It’s official: CC takes axe to West Coast

Clifford Chance is closing down its San Francisco and Los Angeles offices, just two years after their inception.

Following discussions which concluded over the weekend, it has been agreed that the two offices, housing 11 partners and 27 lawyers, will be wound down over the coming weeks. Clifford Chance will keep on its Palo Alto and San Diego branches.

As exclusively revealed in today’s edition of The Lawyer (21 June), it is expected that Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe will make an offer to the majority of the office’s partners later on today. It is expected that Tower Snow will not go to Orrick, where he practised some years ago.

As exclusively revealed in today’s edition of The Lawyer (21 June), the firm’s management informed the team, the majority of which hailed from collapsed firm Brobeck Phleger & Harrison, to either meet tougher profit targets or face the axe.

Peter Cornell, managing partner said: “After careful consideration and long discussion with our partners in California, we have come to the decision that significant portions of our California practices no longer present a sufficiently good fit with our overall operation in the Americas.

“We have mutually agreed with the teams in San Francisco and Los Angeles that they will more effectively pursue their aims with another firm.

He added: “This is a strong team of lawyers, and we wish them the very best for the future.”