Akin Gump Opens Office In Orange County; Litigation Practice Welcomes New Partner And Wins Media Kudos

Tuesday, January 28, 2014 - 10:51

Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP has announced the opening of a new office in Orange County, expanding the firm’s presence in this vital West Coast economic region while launching its fourth office in that state and 20th worldwide.

Paul Lin, partner in the firm's corporate practice, will serve as partner in charge. The firm's expansion to Orange County reflects its continuing commitment to a rapidly growing California practice and to the Asia-Pacific cross-border market, for which California serves as the principal gateway. The office will focus on cross-border matters; mergers and acquisitions; corporate finance; intellectual property and dispute resolution, including litigation, arbitration, issues and appeals, and patent litigation; and real estate.

Akin Gump’s office in Orange County will be located in Irvine at the Jamboree Center at 4 Park Plaza, Suite 1900, Irvine, CA  92614-2585. In addition to Orange County, Akin Gump has California offices in downtown Los Angeles, Century City and San Francisco.

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Akin Gump has announced the expansion of our litigation practice, with the addition of Aaron G. Murphy, who has joined the firm in San Francisco. Mr. Murphy is the author of the highly regarded Foreign Corrupt Practices Act: A Practical Resource for Managers and Executives and maintains a robust international practice, with an emphasis on foreign corruption matters. 

Mr. Murphy’s practice focuses on Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) compliance counseling and investigations for large and mid-sized companies, including responding to and resolving Department of Justice and Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) inquiries. Mr. Murphy’s clients include Fortune 100 companies, individual officers and directors, special board committees, and smaller companies and individuals associated with those companies. He has conducted corruption investigations in more than 25 countries, including numerous multijurisdictional FCPA probes. 

Mr. Murphy’s non-FCPA work covers a broad range of areas. During his career, he has handled domestic bribery and corruption matters, investigations conducted by the Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Asset Control, money laundering and federal criminal gambling offenses, qui tam litigation, SEC enforcement actions, criminal tax and Medicare fraud and congressional investigations and public corruption scandals. 

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The American Lawyer, in its biennial “Litigation Department of the Year” competition, has recognized Akin Gump as one of the top six litigation departments in the United States.  In selecting the firm as one of five finalists, the magazine noted that Akin Gump, a recognized “legal and lobbying powerhouse in Washington, D.C.,” has succeeded in “enhanc[ing] its litigation mojo nationwide” and building a top-tier litigation practice with a reach that “extends far beyond the nation’s capital.”

The American Lawyer singled out among the high points in Akin Gump’s litigation achievements over the last two years the firm’s first-of-its-kind victory on behalf of Aluminium Bahrain, which recovered $447 million in federal court in a RICO suit.  It also focused on defense victories such as the appellate wins in California and New York on behalf of Starbucks in tip-sharing cases with nine figures in potential awards on the table.

Akin Gump’s patent infringement victories on behalf of Janssen Biotech and Amphastar Pharmaceuticals were also called out, as was the firm’s victory for nursing home company Golden Living – one of the very few litigations against the government under the False Claims Act and an even-rarer win.

The American Lawyer’s recognition caps a series of honors accorded Akin Gump’s litigators in 2013 from legal and general media, including Law360, Washingtonian, Chambers and Partners, Corporate Counsel and The Legal 500, among others.  Additionally, in June, Akin Gump was named to The National Law Journal’s Appellate Hot List for the sixth straight year.

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On January 3, Patricia Millett, who served as Akin Gump’s Supreme Court practice head and appellate practice co-head, left the firm to take up her new duties as a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.  Judge Millett had joined the firm in 2007 and was nominated for her judgeship by President Obama in June 2013.

Pratik Shah, who co-led the firm’s Supreme Court practice with Judge Millett and previously served as an assistant to the solicitor general in the Office of the Solicitor General at the U.S. Department of Justice, has become sole head of the practice. He has argued more than a dozen cases before the Supreme Court while authoring numerous briefs at both the merits and certiorari stages. The firm’s national appellate practice will continue to be led by Los Angeles partner Rex Heinke.