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Law.com | January 26, 2018 

Litigation Funding: The Dam Is About to Break

Here’s a piece that Managing Partner John Pierce wrote on the potentially explosive impact of litigation funding. As Pierce points out, third-party funding is a real seal of approval – a vote of confidence in the merits of a case and the bona fides of the firm that’s litigating it. After all, the investors have put their money where their proverbial mouths are. 

Bloomberg Law and Canon Business Process Services, Inc. | January 9, 2018 

Reducing E-Discovery Costs: Two Solutions That Can Help Meet the Challenge

Bloomberg Law and Canon Business Process Services co-published this white paper examining the skyrocketing costs of electronic discovery in today’s litigation. They asked Managing Partner John Pierce to comment on how artificial intelligence can reduce those costs – and how technology-assisted review eliminates human error as well.

Law360 | December 12, 2017 

Going Mainstream: Has Litigation Funding Shed Its Stigma?

Managing Partner John Pierce sits down with Natalie Rodriguez of Law360 to discuss the revolutionary impacts of litigation financing. John underscores the advantages that access to litigation financing offers for clients and the increased platform that significant outside capital resources provide the firm’s practice.

Law360 | December 11, 2017 

Pierce Sergenian Shakeout Produces a Split-Off Boutique

John Pierce talked to Law360 about the firm’s name change from Pierce Sergenian LLP to Pierce Burns LLP. It was all about the accession of Julian Burns to name partner and has little impact on clients other than the significant benefits that Julian’s new status provided. It’s business as usual in the Los Angeles office.

Forbes | October 17, 2017

Upstart Firm Commandeers Snapchat, StubHub, Treehouse Masters And Other Mega-Cases  

 

This article is the first in a series profiling the disruptors who are changing the professional services – the way those services are provided, the new business models that make it possible, and how clients are benefiting as a result. [...]

AmLaw Litigation Daily | September 26, 2017
 

Ex-Quinn Emanuel Litigators Take on Their Old Firm—and Win an Early Round

In the latest flare-up of a fierce trade secrets fight pitting Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan against a new boutique formed by firm alumni, a federal judge in Los Angeles handed an early victory to the upstarts at Pierce Burns. [...]

Ex-Snap Employee Says User Metrics Concerns Led To Firing

Ex-Snap Employee Says User Metrics Concerns Led To Firing

Snap Inc. was slapped with a whistleblower suit in California federal court on Tuesday by a former employee who has accused the social media company and […]

For Immediate Release

Contact:

Managing Partner John M. Pierce
(213) 223-2341 (O)
(650) 400-7782 (M)
john@piercesergenian.com

External Link Download

John Hill, Law 360 | May 16, 2017
Snap Inc. was slapped with a whistleblower suit in California federal court on Tuesday by a former employee who has accused the social media company and its executives of using faulty growth metrics ahead of its initial public offering and pressuring him to spill secrets from a past job.

In Historic Combination of Law and Finance, Pierce Sergenian LLP and Pravati Capital Announce Innovative Portfolio Commercial Litigation Funding Deal

In Historic Combination of Law and Finance, Pierce Sergenian LLP and Pravati Capital Announce Innovative Portfolio Commercial Litigation Funding Deal

(Los Angeles) – Today, Los Angeles high-stakes litigation law firm Pierce Sergenian LLP and experienced litigation funder Pravati Capital announced an innovative litigation funding deal for […]

For Immediate Release

Contact: 
John M. Pierce (650) 400-7782 
Alex Chucri (844) 772-8284

May 2, 2017

(Los Angeles) – Today, Los Angeles high-stakes litigation law firm Pierce Sergenian LLP and experienced litigation funder Pravati Capital announced an innovative litigation funding deal for the law firm’s entire portfolio of contingency fee cases. Under the arrangement, Pierce Sergenian LLP will receive substantial infusions of capital on an as-needed, ongoing basis to fund the prosecution of a growing number of bet-the-company commercial matters. In return, Pravati Capital will receive a substantial, steady return on investment as the cases settle or are successfully tried to verdict.

