Salt Lake City draws another Big Law newcomer

Skyline of Salt Lake City, Utah. REUTERS/Jim Urquhart
  • Foley & Larder looks to Utah capital to build its tech, health care offerings
  • Kirkland opened an office in Salt Lake City in September

(Reuters) - Foley & Lardner is opening a Salt Lake City office, the Milwaukee-founded firm said Monday, becoming the latest out-of-town firm to plant a flag in the Utah capital.

Foley tapped a team from Maschoff Brennan, an intellectual property firm with offices in Utah and California, to launch the outpost. David Wright and Jared Braithwaite joined Foley as partners from the firm, while Michael Manookin and Taylor Wright have joined as senior counsel and special counsel, respectively.

The move comes about a month after another Big Law firm with Midwestern roots -- Kirkland & Ellis -- opened its own Salt Lake City office with partners who relocated to the Crossroads of the West.

Foley CEO Jay Rothman pointed to the city's emergence as a technology and venture capital hub that has earned the nickname "Silicon Slopes." Companies such as eBay Inc, Facebook Inc and Microsoft Corp all have facilities there.

"It made moving into Salt Lake very strategic for us," Rothman said.

Foley's new hires have experience representing technology and health care clients - a combination that "ties into what we're trying to achieve," Rothman said.

In a statement released by the firm, Wright, who will be the office managing partner, cited his local connections, having graduated from Brigham Young University's J. Reuben Clark Law School. Both Wright and Rothman said they plan to grow Foley's footprint in the city.

"We do want to have a larger presence there, and we want to actively go out and build it," Rothman said.

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David Thomas reports on the business of law, including law firm strategy, hiring, mergers and litigation. He is based out of Chicago. He can be reached at and on Twitter @DaveThomas5150.