Los Angeles, September 21, 2009 – Kaye Scholer LLP announced today that Dan Grunfeld, Deputy Chief of Staff for Policy in the office of Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, has joined the firm as Co-Chair of the Los Angeles Litigation Department, effective November 2. Areas of his focus at Kaye Scholer are expected to include acting as outside general counsel for clients in the areas of green technology, alternative energy, environmental compliance, media and entertainment law, health care and venture capital.
Mr. Grunfeld spent the last two years as one of the mayor’s top policy advisors. As a member of the mayor’s four-person executive leadership team, he coordinated, prioritized and implemented the mayor’s policy agenda. Prior to his service to the city, Mr. Grunfeld was Chief Executive Officer of the largest public interest law firm in the United States, and before that, a litigation partner at a major law firm.
“Dan’s leadership skills, government experience, and prominence in the Los Angeles business and legal communities will greatly benefit Kaye Scholer locally and firmwide. He brings to the firm his own excellence in litigation and strategic thinking in both client matters and business generally,” said Barry Dastin, Managing Partner of the firm’s Los Angeles office.
Located in Century City, Kaye Scholer’s Los Angeles office has approximately 60 attorneys serving clients throughout the United States, as well as Europe and the Pacific Rim. The office’s practice is focused in the areas of litigation, antitrust, mergers and acquisitions, commercial and real estate finance, entertainment, and insolvency and restructuring.
Widely recognized as one of the leading firms in the U.S. in the area of litigation, Kaye Scholer handles some of the highest-profile cases in the country and has a strong record of big wins for clients in jury trials. Lawyers in the Los Angeles office’s Litigation Department have substantial experience in conducting major trials and appeals in both state and federal courts, as well as experience in arbitrations and multi-jurisdictional litigation.
“Kaye Scholer is a highly respected firm with a significant Los Angeles presence,” said Mr. Grunfeld. “I look forward to working with my new colleagues and contributing to the firm’s continued success.”
Mr. Grunfeld will be working closely with, among others, Aton Arbisser, Co-Chair of the Los Angeles Litigation Department, and Larry R. Feldman, Special Counsel in the Los Angeles office. Mr. Feldman focuses on civil litigation, with primary emphasis in high stakes entertainment, business, insurance, legal malpractice, real estate and personal injury tort litigation. Mr. Feldman has been recognized as one of the outstanding trial lawyers in the United States. He has been honored twice as the Trial Lawyer of the Year, once by the Los Angeles Trial Lawyers Association and once by Loyola Law School.
“Adding Dan to our Litigation team continues Kaye Scholer’s tradition of offering our clients the best available legal advice and representation. Dan will further enhance the reputation of the firm’s highly regarded capabilities,” said Mr. Arbisser.
Before joining Villaraigosa’s administration, Mr. Grunfeld spent 10 years at the pro bono organization Public Counsel, where he served as President and CEO for Public Counsel beginning in January 1998. During his tenure, Public Counsel nearly tripled in size, becoming the largest pro bono public interest law firm in the world dedicated to advancing equal justice under law by delivering free legal and social services to the poor and disenfranchised. Through Mr. Grunfeld’s leadership, Public Counsel’s impact expanded nationally and internationally, providing services to more than 25,000 individuals and nonprofit organizations, offering more than $66 million in free assistance.
In the course of his career, Mr. Grunfeld has received numerous professional honors and awards. Among other honors, in March 2007 he was given the “California Lawyer Attorneys of the Year” award and in 2005 and 2006 LawDragon Magazine named Mr. Grunfeld one of the “Leading 500 Lawyers in America.” In December 2005, the National Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights awarded Mr. Grunfeld its Edwin D. Wolfe Award. Mr. Grunfeld was named as one of California’s “Top 100 Most Influential Lawyers” by California Law Business Magazine for 10 consecutive years.
Mr. Grunfeld has served on a wide variety of local and national community boards, commissions and collaboratives including the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum Commission and The City of Los Angeles’ Board of Recreation and Parks Commission, the latter which he chaired. Mr. Grunfeld also served on the Los Angeles County Bar Association Judicial Election Committee and as Chair of the Equal Access Committee. In addition, he is actively involved with the Legal Aid Association of California Funding Committee, the African‑American/Jewish Leadership Connection and on the National Children’s Law Network.
Prior to joining Public Counsel, Mr. Grunfeld was a litigation partner with McDermott, Will & Emery. Mr. Grunfeld is a summa cum laude graduate of Drexel University and Cornell Law School.
About Kaye Scholer
Kaye Scholer refers to Kaye Scholer LLP and its affiliates, with offices in Chicago, Frankfurt, London, Los Angeles, New York, Shanghai, Washington, DC, and West Palm Beach. Founded in New York City in 1917, Kaye Scholer now includes more than 500 lawyers and represents public and private companies, governmental entities, financial institutions, and other organizations in matters around the world. Additional information is available on the firm’s website: www.kayescholer.com.