April 27, 2018

By: Ashley Stewart

Buchalter recently recruited three former Foster Pepper attorneys to open its new Seattle office – and the firm isn’t finished hiring.

Adam Bass, the California-based firm’s CEO, said Buchalter is already in talks to recruit other top Seattle-based attorneys.

“We think the legal market in a city like Seattle requires you to have a local connection,” Bass said. “The people we’ve brought on so far, and the ones we’re talking to, are longtime Seattle lawyers who have deep roots in the community.”

Former Foster Pepper Managing Partner Jeff Frank is running Buchalter’s Seattle office. Frank left the Seattle-based firm along with real estate attorneys Brad Thoreson and Doug Prince to join Buchalter. Costco is one of the firm’s clients.

Buchalter’s Seattle office also includes former Garvey, Schubert & Barer attorney Sherman Helenese and longtime Buchalter shareholder Mitchell J. Olejko, who will practice out of Seattle and San Francisco.

Foster Pepper’s new managing partner, Stephen DiJulio, told the Business Journal earlier this month that the departures from his firm are a symptom of Seattle’s growth – outside firms want in.

“It’s a busy time in the Seattle market and it means people come and go as opportunities change,” DiJulio said. “We’re always sad to see them go, but we’re looking to the future and know our base will continue to attract great talent.”

So should Seattle-area law firms watch out for Buchalter?

“No,” DiJulio said.

Buchalter will work collegially with other Seattle-area firms, he said.

“We have a really good, collegial culture that fits with the way a lot of lawyers in Seattle practice – maybe not so much at a New York firm,” DiJulio said.

Source: Puget Sound Business Journal