Bingham appoints LA mayor as of counsel

Bingham McCutchen has boosted its West Coast practice with the hire of the former Los Angeles (LA) mayor and Californian secretary of education Richard Riordan.

Riordan joins the 850-lawyer firm’s LA office as of counsel. He was previously a co-founder of private equity boutique Riordan & McKenzie, which merged with Bingham McCutchen in 2003, doubling the firm’s presence in southern California to more than 110 lawyers.

Riordan was elected mayor of LA in 1993 and was re-elected with a 60 per cent majority four years later. He was appointed secretary for education in November 2003 as California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger’s first cabinet appointment.

Riordan said that Bingham was a good fit for his political expertise. Former California governor Pete Wilson also joined the LA office as of counsel in 2003.

His appointment comes hot on the heels of the firm’s raid on Fried Frank Harris Shriver & Jacobson’s now defunct LA office in June to hire corporate partner David Robbins and litigation partner Stephen Alexander.

Fried Frank veterans Robbins and Alexander were the last two partners to leave the firm’s LA office in June after Fried Frank shifted its strategy to focus on its East Coast and European practices.