The plaintiff-side boutique Gupta Wessler is taking its consumer protection practice to the west coast, opening a San Francisco office to complement its D.C. headquarters.
Made public Tuesday, that initiative comes just two weeks after the firm expanded its home office by establishing a civil rights and class action practice targeted to take on big tech companies. In September, the firm won a U.S. appeals court ruling reviving a lawsuit pressed by restaurant workers and a hotelier accusing President Donald Trump of receiving emoluments in violation of the Constitution.
Jennifer Bennett, formerly at the consumer and worker protection firm Public Justice, will head the new office, joined by associate Neil Sawhney, who recently joined the firm from the Southern Poverty Law Center. While at Public Justice, Bennett argued her first Supreme Court case, winning a unanimous victory for transportation workers resisting forced arbitration.
There’s a real synergy between the opening of the San Francisco office and the launch of the new practice group in that many big tech companies are based in Northern California, said the firm’s founder Deepak Gupta.
There’s a ton of plaintiff-side work in California, so the move just made sense, Bennett said.
Both Bennett and Sawhney clerked at the San Francisco-based U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, as well as other state and federal courts in the Golden State. That kind of inside experience will add a lot of value for our clients, Gupta said.
The expansion is motivated as much by the particular people as it is the need to have a footprint in Northern California, he said.
While the firm is excited about the expansion, it doesn’t have any immediate plans to branch out further.
“We’ve tried to grow very carefully and slowly” over the past few years, Gupta said. “We enjoy our small, collegial atmosphere.”