Ropes & Gray to Open Office in Los Angeles; Firm Adds Leading PE Lawyer in California

In The News
December 20, 2021

Global law firm Ropes & Gray announced today that it will be opening a Los Angeles office in 2022. The firm also announced that Brandon Howald joined the firm as a partner, effective Dec. 17.  

The firm’s new office—its third in California and 12th worldwide—will initially focus on the private equity, asset management and health care industries, where Ropes & Gray is a leading market player and trusted advisor to its growing West Coast client base.

Ropes & Gray already has lawyers in Los Angeles, including private equity partner Howard Glazer, health care partner Torrey McClary and two health care counsel, Ranee Adipat and Leslie Thornton. The firm intends to further build the team in Los Angeles through internal relocations and strategic lateral hires in Southern California. 

“Opening an office in Los Angeles is a really exciting move for Ropes & Gray. Southern California is a market where we have been active for many years. We already have a robust and growing roster of clients in a region with a vibrant private equity and asset management business, as well as strong California health care, life sciences, M&A, and technology practices,” said Ropes & Gray’s chair, Julie Jones. “We have been very strategic in establishing a presence where our clients needed us, from Asia to London to Chicago to the West Coast. That same vision propels us into Los Angeles—and Howard Glazer, Torrey McClary and Brandon Howald have the industry expertise, entrepreneurial drive and Southern California roots to help lead us.” 

“We are opening in Los Angeles with a powerful platform: a roster of market leading clients, established partners with deep ties to Los Angeles like Brandon Howald, Howard Glazer, Torrey McClary and our powerful global network—all with the high bar of excellence clients come to expect from Ropes & Gray,” said the firm’s managing partner, David Djaha. 

In his 22-year career, Brandon has led numerous complex transactions for a wide array of private equity firms and public companies, including GI Partners and Compass. He is recognized by Chambers, Legal 500 and IFLR as a leading PE buyouts lawyer and was named a Southern California “Rising Star” by Law and Politics magazine. 

“Ropes & Gray is synonymous with private equity,” said Brandon. “I have always had great respect for Ropes & Gray’s preeminent private equity practice and have watched it continue to grow. The way teams of lawyers work together so cohesively at the firm is impressive. With Ropes & Gray, clients know they’ll get the expertise they need on every legal issue they face. I can’t wait to get started growing the firm’s private equity practice in Southern California and I am looking forward to being part of such a high-caliber team.” 

“Brandon is a seasoned PE lawyer with a diverse client base. He has a long track record of leading sophisticated deals for ambitious clients,” said David Blittner, head of Ropes & Gray’s private equity practice. “He is the perfect choice to help our global practice expand into Southern California.” 

Ropes & Gray has been established in California with offices in San Francisco since 2001 and in Silicon Valley since 1992. The firm already represents leading California-based clients: PIMCO, University of Southern California, TPG Capital, Oaktree Capital Management LP, DoubleLine Capital LP, Genstar Capital, HP Inc., ICU Medical, Silver Lake Partners and Stanford University – among others.

Ropes & Gray has been steering private equity clients through a buyout boom over the last 2-3 years. The global firm has more than 200 lawyers focused on PE globally. In 2021, the firm has guided close to $400 billion in private equity and M&A transactions, consistently ranking second among all firms in league tables for private equity buyouts published by Mergermarket.