Pravati Capital was drawn to Pierce Sergenian LLP’s aggressive, team-oriented approach to high-stakes litigation. “From an investor’s standpoint, it was clear this was too good an opportunity to pass up. John and David have built an elite litigation firm with a tremendous combination of pure litigation talent and team-oriented lethality,” said CEO Alex Chucri. “We expect the return on investment will be very strong and that this will be a huge win for everyone involved – Pravati Capital, Pierce Sergenian LLP, and the law firm’s clients.”

Pierce Sergenian LLP Managing Partner John Pierce was equally excited about the deal: “This is a huge step forward for our firm. Pravati’s backing ensures that we will be able to take even the largest commercial litigations to trial against any firm in the world and win.” Pierce continued, “Pravati is at the absolute forefront of the emerging market for litigation funding. When it comes to creative funding solutions for law firms and claimants alike in the high-stakes commercial litigation space, there is no better choice than going to Alex Chucri and the team he has assembled at Pravati Capital.”

Pierce Sergenian LLP launched on January 3, 2017, and is off to a fast-paced start. The firm has taken over a major trade secret litigation from litigation stalwart Keker Van Nest & Peters, has launched a federal court lawsuit on behalf of the market’s top 3-D scanner company, and has taken over perhaps the highest-profile litigation in the nation this year on behalf of former Facebook employee Anthony Pompliano against Snap, Inc. Multiple nine-figure contingency fee cases are in the pipeline for the new firm. “We have added talent from firms like our alma mater Quinn Emanuel and Kirkland & Ellis. This infusion of capital from Pravati will ensure that we can take advantage of additional targeted lateral opportunities going forward,” noted Pierce. “We have great folks banging on the door, and this investment will make sure we can swell our ranks with the cream of the crop.”

Pravati CEO Chucri added: “There is nothing we would love more than to see this firm grow into the next global litigation force. We know they have the recipe for incredible success, and we will be with Pierce Sergenian LLP every step of the way to make sure they have the resources to accomplish their objectives.”

Former Snapchat employee presses to unseal allegedly doctored usage statistics

Former Snapchat employee presses to unseal allegedly doctored usage statistics

A laid-off Snap Inc. employee isn’t backing down from a legal fight over the reason he was let go by the Snapchat-maker.

For Immediate Release

Contact:

Managing Partner John M. Pierce
(213) 223-2341 (O)
(650) 400-7782 (M)
john@piercesergenian.com

Read at Los Angeles Times

Paresh Dave, The Los Angeles Times | April 4, 2017
A laid-off Snap Inc. employee isn’t backing down from a legal fight over the reason he was let go by the Snapchat-maker.

This New Litigation Boutique Has Big Law-Size Ambitions

For a firm that’s barely two months old, litigation boutique Pierce Sergenian is making some bold projections

For Immediate Release

Contact:

Managing Partner John M. Pierce
(213) 223-2341 (O)
(650) 400-7782 (M)
john@piercesergenian.com

Read story at Litigation Daily

Jenna Greene, The Litigation Daily | March 14, 2017

For a firm that’s barely two months old, litigation boutique Pierce Sergenian is making some bold projections. “I’m a bold guy,” said co-founder John Pierce, a former partner at Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan and Latham & Watkins, and—briefly— the co-head of litigation at K&L Gates.

AmLaw Litigation Daily Features PS Launch

AmLaw Litigation Daily Features PS Launch

Publication highlights firm launch as one of the nation’s top litigation moves in January

Jenna Greene, The Litigation Daily | February 1, 2017 

The Move: To Pierce Sergenian in Los Angeles from SGVC and Glaser Weil Fink Howard Avchen & Shapiro. Why it’s interesting: The pair—both Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan alumni—have teamed up to launch a business litigation boutique modelled in part after their former firm.

The Internet of Things: Model of Convenience or Invasion of Privacy?

PB LLP Litigation SITREP - The Internet of Things: Model of Convenience or Invasion of Privacy?

On a cold November morning in 2015, police visited a home in Bentonville, Arkansas. There, in a hot tub, they found the body of Victor Collins […]

Introduction: A (Virtual) Witness for the Prosecution?

