Latham & Watkins has hired two litigation partners from Pillsbury Winthrop. Stephen Stublarec and Christopher Byers have joined Latham's San Francisco office to boost the firm's litigation capability in the Bay Area. Both Stublarec and Byers specialise in complex commercial litigation. Stublarec concentrates on matters ranging from product liability to securities fraud. Byers has a strong focus on unfair competition cases and advising the defendant side in consumer class actions. Litigation is a hot topic in San Francisco in the aftermath of Tower Snow and the Brobeck Phleger & Harrison team moving to Clifford Chance. It is one practice area that has thrived in negative economic periods. Earlier in the year Latham's former chairman of litigation, Ernest Getto, relocated to San Francisco from Los Angeles.