- Bolsters firm’s trial bench across a spectrum of commercial litigation, white collar and international arbitration matters
- Expands litigation capabilities in the global hubs for media and entertainment and technology sectors
LOS ANGELES, SAN FRANCISCO, April 23, 2020 — King & Spalding today announced that 13 partners will be joining the firm in its trial and investigations practices in Los Angeles and San Francisco. The firm’s new partners include: Quyen Ta, David Willingham, Albert Giang, Luan Tran, Michael Leslie, Michael Roth, Eric Pettit, Jeanne Fugate, Arwen Johnson, Craig Bessenger, Kelly Perigoe, Julia Bredrup and Lennette Lee. All are joining from Boies Schiller Flexner and will be based in Los Angeles except Ta, who will be based in San Francisco.
“This is an outstanding team of highly accomplished trial lawyers, many of whom also have deep experience in the white collar and investigations space,” said Robert Hays, chairman of King & Spalding. “Their addition follows the recruitment this year of a dozen partners in our trial and investigations practices in Washington, D.C., New York, Chicago, Austin, and San Francisco.”
The team of joining partners includes some of California’s most formidable and honored litigators. While the team has worked across business sectors, its members have particular experience in the media and entertainment and technology sectors, as well as in the consumer class action and consumer protection space. Two members of the group, Ta and Tran, also have international arbitration experience, with a particular focus on Southeast Asia, one of the world’s fastest growing markets. Ta, Tran and Giang are Vietnamese refugees to the United States, and also serve as leaders in various minority bar organizations as well as initiatives that promote diversity in the legal profession.
“King & Spalding’s reputation as a trial firm is well known, and we admire its culture of collaboration,” noted Ta and Willingham. “We have worked with many of the firm’s California partners, and we value the firm’s commitment to its offices there. We’re excited to be part of the firm’s growth in this major market for business disputes.”
The addition of this group follows the recruitment this year of over a dozen trial and investigations partners including Rod Rosenstein and Paul Messina (Washington, D.C.); Eva Canaan, Shaila Diwan, Morty Dubin, John Ewald, Kristen Fournier, Lauren Friedman, Luli Hemmingsen, Alvin Lee and Kathy O’Connor (New York); Javier Rubinstein (Chicago); Steve Zager (Austin); and Stephen O’Neal (San Francisco).
Ta is a first-chair trial lawyer, a leading consumer class action lawyer, and was the co-managing partner of her previous firm’s San Francisco office. She has been lead counsel in numerous consumer class actions for large public companies and represents Vietnam’s top tech company. She has also led international arbitrations. The Recorder has named her a California Trailblazer, and a Woman Leader in Tech Law, and the Daily Journal named her to its list of the Top 100 Lawyers in California. Ta has been a Lawyer Representative, chosen by judges, for the Northern District of California and currently chairs Gov. Gavin Newsom’s Bay Area Judicial Advisory Selection Committee. She obtained her undergraduate degree, summa cum laude, from UCLA and her JD from the UC Berkeley School of Law. Ta clerked for Judge Lawrence K. Karlton in the Eastern District of California. Ta speaks Vietnamese.
Willingham is a first-chair trial lawyer who was co-managing partner of the Los Angeles office and member of the Executive Committee of his previous firm. He is routinely called upon to conduct sensitive internal investigations for, and to defend, clients across the country. Willingham led his previous firm’s West Coast Global Investigations and White Collar Defense practice group. Prior to joining private practice, he was Deputy Chief of the Major Frauds Section at the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Central District of California. Willingham is ranked in Chambers USA and has been repeatedly named to the Daily Journal’s list of the Top 100 Lawyers in California. He has been the co-chair of the Lawyer Representatives for the Central District and was president of the Federal Bar Association of Los Angeles. Willingham is a cum laude graduate of UCLA and earned his JD at University of Southern California.
Giang’s practice focuses on defending tech companies—from disruptive startups to household names—in class actions, regulatory investigations and enforcements, and other litigation and crisis management. A thought leader in the tech industry who has served two stints in-house at a leading startup, Giang is frequently sought on evolving legal issues such as the regulation of technology, platform liability, employment misclassification, sharing economy policy, the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, the Communications Decency Act, unfair and deceptive trade practices, and unfair competition laws. The Los Angeles Business Journal named him to its Most Influential Minority Lawyers list. Giang obtained his undergraduate degree from Amherst College and his JD from Stanford Law School. Giang clerked for Judge Richard A. Paez on the Ninth Circuit. He speaks Mandarin.
Tran has more than two decades of experience in international arbitration. He is one of the few first-chair trial and arbitration lawyers with active U.S. and Southeast Asia practices. Tran led the Southeast Asia practice at his previous firm, and he will work in King & Spalding’s Los Angeles and Singapore offices. He is a frequent speaker and author on the growing Southeast Asian market and is an arbitrator for matters arising out of that market. The Recorder recently named Tran a California Trailblazer. He was a recent member of the board of directors and is a current member American Arbitration Association/International Centre for Dispute Resolution. He holds three law degrees, an LL.M. from Harvard Law School and an LL.B. and LL.M. from the University of Ottawa. He speaks French and Vietnamese.
