One of the big names in the Richmond legal scene is getting bigger, thanks to two moves in less than a month.
Since September, LeClairRyan has added 31 attorneys to its various offices around the country: first by luring over a group from a larger rival and, most recently, by combining with a smaller firm.
The latest move, announced Tuesday, is the absorption of Pizzo & Haman, a workers compensation firm whose 23 employees – including 14 attorneys – are now part of LeClairRyan.
Including namesakes Christopher Pizzo and Clark Haman, the group has a specialty in high-volume workers compensation claims, representing large employers, insurers and third-party administration companies.
“It’s a meaningful acquisition in terms of talent and revenue,” LeClairRyan CEO Erik Gustafson said, adding that Pizzo & Haman’s book of business brings more than $5 million in annual revenue.
Pizzo’s and Haman’s group started with the firm last week and will split time around LeClairRyan offices in Southern California, Newark, New Jersey, Washington, D.C. and South Florida. Haman and Pizzo are both now shareholders of LeClairRyan.
In addition to adding the Pizzo & Haman client list, Gustafson said, the deal adds to the offerings LeClairRyan can take to its existing client base, which includes about 80 insurance companies.
The deal was preceded last month by the addition of 17 attorneys from the aviation industry practice of the massive U.K.-based Dentons law firm.
That move expands LeClairRyan’s aviation practice, which represents passenger and freight air carriers and aviation-related manufacturers. The Dentons group is led by Mark Dombroff and Diane Westwood Wilson, who are both now shareholders in LeClairRyan.
Dombroff is based in the firm’s Alexandria office. Westwood Wilson is based in Manhattan.
Gustafson said there’s room for growth following the new additions, as the aviation industry is changing.
“Increasingly some of their clients are people with private jets for business use and, drones: Virtually anyone commercially flying a drone for their business is a potential client,” he said.
While the firm has had a steady habit in recent years of expanding by adding attorneys here and there, Gustafson said, it recently acquired a taste for larger groups.
“We’ve been really taking our time around growth and thinking about the kinds of opportunities that will add increased depth in our existing practices,” he said. “We’re trying to do that with larger groups, which are much easier to add into the network.
“We’re still adding singles, doubles and triples. But a lot of our attention is on this larger-group opportunity.”
Companywide, LeClairRyan now has about 350 attorneys and upwards of 700 total employees spread around two dozen offices.
Gustafson, who is based in Alexandria, said the Richmond office remains its largest, on par with its Newark outpost, followed by Alexandria and Boston, and New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco.