Bob Shallit

International law firm establishing Sacramento presence

King & Spalding LLP, a top international law firm, is establishing a presence in Sacramento with the hiring of as many as nine lawyers from the local office of DLA Piper, officials said Wednesday.

The attorneys will be affiliated with King & Spalding’s health care practice in San Francisco but will operate out of offices in the U.S. Bank Tower at 621 Capitol Mall starting Sept. 5, said Stephen Goff, the head of the group making the move.

“We’ll have about half of the 15th floor,” Goff said.

The new space, amounting to about 8,000 square feet, was previously occupied by the Downey Brand law firm, which has reduced some of its space in the building.

Other partners involved in the move are Marcia Augsburger, John Barnes and Leslie Murphy. They will be joined by five associates and two paralegals from DLA, Goff said.

Goff said the move has been under discussion for about a year and a half and was prompted by his desire to be with a firm like King & Spalding that has moved to narrow its focus to a few key areas, including health care.

“Over the years, I’ve felt, didn’t it make sense to be with a firm that has decided that health care will be one of four things they do rather than 40?” he said.

Goff said “there’s no anger” resulting from the split. “DLA is being pretty decent about it.”

Todd Noonan, managing partner in the Sacramento office of DLA, also called the departures “amicable,” and said his firm will be left with “between 15 and 20 lawyers” focused on business law, government affairs and support for startup businesses.

“Really, we’re very excited about our future here,” he said, adding there is a commitment from the parent firm to “grow the office.”

Jay Harris, co-chair of King & Spalding’s Life Sciences and Healthcare Practice, said his new Sacramento staffers have a “terrific reputation.”

The hires also will broaden the company’s California health care practice, which now focuses on the product side of the business, such as pharmaceuticals and medical devices.

The Goff team brings an emphasis on medical services, including representation of hospitals and health care clinics, he said.

King & Spalding is listed as a Global 50 firm, a top international distinction, and has more than 800 lawyers in offices throughout the United States, Europe, the Middle East and Asia, according to its website.

The site says the firm represents half of the companies on the Fortune Global 100 list.