On a cold November morning in 2015, police visited a home in Bentonville, Arkansas. There, in a hot tub, they found the body of Victor Collins floating face up. The home was owned by one James A. Bates. Bates had called 911 to report the death of Collins, his friend. He told the police that he, Collins, and their friends had stayed up late the night before watching football and drinking, and that he awoke to find Collins’ lifeless body.

After the police discovered signs of foul play, the Arkansas chief medical examiner ruled the death a homicide. The police obtained a warrant to search Bates’ house and discovered various “smart home” devices, including a Nest thermostat, a Honeywell alarm system, a wireless weather monitoring system, and an Amazon Echo. They seized the Echo and served a warrant on Amazon for data collected by the device.

The Amazon Echo contains an always-active microphone, which begins recording as soon as it detects a “wake word,” most commonly “Alexa,” the name of the Amazon Echo “personality” that interacts with the user. The Echo’s voice command feature can be used to answer questions about the weather, play music, and purchase items from Amazon.com, among other things. When the Echo detects the wake word, it begins streaming audio to the cloud, including a fraction of a second of audio before the wake word. The recording and transcription of this audio is logged and stored in the Amazon Alexa app. Accordingly, Amazon keeps a log not only of audio recorded by the Echo, but perhaps of key interest to investigators in the Bates homicide, the exact time the audio was recorded.

Amazon has thus far refused to comply with the warrant in the Bates case, claiming that the demand is overly broad and “otherwise inappropriate.”1 The Bates homicide case raises issues in both criminal and civil law regarding the validity and discoverability of data stored in the “Internet of Things.”

The Internet of Things (often abbreviated as “IoT”) describes the internetworking of smart devices with built-in electronics, software, and sensors that enable these objects to collect and exchange data. Smartphones communicate with a user’s refrigerator and automatically generate a shopping list. Computers embedded in cars record speed, direction, and travel patterns. The Nest device automatically modulates thermostat settings, predicting the temperature the user desires at any given time of day based on prior use. Experts estimate that the IoT will apply to almost five billion objects by 2020.2

IoT Data in Criminal Cases

In the criminal law arena, discoverability of IoT data implicates the Fourth Amendment. The Fourth Amendment guarantees the right of security in individuals’ “persons, houses, papers, and effects.” “Effects” have traditionally been understood to encompass personal property.3

Recent Supreme Court jurisprudence provides a clue as to how the highest court in the land may apply the Fourth Amendment the IoT. In Riley v. California, 134 S. Ct. 2473 (2014), a smartphone was recovered incident to an arrest. Police officers reviewed the phone’s data, which revealed incriminating evidence. The issue before the Court was whether the smartphone data was admissible. In its opinion, the Court differentiated between physical objects (the phone itself) and digital content (the data contained in the phone), and held in a rare unanimous opinion that the digital content could not be searched without a warrant.4 In coming to this conclusion, the Court considered factors such as the massive storage capacity of smartphones and the personal information-packed nature of data stored within.5 It characterized a smartphone as akin to a “minicomputer,” which constantly communicates with information stored in the cloud.6 A search of digital content on smartphones would thus extend beyond the scope of “effects” found in the immediate physical proximity of an arrestee, and admissibility of such data is barred by the Fourth Amendment.7

Although the Riley decision has not been specifically applied to the devices such as the Amazon Echo, it stands to reason that under the same analysis, data collected by Amazon and stored on the Alexa app would fall outside the scope of “effects,” and therefore its admission in a criminal trial would be barred by the Fourth Amendment.

