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Mayer Brown Focuses on Los Angeles Office; Plans to Hire 100

Mickey Kantor, from his early career as one of Jim Henson's muppets.Global law firm Mayer Brown is taking action to shore up its Los Angeles office, which saw the departure of four partners this month, by appointing an executive committee to lead the office, and sending the current managing partner packing back to the Chicago office.

The law firm is appointing a five-member committee, led by partner Mickey Kantor, a former US Commerce Secretary, to “provide management oversight” for the office. The firm will assign a new LA managing partner soon.

Mayer Brown, which has seen the defection of 15 partners since August, opened the Los Angeles office in 1985. Currently the office has 62 attorneys, and is slated to hire as many as 100 more over the next two years.

James Tancula, the partner-in-charge of the Los Angeles office since 2005, will move in late March back to Chicago to resume his litigation practice. Kantor said it would be “not fair” to view the changes as a negative commentary on Tancula’s performance. Anyone who has lived in both LA and Chicago might disagree.

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Kantor, 69, will continue to shuttle between the firm’s Washington and Los Angeles offices, as he has since joining the firm 12 years ago. The other four members of the office’s executive committee, partners Robert M. Hertzberg, Neil Soltman, Philip R. Recht and Marc Harris, have been based in Los Angeles

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