Quarles Joins Forces with Paul, Plevin, Expands into California

Talk of the Town Firm Merger

SAN DIEGO, CA—The national law firm of Quarles & Brady LLP announced today its combination with Paul, Plevin, Sullivan & Connaughton LLP, a premier management-side labor and employment law firm in California, effective January 1, 2023.

The expansion establishes Quarles’ presence in California – bringing its national footprint to more than 500 attorneys across 11 U.S. offices – and further strengthens its Labor & Employment Practice Group. Likewise, Paul, Plevin’s team of 30 San Diego-based attorneys gain a national platform that provides a broad array of resources and services for its clients and attorneys.

The two firms share a strong cultural alignment, along with in-depth experience in key industry sectors, including life sciences, technology, research institutions, health care and higher education. The opening of a San Diego office also builds on Quarles’ deep-rooted history and significant presence in Phoenix and Tucson – bolstering its platform at a time when business connectivity and opportunities between Arizona and California continue to rise.

Paul, Plevin was formed in San Diego in 1998 by its four founding partners – Richard Paul, Fred Plevin, Michael Sullivan and Joe Connaughton – and has since developed a deep bench of leading labor and employment attorneys. The firm’s lawyers advise and defend employers in a range of matters, including those involving discrimination, harassment, wrongful termination, wage and hour compliance, employee mobility, whistleblowing and retaliation, and unfair competition and trade secrets. The team also brings a successful track record litigating and resolving disputes – having represented clients in jury trials, appeals, class actions, arbitrations and agency proceedings – and regularly counsels on labor management relations, conducts employment-related audits and provides workplace training.

Attorneys from Paul, Plevin will play a critical role in the combined firm’s leadership. Sandy McDonough – who is currently Paul, Plevin’s managing partner – will co-chair the firm’s Labor and Employment Practice Group, along with Sean Scullen, who is currently national chair of the Quarles Labor & Employment Practice Group. Connaughton will serve on the firm’s governing executive committee and Plevin will be office managing partner in San Diego. The combined firm’s Labor & Employment team will now boast more than 70 highly skilled attorneys across the country. In California, the combined firm will operate under the name Paul Plevin Quarles through 2024.

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