Hunton raids Akin Gump; launches in San Fran

Hunton & Williams has poached a team of eight employment lawyers from rival Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld and opened an office in San Francisco.

Huntons has taken four partners and four associates for its offices in Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles, as well as the new San Francisco venture.

They all come from Akin Gump’s labour and employment practice.

Gregory Robertson, co-head of Huntons’ labour and employment practice said: “These top-tier lawyers will add to our reputation as a go-to firm for high stakes class action defence needs of the nation’s largest companies.”

The new office will focus on employment discrimination and
harassment, wage/hour class action and misappropriation of trade secrets work.

Former Akin Gump labour and employment co-head Partner Laura Franze will join Robertson as co-chair of the employment team at Huntons, and will be based out of Los Angeles and Dallas.

Employment litigation partner Roland Juarez will join her in Los Angeles.

The San Francisco office will be launched by new partner Fraser McAlpine, who will split his time between the new office and one in Houston. Joining him in San Francisco will be new partner Brett Burns and new associate Anna Suh.

Associates Justin Smith, Richard Cortez and Jennifer Reith will join the Dallas office.

Hunton San Francisco opening follows that of Clyde & Co (The Lawyer, 28 April 2008) and Bryan Cave (The Lawyer, 17 March 2008).