DLA Piper seals takeover of 60-lawyer Los Angeles firm

DLA Piper has boosted its presence in Southern California with the acquisition of Los Angeles boutique Liner.

The firm, which focuses on real estate, entertainment, new media and private equity restructuring, was founded in 1996 and has about 60 lawyers.

It is known for its entrepreneurial business model and also has a highly regarded entertainment industry practice, which has represented clients including Miramax, Lions Gate Entertainment and Hilton Grand Vacations. Partner Angela Agrusa recently served as Bill Cosby’s defence lawyer in his civil trials.

The deal boosts DLA’s Piper’s presence in Los Angeles, where it says it will now be one of the city’s 15 largest law firms. The firm has offices in both downtown LA and Century City.

“This combination is an important evolution of our presence in Southern California and the west coast generally, building on our roots here in San Diego and Silicon Valley as Gray Cary Ware & Freidenrich prior to the merger that formed DLA Piper,” said Jay Rains, DLA Piper’s global co-CEO and co-chairman for the Americas, in a statement.

Liner made legal market headlines in 2015 when it lured Kirk Pasich and nine other lawyers from Dickstein Shapiro. Pasich was head of the insurance practice group at the now-defunct Dickstein Shapiro and was also previously a member of that firm’s executive committee.

More recently, the firm last September picked up three lawyers from Milbank Tweed Hadley & McCloy. Previously, the firm was named Liner Grode Stein Yankelevitz Sunshine Regenstreif & Taylor, though name partner Joshua Grode moved to Irell & Manella along with five other Liner lawyers in 2014.

“We are excited about the opportunity to help build, under the DLA Piper umbrella, an even stronger presence in Southern California, Silicon Beach and beyond,” said Liner’s managing partner, Stuart Liner, in a statement. “This merger will give us the ability to provide our clients with the services offered by DLA Piper in New York and other important national markets, and to capitalise on their strengths and depth of practice in areas like M&A, private equity, finance, infrastructure and sports.”