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Polsinelli Shughart expands to California

Missouri’s fourth top-grossing law firm just added an office in Los Angeles.

Kansas City-based Polsinelli Shughart expanded west by acquiring boutique law firm Quateman. The Los Angeles firm focuses on transactional and advisory work in finance, corporate and real estate law, Polsinelli Shughart announced Friday.

Polsinelli said six attorneys from Quateman will make up its new Los Angeles office. The acquisition was effective Friday.

Polsinelli Shughart chairman Russ Welsh said there could be about a dozen lawyers in that office a year from now, but the firm doesn’t have a target number in mind. He said the firm’s move was prompted by requests from clients and “opportunities in several of our key practice areas.”

Polsinelli lawyers contacted a number of firms in Los Angeles once they decided to move there, he said, adding the firm was focused on meeting the right people and not necessarily acquiring the right practice area.

Welsh said he would like to add lawyers in health care, business litigation, life sciences and intellectual property law someday in the new Los Angeles office.

In May, Polsinelli announced it had added a three-attorney Dallas office. The firm now has a presence in 17 cities.

“It is quite a bit of expansion in a short period of time and our goal for the next year or so is to integrate these offices and to help them grow,” he said.

As for any more growth plans in the firm’s near future, Welsh said he’s not planning on it, but he wouldn’t ignore a possibility that presents itself.  “Never say never,” he said.

Lisa Greer Quateman led the 12-attorney California firm. It was the state’s largest-women owned municipal bond counsel firm.

“It has been a thrill to build a women-owned law firm to a stage that attracts the interest of a fine national law firm such as Polsinelli. I am encouraged by Polsinelli’s support of its women and minority attorneys, and plan to continue supporting diversity and mentorship in my new role,” said the California lawyer in a press release.

She will continue as managing partner of that office. Welsh said six other lawyers listed on the firm’s website who are not joining the firm have separate practices. “The lawyers who were full-time or substantially full time – all of them came with us,” he said.

The other Quateman lawyers joining Polsinelli in Los Angeles are: principal Tracey Ginn, principal Timothy Reimers, senior counsel Michael Connell, associate Eric Blum and associate Donna Mo.

Welsh declined to discuss the financial terms of the firm’s acquisition.

Polsinelli’s expansion comes after the firm posted $219.3 million in revenue in its last fiscal year, a 17.7 percent rise in its general revenue from the year before. The firm had the largest percentage increase in revenue and profit among the state’s highest-grossing laws firms in Missouri Lawyers Weekly’s MOney 20 list.