Jenner & Block is the latest Big Law firm to plant a flag in Northern California, with the Chicago-founded litigation firm opening a San Francisco office on Monday.
The office opening comes with the hire of Ann O’Leary, the former chief of staff to California Gov. Gavin Newsom. O’Leary served as a leading policy advisor to Hillary Clinton during her 2016 presidential campaign before becoming a partner at Boies Schiller & Flexner in 2017.
Reid Schar, co-chair of the firm’s 400-lawyer litigation group, will serve as managing partner of the San Francisco office. Currently based in Chicago, Schar joined the firm in 2012 from a role as a federal prosecutor there.
Big Law firms have flocked to Northern California in recent months. Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison, and Debevoise & Plimpton are just a few major firms that have been drawn by the lure of technology clients to the region.
Now a Jenner & Block partner, O’Leary will co-chair the firm’s government controversies and public policy litigation practice.
The firm said it represents California-based companies including Uber Technologies Inc., Pacific Gas and Electric and Shift Technologies Inc.
A group of current Jenner & Block lawyers will also staff the office. They include: Brian Hauck, Zeb Zankel, Lindsay Harrison, and Keisha Stanford.
“More than ever, technology companies need lawyers with government experience in both California and Washington, DC. Ann brings the perfect combination of experience, and I am delighted for her to join me in leading our Government Controversies team,” Jenner & Block Chair Thomas Perrelli said in a statement.