Blank Rome Announces Significant West Coast Expansion

January 22, 2014

Press Release

Firm Establishes San Francisco Presence, Bolsters Los Angeles and New York Offices 

Blank Rome LLP is pleased to announce that 21 attorneys, including five Partners along with Counsel, Associates, and additional staff from the law firms of Finestone & Richter and Margolis & Tisman LLP will join the Firm effective February 1.  As a result of these additions, the Firm will significantly expand its Los Angeles office, establish an office in San Francisco, and enhance its New York office. 

“We are thrilled to welcome this outstanding group to Blank Rome from two highly respected California-based firms. They bring an impressive amount of corporate M&A, corporate litigation, labor and employment, banking, real estate, and trusts and estates experience to the Firm’s practices in these areas, as well as Chinese and Korean language capability, and will be excellent enhancements to our Asia Practice,” said Alan J. Hoffman, Chairman and Managing Partner. “We established a California presence in 2009 to better meet the needs of our West Coast and Asian clients. In a short period of time we have grown from just five attorneys in one Los Angeles office, to now nearly 50 attorneys on the West Coast in expanded space in Los Angeles and a new office in San Francisco.  We look forward to continued and strategic growth on the West Coast and in other key markets.”

With the addition of the Margolis & Tisman group, Blank Rome now has an established office in San Francisco.  In October, the Firm announced the relocation of its Los Angeles office to new, expanded space in the Century Towers in Century City, having entered into a long-term lease occupying a full floor of prime office space.  The locations of the Firm’s California offices are: 

Blank Rome Los Angeles
2029 Century Park East
6th Floor
Los Angeles, CA 90067

Blank Rome San Francisco
601 Montgomery Street
Suite 2030
San Francisco, CA 94111


“This is an exciting time for Blank Rome and our Los Angeles office in particular,” said Gregory M. Bordo, Administrative Partner, Los Angeles office.  “The groups from Finestone & Richter and Margolis & Tisman are outstanding additions to our growing West Coast team and further enhance our capabilities for serving our California and Pacific Rim clients in key areas.”    
 
“Our group is eager to integrate with our new colleagues at Blank Rome,” said Jeffrey R. Richter of Finestone & Richter.  “We are confident that both the Firm’s geographic footprint and extraordinarily diverse practice areas will enhance the level of service that we offer our clients.  Moreover, the quality of the professional staff, the vast resources of the Firm, and its palpable dynamism will provide us with countless opportunities to maximize the provision and quality of full business and support services to our growing clientele.  Following a 37-year history since the founding of Finestone & Richter, its lawyers and staff are proud and honored to be a part of Blank Rome.”
 
“To best serve the expanding needs of our domestic and foreign clients – particularly the rapidly growing number of Chinese and Korean businesses and entrepreneurs operating in the U.S. – we wanted to combine with a large firm that has a stellar reputation and broad and deep U.S. and Asian practices,” said Mike Margolis of Margolis & Tisman.   “Blank Rome is a perfect fit.  Like us, the Firm is committed to serving clients with exceptional dedication, supporting the communities in which its people and clients live and work, and promoting a collaborative culture that always puts the client first.  Our combining with Blank Rome both complements the Firm’s traditional areas of practice and enhances a uniquely qualified team that serves Chinese and Korean businesses in the U.S.  We are excited to join the Firm and have the opportunity to work with such an impressive group of professionals.”  

Joining from Margolis & Tisman LLP

Michael (“Mike”) B. Margolis, Partner
Corporate Litigation Group, Los Angeles

Mr. Margolis has more than 30 years of experience representing clients in a variety of disputes, including trade secrets, unfair competition, and misappropriation of intellectual property; fraud; international joint ventures; employment matters; real estate; lender liability; and class actions and other complex commercial cases.  In addition to his dispute resolution practice, Mr. Margolis counsels businesses and business owners on a wide range of international and domestic issues.

Mr. Margolis frequently speaks at meetings and forums on industry topics.  He has been called upon to act as a judge in the Chinese National Round of Jessup International Moot Court Competitions in Beijing and Shenzhen.  He is a member of the Executive Committee of the Leadership Board of the Asia Society of Southern California; a member of the Board of Directors of the Hong Kong Association of Southern California; and a member of the Executive Board of the Cornell Law Association.  He is conversational in Mandarin Chinese. 

Stephen E. Tisman, Partner
Labor and Employment and Corporate Litigation Groups, New York    

Mr. Tisman focuses his practice on complex corporate and employment litigation and on employment and corporate business matters.  His U.S. and international clients have included a multibillion dollar insurance company, an internationally affiliated newspaper, non-profit organizations, a radio station, national consulting and actuarial firms, a reinsurance brokerage, a specialty foods manufacturer, apparel companies, a large travel agency, an “employee leasing” company, law firms, accounting firms, and a professional sports agent, among others.  He also represents senior executives in a variety of industries, including financial services, insurance, and pharmaceuticals in litigated and contractual matters.  Mr. Tisman has litigated in virtually all of the courts of New York and in state and federal courts throughout the U.S.  He has practiced before state and federal administrative agencies and has brought and defended arbitrations before the American Arbitration Association, the New York Stock Exchange, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (“FINRA”) and its predecessor, the National Association of Securities Dealers (“NASD”). 

