Clydes closes LA office for Frisco venture

Clyde & Co has closed its Los Angeles (LA) office and launched in San Francisco with a raid on US firm Duane Morris for a 10-lawyer litigation team.

The move sees the firm’s LA lawyers, including partner Kevin Sutherland, join the San Francisco office to consolidate Clyde’s West Coast practice.

Insurance disputes partner James Burns said costs were a factor in the firm’s decision to merge the offices, but not the major reason.

“It seemed more sensible to have one bigger office of 20-plus lawyers as opposed to two offices of 10 lawyers, as it gives us a stronger presence,” said Burns. “San Francisco has a lot of dotcom businesses and trendy architects who buy insurance from the London market, so need legal advice.”

This is why the four new partners – William Casey, Joan D’Ambrosio, Savannah Sellman and Andrew Wanger – already have Lloyd’s of London syndicates, including Beazley and Hiscox, on their books.

A spokesman for Duane Morris confirmed the departures and wished them well.