NAPA -- Responding to growth in numerous practice areas, the law firm Dickenson Peatman & Fogarty has added five attorneys over the last six months as it seeks to bolster its ranks for what it hopes to be a busy 2013.
With the new hires, the firm now has 19 full-time attorneys and four of-counsel. A number of factors are driving the growth, much of it related to recent trends in the wine industry.
"We are seeing an uptick in business, especially related to our wine industry practice," said Scott Gerien, co-managing partner of the firm, which also has an office in Santa Rosa. "We have also seen an increase in vineyard acquisition and wine trademark applications."
Other practice areas have seen growth, among them land use, alcoholic beverage, estates and trusts and intellectual property, Mr. Gerien said.
The new hires include:
[caption id="attachment_56992" align="alignright" width="150"] Scott Greenwood-Meinert[/caption]
-- Scott Greenwood-Meinert, who joined the firm's business department in Napa. Previously, Mr. Greenwood-Meinert was with the business department at Gaw Van Male, also based in Napa. In practice since 1996, Mr. Greenwood-Meinert focuses on complex business transactions, entity formation, loan workouts, entity restructuring, investing and related lending issues.
[caption id="attachment_66398" align="alignleft" width="150"] Katja Loeffelholz[/caption]
-- Katja Loeffelholz, who joined the firm’s intellectual property department in Napa. Ms. Loeffelholz is a registered attorney with the United States Patent and Trademark Office. She has been in practice since 1995.
Previously, she worked for Gaw Van Male. Her practice focuses on counseling and representing clients on all aspects of trademark, trade dress, copyright and related issues.
-- John Trinidad, who joined the firm’s alcoholic beverage, business and intellectual property department in Napa. Prior to joining Dickenson, Peatman & Fogarty, Mr. Trinidad was an associate at San Francisco’s Keker & Van Nest, LLP and at WilmerHale LLP in Washington, DC.
[caption id="attachment_66397" align="alignleft" width="159"] John Trinidad[/caption]
In 2011, he explored his interest in the wine industry by working harvest at wineries in Sonoma (Arnot-Roberts) and Burgundy (Domaine Lucie et Auguste Lignier and Le Grappin). This hands-on experience gave him a deep appreciation for the complex set of regulatory and business problems faced by growers and producers. It also drove him to pursue a career in wine law.
-- Natacha Kolb, who joined the firm's estates practice. Her practice focuses on estate planning and administration, charitable giving, as well as trust litigation in which she represented both fiduciaries and beneficiaries.
She also has experience in entity formation, including tax-exempt organizations. Prior to joining DP&F, she worked in the San Francisco offices of Morgan, Lewis and Bockius as well as Cooley LLP as an associate in the estate planning groups. Ms. Kolb has also worked at the San Francisco office of WTAS, a national accounting firm.
-- Thomas Adams, who joined the firm's land use and environmental practice group. He was former in-house counsel at Premiere Pacific Vineyards, where he provided legal counsel and project management services for more than 35 vineyard and winery properties throughout California, Oregon and Washington.
He has over 14 years of outside and in-house experience in providing legal counsel on environmental permitting, land use, the California Environmental Quality Act, and water rights
The firm earlier this summer moved its offices to Napa Square to accommodate expansion, but all the space has now been filled with new attorneys, according to Mr. Gerien.