Recordation of private communications within the confines of one’s home also implicates statutes that protect an individual’s right to privacy. For example, in California, Penal Code § 632 prohibits intentional eavesdropping through voice amplification or recording without the consent of all parties.8 The terms and conditions for the Amazon Echo evade liability under § 632 by informing users that the Echo streams and retains user information in the cloud, and purchasers of the device accept this when they purchase the device. Furthermore, Amazon gives users the option to delete the data stored on the cloud at any time.9

Discoverability of IoT Data in Quasi-Criminal and Civil Cases

The issue of discoverability of IoT data may arise in a quasi-criminal context in which the civil courts are employed by the government incident to a criminal matter. For example, in the dispute between Apple and the Department of Justice in connection with the 2015 terrorist attack in San Bernardino, Apple refused to comply with not only the DOJ’s request to unlock the iPhone of the terrorist who carried out the attack, but also with a federal court order that it do so pursuant to the All Writs Act, 28 U.S.C. § 1651. Apple argued in that case that it should not be compelled to turn over user data on due process grounds, and Amazon joined other tech companies such as Facebook, Microsoft and Google in filing a joint amicus brief in support of Apple’s position. A decisive clash between Apple and the DOJ was not meant to be, as the DOJ found another way into the phone of the deceased terrorist, essentially hacking into it to gain access to user data.10

In civil cases, aggregators of user data such as Amazon may look to federal law to avoid having to produce user data, at least in cases where the user does not consent to disclosure. Under the Stored Communications Act, Title II of the Electronic Communications Privacy Act, enacted in 198611, a service provider of an “‘electronic communication service’ shall not knowingly divulge ... the contents of a communication while in electronic storage by that service....” 12Additionally, the statute protects information stored by Remote Computing Services (RCS), and requires that a service provider shall not knowingly divulge “the contents of any communication which is carried or maintained on that service.”13 The Stored Communications Act preempts California and other state discovery laws. However, a service provider or RCS is excused from complying with the provisions of the SCA if it is provided with “lawful consent,” which can be given by the originator of the message, an intended recipient of the message, or, in the case of a RCS, the subscriber to the service.14

The SCA and its application to discovery in civil cases was recently addressed in a 2014 case involving Google. In Negro v. Superior Court, 230 Cal. App. 4th 879 (2014), a California court denied a motion to quash a deposition subpoena to Google in connection with a civil suit filed in Florida. The subpoena sought emails from Google belonging to a party to the underlying suit (Negro), who refused to produce the documents. The California trial court denied the motion to quash and ordered Google to produce the emails, reasoning that the “consent” element under the SCA was satisfied because the court chose to enforce the deposition subpoena:

On the issue of consent, the tentative ruling [by the trial court] stated that [it] had the power to require Negro's consent; that prior efforts by [the subpoenaing party] to obtain the messages directly from Negro had been unsuccessful; and that “[t]herefore, resort to the electronic data bailee would seem to be justified.” It then continued, in language that would be incorporated in the order now under review, “The concept of court ordered consent as an exception to the [SCA] applies here. That order comes from the Florida court's order for appointment of a commissioner to take the testimony and documents from Google as well as from this court which now has denied the petition to quash the subpoena. It matters little whether the consent is the result of the coercion of discovery sanctions or the order of the court over the steadfast objection of the party.”15

Reviewing Negro’s writ of mandate or prohibition, the California Court of Appeal found the trial court’s position untenable under the SCA. The Court of Appeal held that actual consent of a party was required, not constructive or imputed consent.16 Although a party may be compelled by a trial court to provide consent to disclosure of electronic data, that consent may not be implied in law. 17

However, once a court has ordered a party to provide consent, a service provider is no longer protected from producing user data. In Negro, Google argued that emails received blanket protection from state discovery laws under the SCA, but the Court of Appeal found that “nothing in the Act suggests that service providers remain shielded from state discovery laws when the disclosures sought are not forbidden by the Act.”18 Under the SCA, a party to a civil suit can be compelled to provide consent to a service provider to disclose personal information, but the court’s authority to compel consent from a non-party is much more limited. The Court did note that there may be circumstances where an individual does “imply consent” through conduct, but the Court found that there was no evidence in the record that suggested that Negro “sent or received emails with the foreknowledge that they might not remain private.”19

There have not been any civil cases in California in which the SCA was applied to IoT data such as Amazon Echo recordings. However, under the precedent of Negro v. Superior Court, a court would likely hold that Amazon would be required to produce stored data, assuming that the user either consented to or was ordered to consent to disclosure.

