Alschuler Grossman Snares Pillsbury Winthrop Partner

Tina Spee

Daily Journal Extra

August 9, 2004

Alschuler Grossman Stein & Kahan lured former Pillsbury Winthrop partner M. Katharine Davidson to its 100-lawyer Santa Monica office on July 26.

Davidson says that, when her new firm contacted her to fill a need for a tax partner, Alschuler Grossman's reputation sealed the deal.

"Many of my clients are in the entertainment industry, and Alschuler is a well-known commodity to them, so the move made a lot of sense," Davidson says.

"I think Alschuler presents a new and exciting firm culture with a very dynamic group of attorneys," she adds.

Davidson declines to identify clients by name. In the entertainment sector, she says, her work ranges from helping high-net-worth individuals with personal tax planning to handling tax structures for film production and distribution.

Alschuler Grossman managing partner Bruce Friedman calls Davidson a terrific attorney.

Friedman adds that the business she brings to the firm should result in valuable cross-selling potential for everyone.

"Not only does she have tax and corporate experience, but she also has a clientele that fits very well with ours in terms of media and entertainment clients," he says.

Including Davidson, Alschuler Grossman has two tax transactional attorneys.

Davidson says she also assists with the tax aspects of mergers and acquisitions, financings, business reorganizations and real estate deals.

She advises clients in Europe on their American investments, as well as counseling United States companies and individuals on tax issues related to their business abroad.

Davidson replaces former Alschuler Grossman tax partner Marilyn S. Barrett, who left the firm earlier this year to join Santa Monica's Van Etten Suzumoto & Becket.

While at the downtown Los Angeles office of Pillsbury Winthrop, Davidson co-led its firmwide 10-attorney media and entertainment industry team.

Sheryl Stein, co-managing partner of Pillsbury Winthrop's Los Angeles offices, says the co-chair of the group, New York partner Andrew Bernstein, will take over the team.

As far as tax work goes, Los Angeles partner Dana Newman will take the local reins.

"She was a fine attorney," Stein says of Davidson. "It's not a matter of having lost that capability. We still have it."

Before joining Pillsbury Winthrop in January 2000, Davidson spent four years at Los Angeles' Weinstein, Boldt, Halfhide & Camel. Before that, she spent 11 years with Los Angeles' Loeb & Loeb.

Legal recruiter Alan Miles of Santa Monica's Alan Miles & Associates Inc. brokered the move.

Alschuler Grossman has one office.

San Francisco and New York-based Pillsbury Winthrop has 725 attorneys in 16 offices. Combined with its Century City office, the firm has 93 attorneys in Los Angeles.

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