Washington firm poaches partners for new LA office

US firm Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld has raided the Los Angeles offices of two national US firms in order to open up its own office in the city.

The new Akin Gump office is the Washington firm's second new venture this year following its opening of an office in London in May.

It has poached three partners from Kaye Scholer's Los Angeles office – Gary Apfel, Hushmand Sohaili and Channing Johnson – and one from the Rogers & Wells Los Angeles branch – former branch managing partner John Karaczynski – to man its eighth US office.

David Allen has moved from Akin Gump's Washington office to become managing partner in Los Angeles.

Apfel, an international corporate finance specialist, said that the lawyers were drawn to Akin Gump because of its strong international presence

“Our local clients will benefit greatly from Akin Gump's well-established offices in the United States and internationally in London, Moscow and Brussels.

“We are now ideally positioned to assist them to compete successfully in the increasingly globalised marketplace,” he said.

The firm's chairman, Bruce McLean, said: “Los Angeles is a key part of our firm's global strategy and vision.

“We anticipate growth and expect to add attorneys at all levels, particularly with corporate, entertainment, real estate, intellectual property, employment and commercial litigation backgrounds.”