Leslie is a well-known and accomplished trial lawyer and negotiator with particular expertise in complex environmental litigation, including litigation brought under CERCLA, CEQA, common law environmental torts, and California’s Proposition 65. He was a founding member of the Caldwell Leslie litigation boutique, which merged with Boies Schiller Flexner in 2017. Best Lawyers has named Leslie Environmental Litigator of the Year, and has ranked him since 2013. He is also ranked in Chambers USA and in Benchmark Litigation. Leslie received his undergraduate degree from Dartmouth College and his JD from Stanford Law School. He clerked for Judge A. Wallace Tashima, then a judge in the Central District of California.
Roth’s practice focuses on complex entertainment and business litigation as well as class actions in federal and state court. He is experienced on California’s consumer protection laws as well as California constitutional and appellate law. Roth graduated from Tufts University and received his JD from UCLA. He has held two clerkship positions, for Judge Consuelo B. Marshall in the Central District of California, and then for Judge A. Wallace Tashima on the Ninth Circuit.
Pettit represents plaintiffs and defendants in a wide range of complex commercial cases, including securities, real estate and financial services litigation, regulatory investigations and enforcement actions, intellectual property disputes, and environmental and professional negligence suits. He received a Certificate of Honor from then-San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom for pro bono legal services he provided to the City Attorney’s Office on civil litigation over same-sex marriage. He graduated summa cum laude from Boston University and earned his JD from Stanford Law School. He clerked for U.S. District Judge Reginald Lindsay in Boston.
Fugate is a first-chair trial lawyer whose practice focuses on complex civil litigation and employment and compliance issues. The Daily Journal has twice named her to its list of the Top 100 Women Lawyers in California. She earned her undergraduate degree from UNC-Chapel Hill and her JD, Order of the Coif, from NYU Law School. She clerked for Judge Robert W. Sweet in the Southern District of New York and for Judge Raymond C. Fisher on the Ninth Circuit.
Johnson specializes in high-stakes employment litigation and complex commercial matters, including class action defense. She is also skilled in professional liability disputes. Johnson was named to the Daily Journal’s Top 40 Under 40 list, received the ACLU Foundation of Southern California’s First Amendment Award, and was a Fellow of the Legal Council on Legal Diversity. She graduated summa cum laude from Rice University and received her JD from UCLA. Johnson clerked for Judge Dean Pregerson in the Central District of California and then for Judge Harry Pregerson on the Ninth Circuit.
Bessenger represents clients in complex civil litigation and white-collar defense matters. He has litigated business and contractual disputes, class actions, professional liability actions, banking and mortgage cases and intellectual property matters. He has also advised clients on regulatory compliance issues and has participated on numerous internal investigations, representing both entities and individuals. He has also represented Fortune 200 companies, technology companies, investment management firms, movie studios and healthcare providers and insurers. Bessenger received his undergraduate degree from Brown University and his JD from UC Hastings, magna cum laude. He clerked for Judge A. Howard Matz in the Central District of California.
Perigoe specializes in commercial litigation, particularly intellectual property, consumer class actions and white collar matters. She is skilled on appellate issues and brief-writing, and leads appellate strategy for clients’ most critical matters. The LGBT Bar Association has named her to its Best Lawyers Under 40 list. Perigoe graduated from UNC-Chapel Hill and obtained her JD from UCLA Law. She clerked for Judge A. Wallace Tashima on the Ninth Circuit.
Bredrup has broad experience that includes complex commercial litigation and white-collar criminal defense. Her civil practice encompasses employment, professional liability, securities, copyright, partnership and entertainment matters. The Daily Journal named Bredrup to its Top 40 Attorneys Under 40 list in 2019. She earned her undergraduate degree from Middlebury College and her JD from Harvard Law School, cum laude. Bredrup clerked for Judge David O. Carter in the Central District of California.
Lee counsels clients across a broad range of practice areas including consumer protection laws, employment, copyright and trademark issues, regulatory compliance and complex commercial disputes. She received her undergraduate degree from Rice University and her JD from the University of Chicago Law School. Lee clerked for Judge John T. Nixon in the Middle District of Tennessee.
About King & Spalding
Celebrating more than 130 years of service, King & Spalding is an international law firm that represents a broad array of clients, including half of the Fortune Global 100, with over 1,100 lawyers in 21 offices in the United States, Europe, the Middle East and Asia. The firm has handled matters in over 160 countries on six continents and is consistently recognized for the results it obtains, uncompromising commitment to quality, and dedication to understanding the business and culture of its clients. More information is available at www.kslaw.com.