Goodwin Procter has announced the opening of a new office in Santa Monica, which along with its downtown Los Angeles location gives the firm two offices in Southern California.
The Santa Monica team of 20 attorneys will focus on the technology sector and on working with private equity clients.
Santa Monica is adjacent to West Los Angeles, the primary home of Los Angeles' burgeoning 'Silicon Beach' technology sector.
Private equity co-chair AJ Weidhaas will serve as chair of the Santa Monica office.
"We had considered opening there before," Weidhaas said about the new location, "but it was a little on the early side. Now the market has matured, and is more middle-market in tech."
"There are an increasing number of Northern California-based tech entrepreneurs who wrap up existing ventures and look around about what to do next and where," Weidhaas said about some of the trends that are driving that maturation in the West Los Angeles tech sector. He added that many of those entrepreneurs have been relocating to the LA area as an alternative to Northern California, which has seen an increasingly high cost of living and a lack of infrastructure sufficient to support the ever-growing population.
Asked why Goodwin decided to open a new office so ostensibly close to its downtown one instead of simply expanding the latter, Weidhaas responded that "physically, West LA and downtown LA are two different markets," pointing to Los Angeles' size and infamous traffic congestion. "We wanted to be in the ecosystem of the Silicon Beach market."
He concluded that the area's tech sector will continue to develop and likely attract other law firms, but that local success was far from assured for any new firms.
"The question for a lot of firms who move here will be whether they have enough staying power around only their tech practices. We are in the market in tech, PE, real estate and complex litigation, which we think gives us a diversified offering and stability."