Withers hires Hollywood divorce lawyer to launch US family law practice
Firm posts 40% PEP hike as it unveils partner hires in LA, New York, Hong Kong and Singapore
Withers has posted another eye-catching set of financial results as it unveils four partner hires across its international network, one of whom – Hollywood divorce lawyer Samantha Klein – has been charged with launching a US family practice.
The London-based top-30 UK firm, which is best known for its private client work, grew revenue by 11% to £243.7m against a 32% increase in profit-per-equity-partner (PEP) to £660k. Those results follow on from equally impressive 2020 results, when revenue grew by 13% fuelling a 40% PEP increase.
The firm reports that over the last five years revenue has grown by 50% and profits by 90%, results it partly attributes to investment in its international network, particularly in Asia and on the US West Coast – where it opened in San Francisco in 2014 and San Diego, Los Angeles and Rancho Santa Fe a year later.
It also points to a strategy of building dispute resolution capability and corporate, finance and IP practices to serve its core client base of high-net-worth and entrepreneurial clients.
Of its quartet of hires, the most significant is that of Los Angeles-based Samantha Klein, who joins from LA firm Wasser Cooperman & Mandles, given her remit to launch a US family law practice and her status as a well-known Hollywood family lawyer.
The firm has top-ranked London and Hong Kong practices and hired partner Ivan Cheong in Singapore in January from Harry Elias to boost its Asia footprint. It has waited until now to expand that dedicated practice into the US, where it launched in 2002 thanks to a merger with Connecticut 15-partner private client firm Bergman, Horowitz & Reynolds.
“We have been looking for the right person to start a US practice, and Sam Klein is the answer,” a spokesperson said. “We will be building a team around her in LA and supporting her to work in collaboration with our private client and estate planning teams in California.”
At Wasser Cooperman, Klein worked alongside celebrated Hollywood divorce lawyer Laura Wasser. In 2018, she was described as a rising star by The Hollywood Reporter.
The other three partners joining Withers are Doron Goldstein, who joins in New York from Katten Muchin Rosenman, where he co-headed its privacy, data and cybersecurity practice, litigation and arbitration partner Joseph Chu, who joins in Hong Kong from Simmons & Simmons, and banking and finance specialist Guan Feng Chan, who arrives at the firm’s Singapore office from Morgan Lewis.