Meredith Riley


Meredith specializes in partner placement and practice group acquisitions. Since 2000, she has successfully represented practice groups, individual partners and associates to several leading law firms including: Skadden Arps; O’Melveny & Myers; Akin Gump; Alston & Bird; Norton Rose Fulbright; White & Case; Crowell & Moring; DLA; Greenberg Traurig; Morrison & Foerster; Perkins Coie; Quinn Emanuel; Proskauer; Jeffer Mangels; Loeb & Loeb; Gibson Dunn; Reed Smith; Baker & Hostetler; Arent Fox; Blank Rome; Vedder Price; Buchalter; King & Spalding; Holland & Knight and Snell & Wilmer. Her focus in the last twelve years has been partner placement.

While 2014-2016 were record years, 2017 was her best ever. Yet her success in enhancing careers- especially those of prominent partners has not abated in 2018. Her collaboration with Esquire President Sandy Lechtick resulted in several notable transactions in So. and No. California. They handled the moves of two core groups to start Alston & Bird’s newest office in San Francisco- representing nationally known trial lawyer Robert “Bo” Philips and his nine-lawyer litigation team from Reed Smith and Michael Agoglia, former Managing Partner of Morrison & Foerster’s San Francisco office and co-chair of the firm’s financial services litigation practice group. They handled the move of top L&E partner Michele Beilke who brought her entire group from Reed Smith to Hunton & Williams. They recently handled the move of a prominent white-collar partner and his group to King & Spalding. They placed a 4-lawyer corporate and tax group (headed by former Stradling partner Goodarz T. Agahi) at Baker & Hostetler (O.C.).

In the last couple months, Meredith facilitated the moves of of litigation partner Daniel Rygorsky from Troy & Gould to Buchalter, Troutman Sanders partner Matt Murphey (see letter) to head the intellectual property group at Theodora Oringher (O.C.); insurance expert partner James Fitzgerald from Akin Gump to Drinker Biddle; leading finance partner Danielle Garcia from Blank Rome to Holland & Knight (Los Angeles); Eric Fromme, former Jeffer Mangels litigation partner to Theodora Oringher and L&E partner Kellie Christianson to Lewis Brisbois- (Orange County). Most recently- and in the last week, she handled David Bournazian’s move from Troutman to Greenberg Traurig. It is interesting to note that several years ago, she placed David at another firm and he was so pleased by her performance that six years later when he decided to move his practice, he turned to Meredith. “Absolutely first-rate”, is how he described her performance!

A few of the other notable partner representations include: prominent commercial and employment litigator Brian P. Maschler to Arent Fox (San Francisco); Locke Lord corporate partner Daniel Peters to Katten Muchin (Los Angeles); Goodwin Procter Antitrust Litigation Partner Patrick Thompson to Perkins Coie (San Francisco); Michelle Gilette, Mintz Levin products liability partner to Crowell & Moring (San Francisco); Pamela Naughton, noted White Collar partner formerly of Sheppard Mullin to DLA (San Diego); corporate partner Jonathan Atzen also from Sheppard Mullin to Perkins Coie (L.A. and Silicon Valley); DLA cyber security and data privacy chair Joshua Briones and Ana Tagvoryan to Blank Rome (L.A.) and Germain Labat, former Mayer Brown litigation partner to Vedder Price – as litigation chair (L.A.).

Some of her other representations include: Kirkland & Ellis litigation partner Mark Cramer’s move to Buchalter and Rick McNeil, former Irell & Manella environmental chair to Snell & Wilmer. Ms. Riley and Mr. Lechtick also facilitated Amar Thakur’s move to Quinn Emanuel. Mr. Thakur, was formerly IP chair at Foley & Lardner and lead trial lawyer in a $160M major IP lawsuit which he won. (Quinn Emanuel seldom works with recruiters on partner placement!). The two also handled the move of prominent Akin Gump project finance energy partner Elliot Hinds to Crowell & Moring; patent litigation partner Scott Feldman (MSEE) to Baker & Hostetler; Gordon & Rees life-science co-chairs William Pedranti and George Ng to Snell & Wilmer and Arnold & Porter trademark specialist Diane Lambillotte to Arent Fox (see letter).

Other placements include products liability partner Bernard Gehlhar from Wilson Elser to LeClairRyan (San Francisco). While Meredith continues to handle searches with some of the largest and most profitable law firms in the Nation, she has expanded into the small and mid-sized law firm sector- e.g. Philip Schroeder, corporate specialist from Allen Matkins; litigator Shawn E. Cowles, and Keri Borders, an experienced first chair trial lawyer from Kelly Drye all to Buchalter. She handled transactional real estate partner Richard A. Schloss (formerly with Robins Kaplan) to Liner (Westwood).

Meredith has had a very unusual career path. After receiving her B.A. in Communications/Journalism, she spent several years in the entertainment sector handling literary projects. However, interested in the dynamic convergence of technology, entertainment and web-based enterprises, she entered the executive and technical search arena- and handled sr; level computer programmers and executives. Ultimately however the influence of the lawyers in her family (father and brother) and her interest in law propelled her to attorney placement. She placed her first attorney within her first 60 days. Meredith joined Esquire in 2010.

Her hobbies include collecting antiques, foreign travel, singing, cooking and yoga.

August 2018

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