Maynard Cooper & Gale PC today announced the firm will open a new office in San Francisco. Existing clients and related opportunities have led to this decision to expand the firm’s presence on the West Coast. This new office will initially focus on three practice areas: insurance and financial services litigation, complex ERISA litigation (including class actions), and sports and entertainment law.

Maynard Cooper was founded in 1984 in Birmingham, Ala. Since then the firm has grown to be a nationally recognized law firm with more than 200 attorneys who offer experience in a number of practice areas and industries, including insurance, securities and financial services.

“Strong client relationships and our commitment to providing the highest quality service are driving the firm’s growth,” said Mark Drew, managing shareholder of Maynard Cooper. “Our expansion strategy is driven by what is in the best interest of our clients, and they have shown overwhelming support for our establishing a West Coast presence. Our experience and reputation will allow us to capitalize on additional opportunities in California’s vibrant market.”

Maynard Cooper has hired nationally recognized litigator Christopher Rillo as a partner in its San Francisco office. He has practiced benefits litigation for his entire career and has appeared in numerous benefits actions, most of which have involved class actions. Chris has a long history of defending plan sponsors, fiduciaries and service providers in complex benefits litigation all across the country.

“We are excited to have someone with the national reputation of Chris joining our firm, and look forward to adding depth and great synergy to our national insurance practice,” said Mark Drew.

The firm has named Drew Kitchen as the managing partner of its San Francisco office. Drew is a partner in Maynard Cooper’s Birmingham office where he has practiced for his entire career. He will relocate later this summer. His practice is centered largely around advising financial institutions and insurers.

"Drew is one of our outstanding young shareholders who also happens to have a proven record of success in the California courts,” said Mark Drew. “In addition, Drew has been particularly effective at expanding our firm's West Coast client base, and I have every confidence that he will be even more successful once he is living in San Francisco. Having one of our lawyers who has been with this firm his entire career heading up a new office made this an easy decision.”

BTI Consulting Group recently ranked the firm’s Insurance Practice as one of the top six in the nation.

Maynard Cooper’s new office will be located at 275 Battery Street. The firm also has offices in Birmingham, Huntsville, Mobile and Montgomery, Ala.