More Partners Leave Downey Brand
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Sacramento’s largest law firm, Downey Brand LLP, has kept on losing lawyers throughout the year, and this time, another eight partners are leaving the law firm to float their own boutiques. This brings down the lawyer headcount in Downey Brand to 91 from 122 in June last year.


Scott Shapiro, named as managing partner in a major leadership change last month said, “It is always hard to see good friends go, but just being good friends doesn’t mean you should pratice together.” Speaking about the partners leaving the law firm, Shapiro said, “They don’t represent the majority of the firm, which is still the largest and most significant firm in the Central Valley.”

However, both the groups leaving to float their own boutiques are significant as former managing partner Jeff Koewler is one in a group of five lawyers floating their own boutique, which includes industry stalwarts like Dan Coyle, Jennifer Madden, Chris Delfino and John O’Malley.

Coyle had served as spokesman for Downey Brand since former managing partner Kevin O’Brien had stepped down earlier this year. Most of the partners believe that the legal market has changed to a great extent and it is the right time to float boutique law firms. In fact, the current economy in which demand for legal services and client demands are constntly in flux, for some it is the right time for entrepreneurship and launch their own set ups.

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The other group includes Tom Stewart, Winnie Ward and Greg Josephson who have decided to open a law firm focused on commercial real estate, general corporate business and banking. And Stewart is thinking much smaller and tighter than the other group. They will not be having any legal staff right from the beginning, though Stewart’s wife will be helping out the new partners.

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