Alston & Bird is deepening its California presence by opening an office in San Francisco and expanding in Los Angeles.
Robert (Bo) Phillips from Reed Smith and Michael Agoglia from Morrison & Foerster have joined three Alston & Bird partners and their teams to open the new office, located at 560 Mission Street in San Francisco’s South Financial District. Arriving with Phillips and Agoglia are two other partners and four additional attorneys from Reed Smith, including three who will be based in Alston & Bird’s Los Angeles office.
“We have a strong and growing base of global, national, and regional clients that will benefit from both our presence in San Francisco and the expansion of our Los Angeles office,” said Richard Hays, Alston & Bird managing partner. “The addition of Bo and Michael and our other new attorneys, along with the heads of our Antitrust and State Attorneys General teams, further extends the reach of several of our core practices. The office also strongly complements our other California offices, not only in Los Angeles but also Silicon Valley, which focuses on intellectual property litigation, securities litigation, and corporate law.”
“Alston & Bird has a history of working with clients in San Francisco and the broader regional market, and we are proud to put down roots here,” said Teresa Bonder, a 25-year veteran of Alston & Bird and leader of the firm’s Antitrust Team who will serve as partner-in-charge of the office. “We look forward to building and enhancing our relationships with the city’s business and civic communities and contributing to San Francisco’s rich history as an unparalleled hub of innovation, invention, and entrepreneurship.”
The new partners and their teams from Reed Smith and Morrison & Foerster have significant experience advising multinational and national companies on high-stakes class action and multidistrict litigation.
Phillips, who was co-leader of Reed Smith’s Class Action Team, has a long record of successfully defending insurance companies and other financial institutions in high-profile class actions involving financial products, sales practices, fair lending, and advertising claims. His awards and recognitions include being named a “Client Service All-Star” by BTI Consulting, a “Top Rated Lawyer in Appellate Law” by The American Lawyer and Corporate Counsel, and a “National Class Action MVP” (one of five attorneys selected nationally) by Law360.
Agoglia is the former managing partner of Morrison & Foerster’s San Francisco office and co-chair of the firm’s Financial Services Litigation Practice Group. He has represented numerous financial services companies and other clients as national coordinating counsel in large, multiparty and multiforum litigation; government enforcement actions, and internal investigations.
Alston & Bird partners who have relocated to San Francisco are:
- Teresa Bonder, a 25-year veteran of Alston & Bird and leader of the firm’s Antitrust Team, who focuses her practice on high-stakes antitrust and other commercial disputes, including financial services litigation. She has litigated antitrust claims in courts across the country on behalf of clients in the pharmaceutical, financial services, and other industries. In addition, she has defended multiple financial services institutions in antitrust investigations and claims relating to the Fair Credit Reporting Act, Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act, Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act, and other actions brought by classes of consumers, competitors, and trade associations.
- Jocelyn Thompson, partner in the firm’s Environment, Land Use & Natural Resources Group, who has extensive experience in environmental permitting and land use approvals for industrial and infrastructure projects. She also advises clients on compliance with the full range of environmental laws.
Also joining from Reed Smith is partner Thomas Evans and senior counsel William Higgins in San Francisco and partner Kathy Huang and counsel Sam Park in Los Angeles, along with several associates in both San Francisco and Los Angeles:
- Thomas Evans, located in San Francisco, concentrates his practice on consumer class action defense in cases alleging violations of false advertising, unfair competition, and consumer fraud statutes, as well as actions for mail and wire fraud under RICO. His clients include companies in the food, dietary supplement, and life insurance industries, and he has tried cases to verdict in jury and bench trials and has prevailed in both state and federal courts of appeal.
- William Higgins, also located in San Francisco, focuses his practice on national and state class action defense, primarily involving the marketing, design, and administration of life insurance and annuity products. He also has experience in litigation and non-litigation matters outside of the insurance industry involving antitrust, unfair competition, product and service distribution, advertising, trademark and trade secrets, and consumer finance.
- Kathy Huang, located in Los Angeles, focuses her practice on class action defense and other business litigation. Her clients include life insurance and financial services companies, nutrition and product supplement companies, major sports apparel retailers and manufacturers, and other Fortune 500 corporations. In addition, she has a background in intellectual property issues and insurance recovery matters.
- Sam Park, located in Los Angeles, concentrates his practice on class action defense for a variety of industries and public agencies. His experience includes successfully defending matters involving RICO claims, unfair competition, and trade secret misappropriation.
The San Francisco office is Alston & Bird’s ninth in the United States and 11th worldwide.