Some of Washington’s biggest and best-known firms have arrived in California (sub. req.), but local lawyers interviewed for The Recorder’s story aren't trembling in their Ferragamos (or their Guccis, as the case may be).
For one thing, some indigenous firms boast decent-sized D.C. offices. Pillsbury Winthrop's, for instance, specializes in several industries, including energy, healthcare and international trade. Chairman Jim Rishwain said the D.C. office, with 172 attorneys, has been his firm's biggest since 2005.
Many of its lawyers serve California clients. One example: D.C. public policy partner Elizabeth Moeller is advising Stanislaw County in getting more funding for water projects through the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation. Another: the firm's energy and environmental teams - in DC and firm-wide - regularly advise California energy and utility clients seeking regulatory approval from FERC, the Nuclear Energy Commission, the EPA and other federal agencies.
Another thing: California firms have grown up with the state's industries.
“California has unique industries with unique needs – from Hollywood and Napa Valley to Silicon Valley and San Diego's biotech boom,” Rishwain said in an email. “It will be a challenge for newcomers to compete against the size, experience and cultural advantages of homegrown firms like Pillsbury have.”