Brown Rudnick opens in California after snaring local litigation shop

US firm Brown Rudnick has expanded into California after picking up Orange County litigation boutique Rus Miliband & Smith.

Brown Rudnick’s London managing partner Scott Burns told The Lawyer that the move would expand the firm’s services to European clients, adding that an increasing number of high-tech businesses based in London want to be represented in the region.

There will be no redundancies following the move, with all seven of Rus Miliband & Smith’s partners moving to Brown Rudnick’s partnership. Although the office was reopened as a Brown Rudnick outpost on Monday (8 April) the firm said it wants to call the move a “combination” rather than an acquisition or takeover.

The two firms were introduced to each other by an advisory group and the final decision was made by a partner vote.

If there is enough client demand, the move could see lawyers in Brown Rudnick’s London office seconded to California.

The firm has been boosting its presence in London over the last year, poaching English and French-qualified disputes partner Nicholas Tse and his team from Gide Loyrette Nouel in February last year (13 February 2012). Tse and his team brought with them a number of live arbitrations, including one $500m dispute between two prominent Middle East broadcasters.

More recently, Brown Rudnick’s European bankruptcy and restructuring head Louise Verrill acted for the management board at Leeds-headquartered clothing chain Republic after it went into administration (13 February 2013). Linklaters and Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton also advised on various aspects of the administration.

Burns said the City office is looking to expand its IP practice, but no immediate hires are on the horizon.