Los Angeles, February 16, 2017 – Buchalter is pleased to announce the opening of its new Sacramento office with the addition of seven lawyers. James (Jim) K. Dyer has joined the firm as Managing Shareholder of the new office from Downey Brand LLP, where he was a partner. The firm is also pleased to welcome Gwenn O’Hara and her team, including Valerie Collanton, Meghan Cox, and Ann Springgate, from the California Power Law Group where Gwenn was the Founding Partner.
“The decision to open an office in Sacramento was an easy one as the city’s real estate, technology, government, financial services, environmental, and energy industries are all thriving. However, we insisted on waiting until we found the right fit culturally for Buchalter, and I am thrilled to welcome Jim, Gwenn and their teams to the firm,” said Adam J. Bass, President and Chief Executive Officer of Buchalter. “We look forward to further increasing our presence in Sacramento and the Central Valley in the near future.”
Jim’s role at Buchalter will focus on establishing the firm’s presence in the state capital, spearheading the new Financial Regulatory and Compliance Group and offering valuable insight as a member of the firm’s Board of Directors. He has more than 25 years of experience as a corporate and financial institutions lawyer with a background in public accounting and in his practice, he assists clients – private and public enterprises and financial institutions – on a range of corporate matters including corporate governance, mergers and acquisitions, and regulatory compliance. He regularly serves as outside general counsel to a number of these organizations in the California Central Valley, advising them as they develop new products, services or enter new markets. Jim earned his J.D. from Texas Tech University School of Law, and his B.A. from California State University, Sacramento.
“Buchalter is very well-established in the California market, and I’m excited for the opportunity to deepen that footprint and lead the new team as we counsel Sacramento and other Central Valley businesses on some of the most pressing corporate, finance, and real estate matters,” said Jim. “In addition to the leadership opportunity, I was drawn to Buchalter because of its entrepreneurial-like culture. It is unique in today’s law firm market.”
Gwenn’s role at Buchalter will include chairing the new Energy & Natural Resources Group firm-wide. She represents public and private entities, assisting with large infrastructure projects, and the development, negotiation, and administration of traditional energy, gas and renewable portfolios. Gwenn represents a major grid operator with contract and regulatory matters and advises on the management of a portfolio of energy contracts that reached $46 billion. She advises on complex transmission and interconnection issues, utility rate cases, and represents clients at the CPUC, CEC, CARB, and FERC. Her public finance work has involved representing cities, counties, and state agencies in public finance transactions as bond or underwriter’s counsel. Gwenn received her B.A. and J.D. from the University of California, Berkeley.
“I am thrilled to be a part of Buchalter’s expansion into Sacramento and the Central Valley,” said Gwenn. “The firm’s strong regional footprint will allow us to expand the Energy and Natural Resources practice state-wide while providing our existing clients with a full range of business services and an exceptional experience.”
Buchalter also announced that both Anna Crivelli and Weston Rockers joined as associates formerly with Downey Brand. Anna focuses her practice on representing financial institutions in a variety of corporate, regulatory, and compliance matters. She also represents general business clients on a variety of corporate and real estate matters. She earned her J.D. from the University of California at Berkeley School of Law and her B.A. from California Polytechnic State.
Weston’s practice focuses primarily on representing lending institutions, landlords, tenants, and developers on issues related to commercial leasing, purchase and sale, acquisition and development, and project finance. Weston also has experience counseling clients on entity formation, business and asset purchase and sale transactions. He earned his J.D. and M.B.A from Pepperdine University and his B.S. from the University of Kansas.
Valerie specializes in complex litigation and has represented a broad range of clients before state and federal courts. She represents her clients on a variety of matters, including those involving energy, antitrust, trade secrets, intellectual property, labor and employment issues, and more. Valerie received a B.A. Degree in Political Science from San Francisco State University and her J.D. from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law.
Meghan focuses on energy matters including power purchase agreement negotiation, generator interconnection matters and regulatory issues. Prior to joining California Power Law Group, she worked at a national law firm specializing in public finance and, before entering law school, served as a budget analyst at the California State Treasurer’s Office. Meghan earned her B.A. in history from California State University, Sacramento, and her J.D. from the University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law.
Ann has significant legal experience in the public and private sectors, specializing in contracts, transactional finance, corporate law, policy development, and regulatory compliance. She has advised public and private entities on asset-based and project financings, stock and asset purchases, mergers and acquisitions, and secured and unsecured credit facilities. Ann received her B.A. from University of California, Davis, her J.D. from UCLA School of Law and an LL.M. from the University of Cambridge. Ann will split her time between the Sacramento and San Francisco offices.
Dylan Wiseman, Buchalter’s Recruiting Chair for Northern California, was instrumental in the opening of the firm’s Sacramento office. “I am excited to see the opening of our Sacramento office come to fruition and I look forward to working with such a talented team of attorneys,” said Dylan. He will also serve as chair of the Litigation Practice Group in Sacramento. The new office is located at 500 Capitol Mall, Suite 1900.