Deals specialist leaves Beverly Hills boutique for Liner

Robert Kahan decides to reunite with longtime colleague, leaving Eisner firm
By Kylie Reynolds
Daily Journal Staff Writer

After roughly five years apart, longtime colleagues Robert L. Kahan and Stanton “Larry” Stein are back together again, this time at Liner LLP.

Kahan jumped to Liner’s Los Angeles office Monday from Eisner Kahan Gorry Chapman Ross & Jaffe PC, where he was a force behind the Beverly Hills boutique’s rapid growth.

He worked alongside Stein, a current Liner partner and entertainment litigator, for nearly 35 years. The two stayed together through various firm mergers and changes, including the combination of their firm, Stein & Kahan, with Alschuler Grossman & Pines in 1999 and the eventual split from the same firm in 2007. The two lawyers, however, eventually parted ways in 2009 after breaking off from Dreier Stein Kahan, at which point Kahan moved to the Eisner firm and Stein joined Liner. “Bob and Larry were together for 35 years and they’re best friends,” said Michael Eisner, founding partner and chairman of the firm now called Eisner Jaffe Gorry Chapman & Ross PC. “If Bob is at a point where he wants to finish his career with his best friend and longtime partner, we understand.” He said he’s happy for Kahan and looks forward to continuing working with him. Kahan, who joins Liner as a partner in its corporate, mergers and acquisitions and securities practices, said it was the right time to reunite with Stein and other former colleagues at Liner, who he called his “comfort zone.” He added that he has known firm co-founder and managing partner Stuart A. Liner for more than 20 years. “I’m excited to be practicing with Stuart, as well as Larry, as well as all the other partners,” Kahan said. “It’s a combination of it all.”
A transactional specialist, Kahan focuses on mergers and acquisitions, securities, franchising and general corporate matters. He served as head of Eisner’s corporate practice. His addition is part of Liner’s planned expansion, particularly in the corporate space, according to a firm statement.

Last month, Liner grabbed Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP real estate duo Jerold Neuman and Michael Kiely. The two will be launching a downtown Los Angeles office for the firm. “Bob, on a professional and personal basis, is one of the most highly regarded corporate attorneys in Los Angeles and will greatly enhance the capabilities of the firm’s corporate practice,” according to a statement from Liner.

Firm representatives declined to comment further.While Kahan said he expects to help grow the firm’s corporate practice, he said he is not bringing any additional attorneys with him to Liner. “It’s an excellent addition to Liner, and it follows on the heels of them attracting some outstanding partners,” said Sandy Lechtick, a legal recruiter and president of Esquire Inc. “It’s going to continue to add the wind to Liner’s sail.”

As for the Eisner firm, legal recruiter John Jameson said, there’s no doubt Kahan was essential in building the firm five years ago by attracting senior attorneys, and his departure is a loss to the partnership. But Eisner has since established itself as a “high-level” boutique, Jameson said, and should now be able to attract top attorneys on its own. While Eisner will need to bring in a player to take over Kahan’s role, Jameson added, there now may be more opportunities to incorporate some younger attorneys into the fold. “Mike could bring in somebody who doesn’t have as well-known of a reputation as Bob did when he joined,” he said, “but whoever that group or partner would be, [they are] joining a much stronger firm.”

kylie_reynolds@dailyjournal.com

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