So far, 2023 has already been a year of big moves for Encino-based ACTS Law.
The plaintiff’s firm has acquired two practices since January, further adding to its staff count and doubling its number of offices.
These acquisitions factor heavily into the firm’s plan to offer services in all major legal fields, including property damage, construction defects, medical malpractice, public liability, catastrophic personal injury and sexual assault.
“You have all of them under one roof as a full-service plaintiff’s practice,” Danny Abir, the firm’s managing partner, said. “We only represent basically David vs. Goliath. We don’t represent entities or organizations.”
ACTS — which is an acronym for the four named partners: Abir, Cohen, Treyzon and Salo — started off with just one attorney, Alexander Cohen, and one employee a decade ago when Abir, a law school friend, entered the practice. With him he brought business acumen, in the form of a bachelor’s degree in finance and the experience of owning a business at age 19, and he sought to grow the firm.
Now, the firm has nearly 30 attorneys, a variety of practices, a wealth of success in the courtroom and a distinct identity. The firm abandoned its original home in Century City for the Valley in 2019.
“Every human has a superpower, and if you do what you do best, you’ll be successful,” Abir said. “The way we’ve built the firm is that every person focuses on their strengths, and that’s why we’ve been able to grow as fast as we have. That’s what made it easy.”
On Feb. 1, Geraldine Weiss joined the firm as a partner, adding a significant resume in civil rights violations, sexual abuse, wrongful death and other practices to ACTS. On Jan. 3, ACTS acquired AgnewBrusavich APC in Torrance, bringing in the namesake Bruce Brusavich to the fold as a partner along with his expertise in medical malpractice, elder abuse, insurance bad faith and other areas.
Additionally, ACTS brought in Ramey Law P.C. in November, adding the firm’s Playa Del Rey office and the wife-husband duo of Christa and John Ramey to the mix.
“Having seasoned attorneys who have had their own practices join yours is not an overnight thing,” Abir said, “but once you build relationships and they see what you do, it’s a lot easier for them to come together and say, ‘Let’s do this.’”
Abir added that he hopes to address the final practice group — education — that he wants to bring into the fold later this year.
“I believe that one we will address in 2023,” he said. “Then it will be just growing the departments as opposed to growing horizontally. It will be more vertical.”
Abir said he believes he has some foresight into what the legal industry will look like as he has worked to assemble ACTS. Although Gov. Gavin Newsom last year signed a bill that kept the State Bar of California from allowing corporations to practice law, Abir noted that the bill has a three-year window, and he believes there is a growing appetite nationwide to ultimately allow the practice. He thinks bolstering his smaller practice will make it easier to survive in that environment.
“Imagine Amazon being able to practice law,” Abir said. “I think the practice of law is going to change in the next five years. I think there’s going to be more consolidations and a lot more mega firms than smaller ones. The way I look at it, either I am chicken little, in which case then we’ve built a very robust firm with all these different areas of specialties, or we are three steps ahead of the game and we will be able to function in that kind of environment.”
As that environment exists now, the firm racked up more than $150 million in settlements last year — including one judgment that was $73 million by itself. And that was, of course, prior to the additions this year.
“I do see the potential of beating 2022,” Abir said. “We are well on our way.”