Law firm bolsters Calif. presence

LeClairRyan is headquartered in the Riverfront Plaza East Tower. Photo by Evelyn Rupert.

LeClairRyan is headquartered in the Riverfront Plaza East Tower. Photo by Evelyn Rupert.

One of Richmond’s biggest law firms is bulking up its presence on the West Coast.

LeClairRyan opened a new office in Sacramento on Jan. 1, marking the firm’s first location in California’s capital, its third in the state and 24th in the U.S.

The expansion was prompted by the addition of two new attorneys. Partners Robert McWhorter and Kevin Collins will lead the Sacramento office as the firm looks for additional lawyers for the new location.

Robert McWhorter

Robert McWhorter

McWhorter and Collins came over from Nossaman, a smaller firm with offices in California, Texas, Northern Virginia and D.C.

“We had the opportunity to meet (McWhorter and Collins) last year and thought that their practice would be a good fit – actually, a great fit – with our strategy of increasing our national presence and especially our presence in California,” LeClairRyan CEO David Freinberg said.

The firm’s other California offices are in Los Angeles and San Francisco. Talks over the potential expansion into Sacramento have been ongoing for about six months.

“We thought the opportunity with them inside of our firm was a great one, and consequently, we were happy as part of the recruiting effort to open a new office in Sacramento to accommodate them,” he said.

With McWhorter and Collins signing on, LeClairRyan now employs 377 attorneys firm-wide. And that number is likely to grow in the next year as recruitment continues. A new associate has already been added to the Sacramento branch, McWhorter said.

The attorneys are in a temporarily leased space and on the lookout for potential real estate in which to settle down into a permanent office.

“It depends on how many lawyers we get and how fast we can grow, so that’s one of our challenges,” McWhorter said.

Kevin Collins

Kevin Collins

Freinberg would not say how much LeClairRyan is investing in the Sacramento operation.

McWhorter’s practice focuses on bankruptcy and other commercial and corporate litigation, and Collins is a trial lawyer with a focus in complex litigation.

Its California expansion follows new offices and attorney additions in Texas, New Jersey and Maryland over the last two years.

Back in Richmond, the firm is preparing to move its office into the downtown SunTrust Center later this year.

LeClairRyan is headquartered in the Riverfront Plaza East Tower. Photo by Evelyn Rupert.

LeClairRyan is headquartered in the Riverfront Plaza East Tower. Photo by Evelyn Rupert.

One of Richmond’s biggest law firms is bulking up its presence on the West Coast.

LeClairRyan opened a new office in Sacramento on Jan. 1, marking the firm’s first location in California’s capital, its third in the state and 24th in the U.S.

The expansion was prompted by the addition of two new attorneys. Partners Robert McWhorter and Kevin Collins will lead the Sacramento office as the firm looks for additional lawyers for the new location.

Robert McWhorter

Robert McWhorter

McWhorter and Collins came over from Nossaman, a smaller firm with offices in California, Texas, Northern Virginia and D.C.

“We had the opportunity to meet (McWhorter and Collins) last year and thought that their practice would be a good fit – actually, a great fit – with our strategy of increasing our national presence and especially our presence in California,” LeClairRyan CEO David Freinberg said.

The firm’s other California offices are in Los Angeles and San Francisco. Talks over the potential expansion into Sacramento have been ongoing for about six months.

“We thought the opportunity with them inside of our firm was a great one, and consequently, we were happy as part of the recruiting effort to open a new office in Sacramento to accommodate them,” he said.

With McWhorter and Collins signing on, LeClairRyan now employs 377 attorneys firm-wide. And that number is likely to grow in the next year as recruitment continues. A new associate has already been added to the Sacramento branch, McWhorter said.

The attorneys are in a temporarily leased space and on the lookout for potential real estate in which to settle down into a permanent office.

“It depends on how many lawyers we get and how fast we can grow, so that’s one of our challenges,” McWhorter said.

Kevin Collins

Kevin Collins

Freinberg would not say how much LeClairRyan is investing in the Sacramento operation.

McWhorter’s practice focuses on bankruptcy and other commercial and corporate litigation, and Collins is a trial lawyer with a focus in complex litigation.

Its California expansion follows new offices and attorney additions in Texas, New Jersey and Maryland over the last two years.

Back in Richmond, the firm is preparing to move its office into the downtown SunTrust Center later this year.

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