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12/26/06

Arent Fox buys West Coast law firm


Full-service law firm Arent Fox has announced its acquisition of O'Brien Abeles, a West Coast litigation boutique. The move to acquire the Los Angeles boutique firm was spurred by Arent Fox's desire to establish an office in California. The search for a match in California who shared the firm's professional ethics and ideals was a lengthy one. California-based O’Brien Abeles' outstanding commitment to its clients, as well as the firm’s culture, fulfilled Arent Fox’s requirements for an able partner. Both firms are celebrating the emergent win-win situation and are highly expectant of benefiting from the acquisition.

O'Brien Abeles has nine attorneys working in its LA office and is on the verge of hiring two more. Arent Fox will send two of its lawyers to relocate to the LA office, thus increasing the number of lawyers in the West Coast office to 13.

The latest entrants to the new firm are Ambassador Pierre-Richard Prosper, a former U.S. ambassador-at-large. He will concentrate on the firm’s international practice in areas such as trade regulation, intellectual property protection, and arbitration. He will also counsel corporate clients on internal investigations and compliance issues. The other new face is Steven Bledsoe, former share partner with Kirkland & Ellis’s LA office. Bledsoe will join the new firm’s litigation team and will serve clients from a variety of industries in high-stakes litigation matters. Two current Arent Fox partners, Wayne Matelski, a senior pharmaceutical and medical device attorney in Arent Fox’s food and drug practice and a partner and co-chair in the firm’s regulatory department in its Washington office and Michael Cryan, a litigator whose practice focuses on intellectual property and general business, are relocating from the New York office to join the new firm in California.

A diversified law firm with 26 practice groups, Arent Fox has more than 300 lawyers, and serves clients including Fortune 500 companies, government agencies, and start-up companies. O’Brien Abeles concentrates on litigation and counseling for a variety of industries, including media and entertainment.

Latham Watkins’ Spanish Armada
Aiming to consolidate its position in the European market, Global law firm Latham & Watkins opened shop on the Spanish shores under the stewardship of José Luis Blanco, M&A partner in the firm. The firm will set up two offices there, the principal one in Madrid and an additional office in Barcelona.

Well known in the Spanish legal arena as a transactional expert, Blanco represents strategic buyers and private equity clients. Blanco, who will serve as the Office Managing Partner for Spain, will concentrate his practice on M&A and private equity transactions, complemented by acquisition finance and competition law. Prior to joining Latham, Blanco served Cuatrecasas as its global head of M&A. Latham hopes to build a strong and focused M&A practice in the region, pursuant of its vision to be the leading corporate team in Spain.

Latham & Watkins has more than 1,900 attorneys serving an impressive list of clientele from its 22 offices worldwide.

See acquisition finance attorney jobs here.
 

Latham & Watkins LLP.

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