Delfino Madden | Jeff Koewler

Last day for pack of Downey Brand lawyers forming new firm

Published April 25, 2014

Sacramento Business Journal
Kathy Robertson

Today is the last day at Downey Brand LLP  for nine lawyers, two paralegals and three staff.

The group will pack up their things this afternoon and open shop across the street at 500 Capitol Mall on Monday in a new firm called Delfino Madden O’Malley Coyle & Koewler LLP.

The latest and the largest group to leave Sacramento’s biggest law firm over the last year, it also looks like the last for now. With these departures, Downey Brand has 82 lawyers, down by a third from 122 last June. These partners announced April 1 they were leaving, but they agreed to work through April 25.

The five partners have worked at Downey Brand for years, but decided now is the time to establish a boutique business and family law firm of their own. In addition to former managing partner Jeff Koewler, partners include Dan Coyle, Jennifer Madden, Chris Delfino and John O’Malley.

Joining them in the new venture are Corinne Gartner, Monica Hans, Shaye Schrick and Caroline Colangelo. Gartner, Hans and Schrick are “of counsel” at Downey Brand, a position between associate and partner considered to be “partner-track.” Colangelo is an associate. Two paralegals and three secretaries also are moving to the new firm.

“It’s a good group that coalesced,” Coyle said. “We want Downey Brand to be a successful firm on its own, but this is a group that fits well together. It’s partners and the people who work with them.”

Together, the lawyers bring together expertise in corporate, business, management-side employment and family law.

“We bring to this firm the same depth and expertise we have at Downey Brand,” Koewler said when the firm was announced. “We’ll be adding some associates over time. The goal is a full-service business firm.”

The new firm will open in temporary space on the 19th floor at 500 Capitol Mall on Monday. The group has leased about 4,500 square feet of space on the 15th floor under that’s being renovated for their use.

“They’ll be successful,” said Wayne Russell from the local headhunter firm Chase Legal Professionals. “These are talented people and they are bringing in the next level for continuity, going forward.”

Downey Brand still has a good story to tell, Russell added, “but it does need to start replacing people who have left.”

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