CC’s West Coast drive lures Brobeck lawyers

Clifford Chance has continued to plunder Brobeck Phleger & Harrison, poaching associates, clients and support staff to boost its budding West Coast offices

The magic circle firm, which opened its San Francisco and Palo Alto offices at the beginning of July following a high-profile raid of 18 Brobeck securities litigation partners, has made a total of 77 offers to a mix of associates and support staff.
Clifford Chance has pursued 42 associates from Brobeck’s San Francisco, Los Angeles and San Diego offices. Of these, 30 have accepted the offers, two have declined and the remaining 10 have still to decide. The firm has also received guarantees from key clients Intel, Cisco Systems and Sun Microsystems that they will continue to use the former Brobeck lawyers at Clifford Chance.
Tower Snow, head of Clifford Chance’s West Coast practice, told The Lawyer: “By 1 September, we hope to have 70 lawyers on the West Coast and 100 by the end of the year. We’ll be making offers to more partners, but we need to do this in an orderly fashion.”
And while Clifford Chance cherry picks its way through the Brobeck ranks, other firms are circling the highly-rated intellectual property litigation team. Discussions between the 12-partner, 35-associate team and a number of firms – including Dewey Ballantine, Le Boeuf Lamb Greene & MacRae, Mayer Brown Rowe & Maw and Milbank Tweed Hadley & McCloy – are understood to have been held up by location problems.
The team, which would prefer to stay together, is split between Brobeck’s West Coast and Texas offices. It has yet to find a firm that can accommodate those lawyers based in Austin, Texas.