expert partner James Fitzgerald from Akin Gump to Drinker Biddle; leading finance partner Danielle Garcia from Blank Rome to Holland & Knight (Los Angeles); Eric Fromme, former Jeffer Mangels litigation partner to Theodora Oringher and L&E partner Kellie Christianson to Lewis Brisbois- (Orange County). She also handled the move of David Bournazian from Troutman to Greenberg Traurig. Several years previous, Mr. Bournazian requested our representation – where we facilitated his move to Baker & Hostetler. “Absolutely first-rate” is how he described Meredith’s performance! Others: commercial and employment litigator Brian P. Maschler to Arent Fox (San Francisco); Locke Lord corporate partner Daniel Peters to Katten Muchin (Los Angeles); Goodwin Procter antitrust litigation partner Patrick Thompson to Perkins Coie (San Francisco); Michelle Gilette, Mintz Levin products liability partner to Crowell & Moring (San Francisco); Pamela Naughton, noted white collar partner formerly of Sheppard Mullin to DLA (San Diego); corporate partner Jonathan Atzen also from Sheppard Mullin to Perkins Coie (L.A. and Silicon Valley); DLA cyber security and data privacy chair Joshua Briones and Ana Tagvoryan to Blank Rome (L.A.) and Germain Labat, former Mayer Brown litigation partner to Vedder Price – as litigation chair. (Five years later he decided to move his practice and reached out to us- with success).

Other representations include: Kirkland & Ellis litigation partner Mark Cramer’s move to Buchalter and Rick McNeil, former Irell & Manella environmental chair to Snell & Wilmer. While she has placed partners at many of the most profitable and prestigious law firms in the Nation, she has also diversified her law firm representation in the last few years to small and mid-sized regional and national mid-rate firms. For instance, she placed products liability partner Bernard Gehlhar from Wilson Elser to LeClairRyan (San Francisco); Philip Schroeder, corporate specialist from Allen Matkins to Buchalter and litigator Shawn E. Cowles and Keri Borders, experienced first chair trial lawyer from Kelly Drye also to Buchalter; real estate partner Richard A. Schloss (formerly with Robins Kaplan) to Liner, which recently merged with DLA.

Meredith has had a very unusual career path. After receiving her B.A. in Communications/Journalism, she spent several years in the entertainment sector handling literary projects. However, interested in the dynamic convergence of technology, entertainment and web-based enterprises, she entered the executive and technical search arena. Ultimately, the influence of the lawyers in her family (father and brother) propelled her to attorney placement. She placed her first attorney within her first 60 days. Meredith joined Esquire in 2010.

Her hobbies include singing, collecting antiques, foreign travel, cooking, water sports and yoga.

July 2021

Esquire, Inc. adheres to the principles of the National Association of Legal Search Consultants Code of Ethics, and has either led or participated in many NALSC seminars since 2001.