Los Angeles, California — Maynard Cooper & Gale, a national, full-service law firm is proud to expand its client services on both coasts and in-between as it opens its office in Los Angeles, California, Century City District, at 1901 Avenue of the Stars. The firm’s expansion involves the addition of Judy M. Lam and Duane Kumagai, formerly of the Los Angeles-based boutique firm, the Kumagai Law Group, who will serve as partners and leaders of the Los Angeles office. Lam and Kumagai’s presence, along with the addition of their established team, represents the further increase of Maynard Cooper’s robust offering with extensive Commercial and Bankruptcy Litigation experience, including client relationships in the United States, Asia, Europe, and Latin America. With offices throughout Alabama, New York, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C., moving into the Los Angeles market represents Maynard Cooper’s vision of aligning the best, similarly-minded talent in order to further the firm’s ability to serve cross-continental and international clients, while increasing its extensive offering to existing, longstanding clients.
Jeff Grantham, managing shareholder at Maynard Cooper says, “Los Angeles has actually been in Maynard Cooper’s strategic growth plan for some time. We have been doing a significant amount of work in the Los Angeles area for the past several years, particularly in insurance and financial services litigation. Even though we entered the California market in San Francisco back in 2014, Los Angeles remained top of mind as we continued to expand and increase our presence in California.”
Drew Kitchen, managing partner of Maynard Cooper’s San Francisco office adds, “We worked patiently and diligently to ensure that we identified and connected with the right team in Los Angeles. There is tremendous synergy between our Los Angeles and San Francisco offices and our client base in California, as many of our clients have significant operations in both locations. Our attorneys on the West Coast, as well as those across the country, are serving clients throughout California on a daily basis and this new office enhances our state-wide capabilities. A presence in Los Angeles will further bolster the growth opportunities that we have been able to capitalize on over the last four years in the California market.”
Among those leading the Los Angeles office is Duane Kumagai, a partner in the Complex Litigation Practice at Maynard Cooper. A 30-year California attorney, Kumagai has extensive experience litigating commercial, real property and business fraud disputes; and protecting the rights of creditors in corporate bankruptcy cases. As an expert on creditors’ rights and provisional remedies, Kumagai speaks to bar groups on writs of attachment, receiverships, judgment enforcement, and bankruptcy law. He regularly appears in the U.S. District, U.S. Bankruptcy, and California Superior Courts.
Kumagai’s clients hail from the United States, Asia, Europe, and Latin America, and represent diverse industries, such as technology, new media, manufacturing, distribution, banking & financial, commercial real estate, automotive, construction, apparel, entertainment, franchising, food, advertising, retail, international trade, and clean energy. Kumagai is a graduate of Vassar College and earned his J.D. from New York University School of Law.
Judy Lam is a partner in the Complex Litigation practice of Maynard Cooper. With more than 20 years of experience in commercial litigation, Lam handles complex business disputes in real estate and construction, banking and finance, business torts, and franchise. Lam is also a trained mediator and arbitrator.
Lam handles large to small commercial disputes for national clients, entrepreneurs, growing companies, and closely held companies, including serving as an outside general counsel or managing litigation in other states. She is often called in when a client needs help in fraud and investment schemes, and multi-party disputes, where the outcomes could involve negative publicity and collateral consequences. A speaker of Cantonese and Mandarin Chinese, Lam frequently represents Asian and foreign clients involving their business dealings in the U.S. and abroad. Lam holds a B.A. in Diplomacy and World Affairs from Occidental College and earned her J.D. from Loyola Law School.
“Maynard Cooper’s impressive legal talent was no surprise,” says Judy Lam. “What we found remarkable was the firm’s team culture. The collaboration across offices and teams was evident and authentic. The highly personal, client-centered approach resonated with our philosophy as a boutique firm.”
Kumagai adds, “At KLG, we were proud to be senior litigators and trial lawyers in a boutique setting, where we live and breathe team, friendship and respect,” says Duane Kumagai. “We couldn’t be happier to find the same principles thriving at Maynard Cooper. It’s exciting to bring the firm’s extensive, full-service practice expertise and deep trial bench to southern California.”
In addition to Kumagai and Lam, the Maynard Cooper Los Angeles office announces the addition of Richard Macias and Cindy Mekari Rucker to the firm.
Richard Macias joins the firm as Of Counsel, having worked with and alongside Kumagai and Lam for years. He is a seasoned litigator with 35 years of experience in both private practice and as a prosecutor for the Criminal Division of the Los Angeles City Attorney and Special Counsel to the City Attorney. He joined the Maynard Cooper Complex Litigation group in September with a focus in commercial law and business litigation. Macias is a graduate of Pomona College and earned his J.D. from Harvard Law School.
Cindy Mekari Rucker joined Maynard Cooper as Of Counsel in February of 2018, with her litigation work focusing on representing corporations in matters relating to life, health, and disability coverage. She is experienced in insurance bad faith and ERISA litigation, and she also has experience representing carriers in individual claims and sales practice cases in state and federal courts throughout California. Mekari Rucker is a graduate of the University of Southern California and earned her J.D. from the University of Texas School of Law.
The Los Angeles office of Maynard Cooper opened September 1, 2018. Maynard Cooper’s bi- coastal, international presence is bolstered by the tenured experience of Lam, Kumagai, and their team of expert commercial and bankruptcy litigation professionals. Los Angeles is Maynard Cooper’s fourth strategic location in the last four years, following Washington, D.C., earlier this year, New York in 2016, and San Francisco in 2014.