Postscript

Returning to the investigation of the Collins murder, it may not matter whether Amazon produces the recordings obtained from Bates’ home, as another, less high-tech device may provide the smoking gun that the Arkansas prosecutors are looking for. One piece of equipment in Bates’s heavily IoT-connected home was a smart water meter that tracked water usage. The meter shows that between 1 and 3 a.m. on the night in question, 140 gallons of water were used at the home, which prosecutors contend is a much larger amount of water compared to the prior recorded usage, suggesting that Bates used the water to cover up traces of the crime. The reliability of the water meter data is in contention, and will be addressed at the next court hearing, set to take place in March.


1. Amy B. Wang, “Can Alexa help solve a murder? Police think so — but Amazon won't give up her data,” Chicago Tribune, Dec. 28, 2016, available at http://www.chicagotribune.com/bluesky/technology/ct-amazon-alexa-solve-murder-wp-bsi-20161228-story.html. The warrant apparently evinces a misunderstanding of the scope of data recorded by the Echo. Specifically, the affidavit filed in support of the warrant states: "The Amazon Echo device is constantly listening for the 'wake' command of 'Alexa' or ‘Amazon,' and records any command, inquiry, or verbal gesture given after that point, or possibly at all times without the 'wake word' being issued, which is uploaded to Amazon.com's servers at a remote location. It is believed that these records are retained by Amazon.com and that they are evidence related to the case under investigation." Amazon has denied that the Echo records audio at all times, even when no “wake word” has been uttered. Id.[>]
2. Dave Evans, “White Paper: The Internet of Things: How the Next Evolution of the Internet Is Changing Everything,” April 2011 (available at:http://www.cisco.com/c/dam/en_us/about/ac79/docs/innov/IoT_IBSG_0411FINAL.pdf).[>]
3. Oliver v. United States, 466 U.S. 170, 174 (1984).[>]
4. Id. at 2485–88.[>]
5. Id. at 2489–90.[>]
6. Id. at 2489.[>]
7. Id. at 2493.[>]
8. Cal. Penal Code § 632(a).[>]
9. https://www.amazon.com/gp/help/customer/display.html?nodeId=201809740 [>]
10. http://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/news/2016/03/15/apple-v-fbi-timeline/81827400/https://epic.org/amicus/crypto/apple/ [>]
11. 18 U.S.C. §§ 2701–2712.[>]
12. Id., § 2702(a)(1).[>]
13. Id., § 2702(a)(2).[>]
14. Id., § 2702(b)(3).[>]
15. 230 Cal. App. 4th at 886.[>]
16. Id. at 889–90.[>]
17. Id. at 895-99.[>]
18. Id. at 900.[>]
19. Id. at 892.[>]

The Recorder – Jan 2017

The Recorder – Jan 2017

Two Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan alumni have joined forces to launch a business litigation boutique in Los Angeles that models itself—to a degree—off of the […]

Rebecca Cohen, The Recorder | January 4, 2017 

Two Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan alumni have joined forces to launch a business litigation boutique in Los Angeles that models itself—to a degree—off of the attributes of the pair's former Big Law employers.

Former Quinn Emanuel Litigators Reunite to Launch Pierce Sergenian LLP in Los Angeles; Intends to Create Next Generation Litigation Force for Digital Age

Former Quinn Emanuel Litigators Reunite to Launch Pierce Sergenian LLP in Los Angeles; Intends to Create Next Generation Litigation Force for Digital Age

(Los Angeles) January 3, 2017 – Former Quinn Emanuel litigators John Pierce and David Sergenian today announce the formation of business litigation law firm Pierce Sergenian […]

For Immediate Release

Contact:

Managing Partner John M. Pierce
(213) 223-2341 (O)
(650) 400-7782 (M)
john@piercesergenian.com

(Los Angeles) January 3, 2017 – Former Quinn Emanuel litigators John Pierce and David Sergenian today announce the formation of business litigation law firm Pierce Sergenian LLP, with its initial office in Los Angeles, California. Pierce was with Quinn Emanuel from 2006 to 2014, making partner at the end of 2009. He went on to be a partner at Latham & Watkins before being recruited at age 43 to serve as co-Global Practice Area Leader for Litigation and Dispute Resolution at K&L Gates. He and the firm will continue to serve as outside General Counsel for the SGVC family of technology venture capital funds. Sergenian was with Quinn Emanuel from 2006 to 2013 and has since been with the litigation group at Glaser Weil. The firm launches with three associates, Allen Ho from the NYU School of Law, and Cody DeCamp and Stacey Villagomez from the USC Gould School of Law.

