US corporate finance and securities firm Debevoise & Plimpton is closing its seven-year-old Los Angeles office and offering to return staff to New York. The firm, which has lawyers across the US as well as in Paris, London, Hong Kong, Budapest and Prague, has already begun its "phasing down" programme. Seven of the 12 lawyers have already left - some for New York and others for new firms. "It was a strategic decision to close," said office managing partner Robert King. "The LA practice did not fit well into the international orientation of the firm."