FISHING FOR COMPLEMENTS – Several Am Law 200 law firms are lately expanding into multiple locations at the same time. Law firm leaders say that growing in one market can be used to propel another, especially in complementary markets, whether it’s Houston and Silicon Valley or Milwaukee and the Mile-High City. Andrew Maloney reports “As we look at new cities, we’re always looking for what’s the strategic value—does it complement another office or another practice we have?” said Barnes & Thornburg managing partner Andy Detherage. “We’re not looking to open an office just to add it to our letterhead. It’s always because we think it adds something.” Some firm leaders have lately pointed to California and Texas as complementary markets to grow into. They’re the two most populous states and boast GDP outputs that rival major world countries. They’re also home to about one hundred Fortune 1000 companies each. And, of course, they are each very competitive. California and Texas placed first and third in the nation for office openings among the Am Law 200 segment last year, with 18 in the former and nine in the latter, according to a recent report.
MULTI-FRONT BATTLE – Class action lawsuits against Silicon Valley Bank may just be the start of a very unpleasant period, as former federal lawyers are warning agency enforcement, and possibly even criminal prosecution, could follow. As Brad Kutner reports, whispers about potential investigations from the SEC and DOJ are putting more pressure on those who led the failed tech-focused bank. “They’re in a challenging position,” said Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner partner and former SEC enforcement official Renato Mariotti. That challenge comes from how the two agencies could be working in tandem, sharing information as needed, and even scouring the docket of private civil actions as they develop. “There’s a huge cost associated with testifying in such circumstances,” Mariotti, who headed prosecutions in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis, said of the use of testimony between cases. “It adds a complexity to those civil cases.”