Cozen O’Connor Continues its West Coast Expansion, Adding Three Veteran Southern California Litigators to its Los Angeles Office

Wednesday, March 4, 2020

LOS ANGELES, March 4, 2020  Cozen O’Connor is pleased to announce three attorneys from one of southern California’s leading litigation boutiques, Lombardi & Donohue LLP, have joined its fast-growing Commercial Litigation practice. Thomas E. Lombardi, Devin A. Donohue, and Brett D. Watson — seasoned litigators who focus their practices on disputes involving securities, financial services, real estate, employment and intellectual property — have agreed to join the firm as members and will reside in Cozen O’Connor’s Los Angeles office. The new hires reflect the ongoing growth of Cozen O’Connor’s nationally recognized Commercial Litigation practice, as well as the firm’s expanding footprint on the West Coast.

“Plaintiff or defendant, individual or corporation, local branch or national chain, when litigation becomes unavoidable, there is only one acceptable option: win,” says James H. Heller, co-chair of the firm’s Commercial Litigation Department and chair of its Product Liability practice. “Tom, Devin and Brett bring to us proven histories of winning as lead counsel at trial in their respective practice areas — both in California and internationally. As a firm, our goal strategically is to continue to grow our commercial litigation capabilities—particularly in Southern California—and I’m thrilled they’ve chosen to help us make that happen.”

“As top notch commercial litigators, Tom, Devin and Brett understand the importance of knowing the client’s business inside and out and working tirelessly to ensure the legal outcome supports it,” adds Howard D. Maycon, managing partner of Cozen O'Connor’s Los Angeles office. “They each bring unique and successful backgrounds in high-level litigation, as well as arbitration, and each is well-regarded and well-connected throughout Southern California. I’m very much looking forward to working with them.”

Donohue, previously Lombardi & Donohue’s managing partner, brings to Cozen O’Connor national experience litigating securities, trade secret, employment and commercial cases in federal and state court and before a range of arbitration tribunals. A Southern California Super Lawyers Rising Star, he has successfully defended numerous customer and employment claims against brokerage firms and other financial institutions. His practice also includes advising financial institutions and financial advisers in regulatory matters before FINRA and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and handling complicated corporate investigations.

“When we began our search, we knew we wanted to be part of a full-service firm that provided a large legal platform.  We spoke with multiple firms and many of them were great, but there was always something incredibly special about Cozen O’Connor,” Donohue explained. “The firm’s practice areas blend and work together seamlessly. There’s a collegial environment if you will, with a clear commitment to hard work and providing clients with the very best in legal services. This is right where we want to be and I’m certain this is where we’ll be successful.”

Lombardi, a Lombardi & Donohue founding partner, has more than 20 years of experience representing REITs, private equity firms, developers, advisers, asset managers, trust companies, and regional and family owned companies. A Southern California Super Lawyer from 2012 to 2020, he also brings to the firm substantial experience litigating business matters involving purchase and sale agreements, leases, loans, options, first rights of refusal, commissions, partnership and corporate real estate disputes, failure to disclose, construction, ADA, nuisance, quiet title, easements, and boundary disputes. His clients include the real estate development company Caruso, as well as Watson Land Company, Starbucks, and Charles Dunn Real Estate Services, Inc.

“There are so many reasons I’m excited to join to Cozen O’Connor. Its robust and synergistic legal platform will certainly help support my growing practice,” Lombardi said. “But I’m also excited to be a part of what is a very impressive California real estate practice. As such, I’m looking forward to working with my new colleagues, helping them grow the practice, both in California and on the national level.” 

Watson represents financial institutions, lenders and employers in business and employment litigation matters before state and federal courts and arbitration panels. A California Super Lawyer Rising Star several years over, his litigation practice includes handling disputes involving retail financial products, including credit and charge card disputes, pre-paid and debit card disputes, checking-related disputes such as embezzlement and/or forged or unauthorized endorsements.

“I am thrilled to join Cozen O’Connor. Its nationwide platform will be invaluable to my clients, and I look forward to helping the firm grow,” Watson said. “It was immediately apparent during the initial meetings with the firm that everyone within the organization is hard working and committed to the firm’s success.”

He advises and represents clients in Commercial Code Article 3 and Article 4 matters, merchant issues, privacy and/or identity theft disputes, bankruptcy-related litigation, including preference and avoidance actions, wrongful foreclosure and unfair competition (§ 17200) matters.

Donohue, Lombardi and Watson are the third, fourth and fifth veteran litigators to join Cozen O’Connor’s Commercial Litigation practice in 2020. In January, John K. McDonald — who previously served as the general counsel, corporate secretary, and chief compliance officer at national home builder Toll Brothers, Inc. — returned to the firm’s Philadelphia office as a shareholder. Paul D. Steinman, former corporate counsel for a Fortune 500 company and vice-chair of litigation at Eckert Seamans, also joined the Commercial Litigation Department as a member in January. He resides at the firm’s Pittsburgh office.

About Cozen O’Connor Commercial Litigation

Cozen O’Connor is one of the country’s most successful commercial litigation firms. With 350 highly respected litigators, including numerous fellows of the American College of Trial Lawyers, it is a go-to firm for sophisticated clients with complicated and consequential business litigation. The firm’s lawyers routinely appear in courtrooms across the nation. They know the judges and procedural norms of nearly every state and win cases in the most challenging jurisdictions. That commitment to actual trial work benefits its clients both in the form of decisive verdicts and advantageous settlements.

About Cozen O’Connor

Established in 1970, Cozen O’Connor has over 850 attorneys who help clients manage risk and make better business decisions. The firm counsels clients on their most sophisticated legal matters in all areas of the law, including litigation, corporate, and regulatory law. Representing a broad array of leading global corporations and middle market companies, Cozen O’Connor serves its clients’ needs through 33 offices across two continents. 


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