Greenberg Traurig relocates 11-strong team to launch in San Diego

Four shareholders from Greenberg’s IP, employment and environmental groups open firm’s sixth Californian office alongside team of counsel and patent agents

Top 15 US firm Greenberg Traurig has relocated four of its shareholders alongside a team of counsel and patent agents to open an office in San Diego, the firm’s sixth in California. 

Lawyers from Greenberg’s IP, employment, energy and natural resources and environmental practices will launch the office, with the firm saying the team would be critical to expanding the services offered to its San Diego-based clients and those with significant operations in Southern California. 

“We are expanding our California office presence to San Diego because this state, as well as the San Diego market, are global economic players with platforms on the international stage,” Greenberg Traurig chief executive officer Brian Duffy said. “Our San Diego lawyers have deep roots in California and embody the firm’s commitment to distinguish ourselves when advising clients on their most challenging legal issues.”

Two of the new office’s shareholders – David Gay and Jeffery Giering – specialise in IP. Gay joined the firm in Los Angeles almost two years ago from Jones Day and advises biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies on the design, acquisition and management of IP rights, while Giering joined Greenberg’s Irvine office 18 months ago from Mintz Levin, where he was an associate. He advises life biotech and pharma clients seeking the licensing and management of patent assets.

The remaining shareholders include Ellen Bronchetti, who represents clients in employment disputes and moved over to Greenberg a few months ago after several years as a partner at Mcdermott Will & Emery, and Hazel Ocampo, an environmental and land use specialist with experience on Clean Air Act, California Environmental Quality Act and Proposition 65 matters. She was senior counsel at Los Angeles law firm Allen Matkins before joining Greenberg as a shareholder in 2021. 

Rounding out the San Diego team is two of counsel – energy litigation specialist Thomas Brill and patent prosecutor Michael Hebert – and five patent agents. 

Greenberg noted that its strengths in life sciences and biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, real estate, tourism and hospitality and international trade aligned with core elements of the economy of San Diego, one of the 10 largest cities in the US. 

The Miami-based firm has more than 200 lawyers in California spread across offices in Los Angeles, Orange County, Sacramento, San Francisco, Silicon Valley and now San Diego. 

Greenberg also highlighted that, with work habits shifting, its California lawyers are permitted to practice from anywhere in the state, in a continuation of its work-near-home strategy.

The firm’s San Diego launch follows it hiring four partners from Long Island firm Farrell Fritz at the start of last year to open offices there in Bridgehampton and Garden City, with support from around 20 associates who relocated from Manhattan. The firm said at the time that its move into the suburbs was intended provide a hybrid model that would allow for greater work-life balance for lawyers and wider access to legal services for locally-based clients. 

News of the launch comes in the same week that Goodwin Proctor has hired technology-focused corporate partner Jon Olsen from DLA Piper's San Diego office. He will work remotely. 

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