Buchalter Hires Seven Attorneys To Open Sacramento Office

February 21, 2017

By Dorothy Atkins

Law360, San Francisco (February 21, 2017, 4:02 PM EST) — Buchalter Nemer PLC has hired a team of four lawyers from the California Power Law Group and three lawyers from Downey Brand LLP to form its new Sacramento office, which will be focused on banking and energy related issues, the firm announced Tuesday.

Former Downey Brand partner James K. Dyer is joining Buchalter as managing shareholder to spearhead its new financial regulatory and compliance group, while former California Power Law Group partner Gwenn O’Hara will chair Buchalter’s energy and natural resources group.

Dyer has more than 25 years of experience representing corporate clients and financial institutions in a range of legal matters, including corporate governance, mergers and acquisitions and regulatory compliance, according to the firm. He’s also advised clients as they develop new services and products, helping them enter new markets, the firm said.

On Tuesday Dyer said that he was drawn to Buchalter because of its “entrepreneurial-like” culture, which he says is unique in the current law firm market. Dyer said he’s excited to deepen Buchalter’s footprint in the California market, and counsel Sacramento and other Central Valley businesses on “some of the most pressing corporate, finance and real estate matters,” he said.

Dyer has a law degree from Texas Tech University School of Law, and an undergraduate degree from California State University, Sacramento.

Meanwhile, O’Hara has helped public and private entities develop, negotiate and administer gas and renewable energy portfolios, according to Buchalter. O’Hara has also represented a major grid operator and helped manage a $46 billion portfolio of energy contracts, the firm said.

O’Hara said Tuesday that she is “thrilled” to be a part of Buchalter’s expansion. The new office will allow the firm to grow a “strong regional footprint,” providing its energy and natural resources legal services to clients across the state, she said. O’Hara earned an undergraduate degree and law degree from the University of California, Berkeley.

Former California Power Law Group attorneys Valerie Collanton, Meghan Cox and Ann Springgate are also joining the Sacramento office, according to the firm.

Collanton specializes in complex litigation and has represented a broad range of clients before state and federal courts in a variety of matters, including disputes over energy, trade secrets, intellectual property, labor and employment, Buchalter said. Collanton has an undergraduate degree from San Francisco State University and a law degree from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law.

Cox specializes in energy issues and regulations, according to the firm. Cox has an undergraduate degree from California State University, Sacramento, and a law degree from the University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law. Before law school, Cox served as a budget analyst at the California State Treasurer’s Office, the firm said.

Springgate, who will split her time between Sacramento and San Francisco offices, specializes in contracts, transactional finance, corporate law, policy development and regulatory compliance, according to Buchalter. Springgate has an undergraduate degree from University of California, Davis, law degrees from the University of California, Los Angeles, and the University of Cambridge.

Former Downey Brand attorneys Anna Crivelli and Weston Rockers also are joining the office as associates, the firm said. Crivelli has represented financial institutions in a variety of corporate, regulatory, and compliance matters, and she has a law degree from the University of California, Berkeley School of Law and an undergraduate degree from California Polytechnic State, according to the firm.

Meanwhile, Rockers’ has primarily represented lending institutions, landlords, tenants and developers on issues related to commercial leasing, acquisition, development and project finance, the firm said. He earned law and business degrees from Pepperdine University and an undergraduate degree from the University of Kansas.

Buchalter CEO Adam J. Bass said Tuesday that the decision to open a Sacramento office was easy, due to Sacramento’s thriving industries. But Bass said the firm wanted to wait until it found a team to lead the office that is “the right fit culturally.” The new hires fulfill that goal and Buchalter now looks forward to growing its presence in the Golden State’s central valley, Bass said.


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