Goodwin grabs employment litigator from Greenberg Traurig

March 1, 2016


By Joshua Sebold

Employment litigator Koray J. Bulut is expected to jump from Greenberg Traurig LLP to Goodwin Procter LLP Tuesday, where he will be a partner in the firm’s San Francisco office.

Bulut rejoins several of his former colleagues from Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati PC, the firm he left to join Greenberg in early 2014. A variety of partners have made the jump from Wilson to Goodwin in recent years.

Bulut said he had been eying Goodwin when he joined Greenberg and had watched as former partners migrated there.

“I had noticed Goodwin, unlike a lot of other non-Bay Area-based firms, had really made inroads into Silicon Valley,” he said.

According to Bulut, Goodwin is attractive to up-and-coming attorneys because the firm gives them quick opportunities to prove themselves and involves younger lawyers at all levels of leadership.

Bulut has represented clients such as Google Inc., the Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association of America and SolarCity Corp., in addition to smaller startup-stage companies.

The employment attorney said he relished serving as the outside GC or a surrogate human resources department for startup clients in their early stages and his new role will involve more of that work.

Legal recruiter Larry Watanabe handled Bulut’s move.

Bradley A. Bugdanowitz, chair of Goodwin’s San Francisco office, said the firm has grown to 160 lawyers in California. He said 80 percent of those attorneys are focused on business law, but it’s important to assist clients with their other needs, particularly startups.

Bugdanowitz added that California’s unique employment regime makes it difficult for partners in other states to handle matters here the way they might be able to in other practice areas.

“Only to have six labor and employment attorneys on a base of 160 lawyers [in California] is not enough to serve our existing client base.”

Charles S. Birenbaum, Northern California chair for Greenberg and a fellow labor and employment litigator, wrote in an email that he wishes Bulut well and continues to feel strongly about Greenberg’s position in the practice area, particularly in California.

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