A duo of litigators from Irell & Manella has joined Mayer Brown to help the Chicago-based firm bolster its litigation and dispute resolution practice on the West Coast.

Jason Linder, head of Irell’s global investigations and anti-corruption practice, and partner Glenn Vanzura joined Mayer Brown’s Los Angeles office Monday. Linder, who is a former U.S. Department of Justice prosecutor, will split his time between the firm’s Los Angeles and Washington, D.C., offices, while securities litigator Vanzura will be based in Los Angeles.

Meanwhile, Jeffrey Reisner, head of the firm’s bankruptcy practice, is leaving Irell for McDermott Will & Emery. McDermott and Irell both confirmed the move will be taking place.

Linder said his practice is focused on “government-facing and internal investigations for large corporations, and particularly ones that are cross-border where either the company activity occurs in multiple countries or the clients under investigation are facing scrutiny from authorities in multiple countries.”

“For that type of work, Mayer Brown is unrivaled as a platform, as a group of white-collar lawyers, and as a group of partners in other practice areas that can offer services to those types of clients in related areas,” he said.

Prior to joining Irell in 2017, Linder served as a senior trial attorney in the Justice Department’s FCPA unit in Washington, D.C., where he led the department’s international white-collar criminal investigations, focusing particularly on matters involving FCPA and securities fraud violations. Before that, he served as an assistant U.S. attorney in the Southern District of Florida.

“I’ve known many folks that have worked [at Mayer Brown] and know the stellar reputation that the firm enjoys worldwide, and even more so now in the California market,” Vanzura added.

“Mayer Brown offered the opportunity to work on some of the most complex legal matters that [companies face, particularly] California-based companies and those doing business in California.”

Vanzura focuses his practice on securities litigation, complex business litigation, white-collar criminal defense and internal corporate investigations. Before entering private practice at Irell in 2015, Vanzura worked at Cornerstone Research, an economics and litigation consulting firm, where he specialized in securities and antitrust matters.

With the two partners’ addition, Mayer Brown’s Los Angeles office, which was established in 1985, now has a total of 51 attorneys, including 18 partners. The firm has 463 lawyers in its litigation and dispute resolution practice.

Richard Spehr, the leader of Mayer Brown’s global litigation and dispute resolution practice, said Linder and Vanzura will help the firm strengthen its white-collar, regulatory and enforcement practice led by Dan Stein, a former head of the Southern District of New York’s Criminal Division.

“We have quite a number of clients on the West Coast including Google, eBay, Spotify, and Twitter, Shutterfly and some others that they can really help us continue to develop,” Spehr said. “We’re going to continue to build on the West Coast to take advantage of those sorts of clients and build the existing clients, and to introduce ourselves to some new clients on the West Coast.”

The two partners’ departure from Irell comes just weeks after former Irell managing partner David Gindler left the firm along with three IP partners to join Milbank.

In a statement Tuesday, a spokesperson from Irell said the departed partners have decided to leave the firm to “become leaders within practice groups in the Southern California offices of some multi-national firms based on the East Coast and in the Midwest.”

“While we are sad to see our friends—these truly talented lawyers—leave, we wish them nothing but the very best in their next opportunity,” the firm said. “For over 75 years, our firm has been known for its ability to deliver outstanding results in our clients’ highest-stakes matters. The fact our lawyers are so highly recruited is a testament to the strength of our firm and our stellar reputation for having some of the highest quality, best trained, and most creative and entrepreneurial lawyers in the country.”


Reprinted with permission from the September 17, 2019 edition of The Recorder © 2019 ALM Properties, Inc. All rights reserved. Further duplication without permission is prohibited.