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Saturday, Jun 3, 2023

Weston-Benshoof Westlake Village Office Seen as Critical in Alston & Bird Merger

By THOM SENZEE Contributing Reporter When Atlanta-based Alston & Bird LLC decided to acquire Los Angeles-based Weston, Benshoof, Rochefort, Rubalcava & MacCuish, LLP, the first question in the minds of local legal eagles was “will they keep the firm’s Westlake Village office?” The answer is “yes.” “Yes, because it’s a critical office,” said Weston-Benshoof partner, Tom Cohen, who is the partner-in-charge at Westlake Village. “We’re remaining open as a viable office for our tri-county clients.” Prior to the merger, Alston & Bird and Weston-Benshoof were both already heavyweight regional law-firms each with its own influential presence in Washington, D.C. However, Alston & Bird is much larger, with offices in New York, Washington, Charlotte, Atlanta, Dallas, Research Triangle Park, N.C., and a recently added Palo Alto office. By acquiring Weston-Benshoof, Alston & Bird has become a truly nationwide firm. Before the merger, the acquiring firm had 800 attorneys and practice specialties that included intellectual property, complex litigation, as well as corporate and tax law, focusing on the healthcare, energy and financial-services industries, as well as public policy. With Weston-Benshoof now in its corral, Alston & Bird has 900 attorneys and has added land-use, environmental, sustainability, and climate-change law to its areas of expertise, and has gained added resources in several overlapping practice areas. When Alston & Bird’s partners went shopping for a firm to acquire this year, they knew what they wanted: a powerhouse environmental and sustainability firm. And if it was to be a Southern California firm, it had to be a recognized leader. That, says Cohen is what they found in Weston, Benshoof, Rochefort, Rubalcava & MacCuish. “Alston & Bird was attracted to Weston-Benshoof largely because of our firm’s experience with land-use and environmental law, as well as its energy policy practice,” he said. Alston & Bird’s managing partner Richard R. Hays said the acquisition of Weston-Benshoof is the realization of his firm’s long-held desire to establish a permanent, authoritative home on the West Coast. “While Alston & Bird has been representing clients on the West Coast for years, teaming up with some of the best talent in Los Angeles and Silicon Valley gives us stronger footing in a number of key practice areas that will benefit our clients and better serve their needs.” It is not yet clear what name Weston-Benshoof will take after the merger is finalized. For now, no name change has been announced. Tom Cohen believes attorneys at his firm are also getting a good deal by becoming part of Alston & Bird. In fact, Alston & Bird was named one of the Top 100 Best Places to Work in America by Fortune Magazine. “Our clients will benefit as well,” he said. “It enhances our servicing to our client base from a project-development standpoint, completing the range all the way up to project financing. “Weston-Benshoof didn’t have that before, and from that perspective,just from a selfish viewpoint that really helps me help my clients.”

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