The firm, which will represent clients in the full range of complex business litigation focusing on high-stakes courtroom trial work and arbitrations, is built from the ground up to account for the organizational and personnel traits called for by the fundamental disruptions of the digital age. “The world has changed,” said Managing Partner John Pierce. “We are creating a law firm that accounts for that from day one. We emphasize speed, collaboration and resilience over committees, information silos and 5-point plans. Each of our lawyers are hand-picked to possess the key traits for successful trial lawyers in today’s day and age: teamwork, tenacity, rapid decision-making ability, and a nuanced understanding of the global competitive environment.”

As one early example of innovation, the firm is moving decisively away from internal e-mail toward more collaborative, social, open-source communication tools like Yammer and Slack. “Internal e-mail is akin to spam. It is a terrible drain on lawyer productivity and often serves as a weapon for organizational infighting, something we don’t engage in. We anticipate we can easily increase real productivity by 40-50% with this one small change, allowing us simultaneously to achieve incredible results for clients in far fewer billable hours while increasing compensation for highly productive lawyers,” said Pierce. “In short, we intend nothing less than to unleash the productive power of up-and-coming litigators throughout the United States and the world by creating the perfect platform for them to exploit the full potential of their talents. We are also going to make the practice of law open, collaborative, vibrant and fun.” In addition to this and other radical organizational innovations, the firm will aggressively seek success fee arrangements and contingency cases, the proceeds of which will be shared by all lawyers.

Founding partners Pierce and Sergenian emphasized their gratitude for what they learned from Quinn Emanuel Founder and Managing Partner John Quinn and his partners. “John Quinn is the modern-day pioneer in cutting-edge complex commercial litigation practice at the elite level. We cannot overstate the debt we owe him and the other partners at Quinn Emanuel for how much we learned while at the firm,” Pierce said. “At the heart of all our innovations is something learned at Quinn Emanuel because of the visionary nature of John Quinn, the way he saw the future, and how he and our other former colleagues there made history and forever changed the nature of elite litigation practice. Their extraordinary success is no accident and we know it will continue. If we can follow in their footsteps and gain some degree of their success, we will be thrilled, and we hope they will consider our work to be a part of their legacy in the marketplace.”

Pierce and Sergenian also expressed warm and sincere appreciation to the partners of the other top-tier firms at which they practiced, and with litigation groups they hope to emulate in some ways, Latham & Watkins; Glaser Weil; and Gradstein, Luskin & Van Dalsem.

Pierce also praised K&L Gates and wished the firm future success. “K&L Gates is without question one of the very solid and respected broadly-focused firms in the second half of the AmLaw 100. I continue to admire the firm very much, and Peter Kalis deserves tremendous credit for getting it to that point before deciding to step down. I wish the firm nothing but the best and sincerely hope and expect it will be able to successfully navigate today’s storm-tossed global economic environment.”

In addition, Pierce noted the tremendous respect he has for so many of the AmLaw 100 firms and leaders. “There are many great law firms in America, and I have been privileged to get to know many of their partners and several of their leaders very well over the past few years. A few truly great ones along with John Quinn that come to mind right away are Ora Fisher at Latham & Watkins, Ken Doran at Gibson Dunn, Brad Butwin at O’Melveny and Myers and Andy Levander at Dechert. There is no doubt I will be looking to them and their counterparts at other terrific firms for some mentoring and advice when litigators from around the world swell our ranks and Pierce Sergenian LLP starts to grow,” said Pierce. “We have been delighted to already see a lot of interest from lateral partners and associates, both individuals and groups, even before we have launched.” Pierce explained, “To a person, they have all been instantly drawn to the idea of getting on the perfect platform to practice complex global litigation in the digital age and being rewarded for it under such a merit-based compensation system. What we are seeing is a kind of self-selecting effect that we hope will bring together on one platform all such like-minded litigators wherever they may be. We’re going to keep overhead very low and profits very high.”