Mr. Tisman previously served as a member of the Council on Judicial Administration and on the Committees on Federal Courts and State Legislation for the Association of the Bar of the City of New York. 

Attorneys joining Mr. Margolis and Mr. Tisman:

 Los Angeles

  • Jason S. Kim, Partner, Corporate, M&A, and Securities Group
  • Timothy J. Martin, Counsel, Corporate Litigation Group
  • Adam W. Schorr, Counsel, Corporate, M&A, and Securities Group 
  • Linda M. Toutant, Counsel, Corporate Litigation Group
  • Shirley M. Kong, Associate, Corporate Litigation Group

San Francisco

  • Naki Margolis Irvin, Counsel, Corporate Litigation Group
  • Robert M. Lieber, Counsel, Labor and Employment Group
  • Kimberly L. Owens, Counsel, Labor and Employment Group

New York

  • Valerie D. Ringel, Counsel, Labor and Employment Group
  • James F. Parver, Counsel, Corporate Litigation Group

Joining from Finestone & Richter

Jeffrey R. Richter, Partner
Corporate, M&A, and Securities Group, Los Angeles

Mr. Richter advises public and private companies ranging from start-ups to well-established corporations on a wide variety of business matters involving mergers and acquisitions, general corporate and commercial transactions, securities law, and dispute resolution. He has more than 40 years of experience involving the sale of assets, the sale of capital stock or other securities, mergers and related transactions relating to the transfer of control of corporate or other entities, and representing buyers and sellers in connection with transactions for small, mid-cap, and large businesses.  He has significant experience with a wide range of general corporate and commercial transactions; has participated in numerous public offerings, proxy battles, going private transactions and mergers, 1934 Act compliance activities, private offering syndications, and state blue law compliance; and is well versed in dispute negotiations.  Mr. Richter also provides counsel to tax-exempt organizations, including public charities and educational institutions.  He is a frequent lecturer on securities law, franchise law, and multilevel marketing, as well as the California Non-Profit Integrity Act.

Mr. Richter is a member of the Beverly Hills Bar Association’s Business Law, Labor & Employment Law, and Intellectual Property Law Sections; a member of the Los Angeles County Bar Association’s Intellectual Property and Business & Corporations Sections; and a member of the California State Bar’s Business Law and Labor & Employment Law Sections.  He serves on the Board of Directors of the Jewish Big Brothers Big Sisters of Los Angeles, and is the organization’s Treasurer and Chair of the Finance Committee.  He also serves on the Audit Committee of Jewish Vocational Services.     

William Finestone, Partner
Tax, Benefits, and Private Client Group, Los Angeles  

Mr. Finestone concentrates his practice in the area of trusts and estates, with particular emphasis on estate and tax planning and estate and trust administration.  He has more than 40 years of experience in the preparation of wills, revocable and irrevocable private trusts, charitable trusts, durable powers of attorney for financial and healthcare matters, and business succession planning.  He advises clients on estate and trust administration matters involving probate and non-probate procedures as well as the resolution of disputes involving wills and trusts.  In tax planning matters, Mr. Finestone advises clients in the areas of United States, California, and international transfer tax planning; corporate, partnership, and individual income tax planning; and property taxation.     

Mr. Finestone is a California State Bar Certified Specialist in Estate Planning, Trust and Probate Law, and a Los Angeles Superior Court Alternative Dispute Resolution Neutral.  He is a Fellow of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (“ACTEC”), a member of its Charitable Tax Planning and Exempt Organizations Committee, and a Director of the ACTEC Foundation.  He has served as an instructor for accounting and tax seminars at the California State University Los Angeles, College of Extended Studies and International Programs since 1990.  Mr. Finestone is also a member of the American Bar Association’s Sections on Business Law, Real Property, Probate and Trust, and Taxation.  Mr. Finestone is a frequent lecturer at continuing education and other programs, including the American and California State Bar Associations, ACTEC, the USC Tax Institute, the UCLA/CEB Estate Planning Institute, Partnership for Philanthropic Planning (National Committee on Planned Giving), Western Regional Planned Giving Conference, Western Conference on Tax Exempt Organizations, AFP, several Planned Giving Roundtables in California and elsewhere, and corporate meetings.    

Joining Mr. Richter and Mr. Finestone in Los Angeles:

  • Eric F. Edmunds, Jr., Counsel, Corporate Litigation Group
  • Mark Kalisch, Counsel, Corporate, M&A, and Securities Group
  • Nancy B. Lamell, Counsel, Corporate, M&A, and Securities Group
  • Christopher Tesar, Counsel, Corporate, M&A, and Securities Group
  • John J. Waller, Jr., Counsel, Corporate Litigation Group
  • Susan A. Wolf, Of Counsel, Corporate, M&A, and Securities Group
  • Arthur P. Yoon, Counsel, Corporate, M&A, and Securities Group
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