Partners at St. Louis-based Armstrong Teasdale have left a shroud of mystery in the wake of their San Francisco shutdown.
The outpost — which as late as this past February listed seven lawyers on its online roster — closed at the end of July, according to Armstrong partner John Beulick, who is based in St. Louis.
What led to the pullout from their only California outpost? “We’re focusing our efforts in Nevada right now,” Beulick said this afternoon. And why Nevada over California? “I don’t want to get into all that,” Beulick said.
It might be simply that Armstrong Teasdale returned to its original plan, hatched two years ago. The 270-lawyer firm, which focuses on real estate, patent and corporate law among others, ventured into California in the fall of 2006 by hiring the nine lawyers of San Francisco litigation shop Senn Meulemans. At the time, we quoted Armstrong partner Byron Francis saying that the Midwestern firm was initially eyeing Senn’s three lawyers who worked out of the Reno and Las Vegas offices. “Frankly, it was the Nevada focus we had originally, but now I would say San Francisco is as important,” Francis told The Recorder back then. (Legal Pad has a call in to him.)
The goal was to expand the combined firm’s construction, real estate, labor and employment, IP and litigation practices.
Apparently, San Francisco didn’t live up to expectations. Reached today at the airport, Kevin Senn said that the firm closed Aug. 30 and had four lawyers at the time. He declined to discuss Armstrong’s strategy, but said that he was not laid off. As for the others: “Everybody just found other employment.”
Senn recently opened his own firm in Walnut Creek, he said.
Four of the six other lawyers listed in February could be tracked down at their four new law firms (in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Novato and Silicon Valley). None of them would comment. The other two could not be tracked down.
— Petra Pasternak