Pierce Sergenian LLP will have a lean management structure with little vertical hierarchy. The firm will also have an intensively unified culture of teamwork, transparency, information-sharing and “empowered execution” throughout the organization down to the lawyers operating on the front lines of litigation. In addition to the work of John Quinn and Quinn Emanuel, the firm cited as inspiration the developmental and philosophical underpinnings of its organizational and cultural traits to the seminal work Team of Teams by retired Army General Stanley A. McChrystal, who commanded the U.S. Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) in the mid-2000’s.

Pierce, who served in the Army’s 1st Cavalry Division during the mid-1990’s as an M1A1 tank platoon leader and attended the Army’s Airborne School, praised McChrystal’s ground-breaking work. “General McChrystal saw the way the world changed. He conceived and implemented radical organizational changes while in a crucial phase of the ongoing Global War on Terror because he had no choice. His mission required his JSOC warfighters to win, and winning in this new hyper-complex age of loosely connected organizational networks and overwhelming amounts of data required rapid and radical innovation. Modern global complex litigation is very analogous in numerous ways, and since law firms have no choice but to win for clients, the time for them to change is now. Like the Army Rangers, Pierce Sergenian will ‘Lead the Way.’”

 The firm also cited the work No Ordinary Disruption by McKinsey Global Institute Directors Richard Dobbs, James Manyika and Jonathan Woetzel. “We are still in the very early phases of a once-in-a-millennium fundamental change in global economic and societal systems. The change isn’t going to slow down; it’s going to accelerate. It’s not time to catch your breath on true innovation; it’s time to double down. This will allow the legal industry to catch up to others in terms of productivity,” said Pierce.

The firm will also have a unique compensation system. All of its lawyers, from the most junior associate to the most senior partner, will be rewarded the way equity partners are in most firms —based on productivity as measured by business origination, revenues collected on billable hour matters, and contributions to the success of contingency and alternative fee matters. Under this system, the firm expects associate compensation to exceed that of top-tier lockstep firms such as Cravath or Wachtell.

“This is going to be a very special law firm. We are going to work extremely hard, go after the most interesting litigations while achieving extraordinary results for clients, and have an unbelievable amount of fun doing it,” said Pierce. As a nod to his Quinn Emanuel DNA, Pierce noted that “the almost mandatory dress code will consist of the familiar jeans and flip-flops, or ‘slides,’ as I think the Millennials call them these days. Desert combat boots are also permitted. We are focused on results, not suits and ties.” In addition, the firm is already planning its first wilderness outing. “While we won’t attempt to match the exotic locales of the famous one-of-a-kind firm hikes our friends at Quinn Emanuel enjoy and we personally will never forget, we have our own unique twist on extremely challenging wilderness outings in the works. It won’t disappoint,” Pierce promised.

The firm’s website is now live, and can be viewed at www.pierceburnsllp.com 

The firm’s Twitter feed can be viewed @PierceSergenian

John M Pierce LAW 360 | Mar 4th, 2016

John M Pierce LAW 360 | Mar 4th, 2016

John M. Pierce serves as global practice area leader for Pierce Sergenian’s litigation and dispute resolution practice and is a member of the management committee.

Trial Pros: John Pierce Law360

Law360, New York (March 4, 2016, 10:05 AM EST) 
John M. Pierce serves as global practice area leader for K&L Gates LLP’s litigation and dispute resolution practice and is a member of the management committee. He is a trial and appellate lawyer who has over 15 years of experience representing companies and individuals in high-stakes cases across a broad range of litigation matters, most notably in cases involving finance, securities and investment-related disputes.

(213) 262-9333