January 2, 2018
Atkinson, Andelson, Loya, Ruud & Romo (AALRR) will start 2018 strong when seven leading public sector attorneys join the firm from Bowie, Arneson & Wiles (BA&W). Their breadth of experience will strengthen the firm’s deep bench of facilities, construction, litigation, and bond and general counsel talent, further expanding AALRR’s diverse service offering to schools, municipalities and water districts throughout California. AALRR starts 2018 with more than 180 attorneys, a 10% increase from January 2017.
BA&W is a highly regarded Orange County boutique law firm that specializes in providing legal services to school and water districts throughout the state, and is nationally recognized Bond Counsel in The Bond Buyer's Municipal Marketplace (the “Red Book”). Effective January 1, Alex Bowie will wind down the firm he founded more than forty years ago but will continue to serve his clients by joining AALRR in an Of Counsel capacity.
With decades of experience and a distinguished career of service, Mr. Bowie is a recognized leader in the field. In addition to his work at BA&W, he has served as an instructor at UC Riverside and UCLA in public law matters, has been a guest speaker at programs of the American Bar Association, the State Bar Association, and the Land Use Forum of the University of Southern California. He has served on various legislative committees of organizations, including the State Bar Association and the Association of California Water Agencies. He is a Founding Member of both the Urban Water Institute and the California Association of Bond Lawyers.
The former BA&W attorneys will be located in AALRR’s Irvine office, where the attorney headcount has grown by more than 75% over the last two years, bringing the number of attorneys there to 28.
“We met with several firms to learn about their approach to meeting their clients’ needs, responsiveness, and attorney availability, and their ability to add value to our existing client base. AALRR checked all the boxes and more,” commented BA&W name partner Wendy Wiles. “Client service has always been our first priority, and AALRR stood out for its emphasis on relationship-building and open communication and for valuing each client as a unique entity. We look forward to serving our long-standing clients, as well as AALRR’s extensive roster of California based public entities. We’re excited to join the firm and expect to hit the ground running from day one.”
Each of the new attorneys will add something unique to AALRR. Ms. Wiles served as the head of BA&W’s litigation department and has been repeatedly recognized as a top female attorney both locally and nationally. Her experience includes handling over 20 appellate court cases and litigating construction matters, environmental proceedings, school fee disputes, real property matters, and condemnation and contract issues. She also serves public agency clients in general business matters and has testified on education issues at many legislative committee hearings.
Ms. Wiles will be joined by partners Robert Anslow, Brian Smith and Jeffrey Hoskinson, and associates Jeffrey Frey and Nicolle Falcis.
Robert Anslow provides general counsel services to various public entities. He has represented his clients before numerous courts, arbitration panels, regulatory agencies, and public agency boards. He has particular expertise in water law; his clients have included Mesa Water District, Trabuco Canyon Water District, West Orange County Water Board, and others. Mr. Anslow is also a nationally recognized Bond Counsel and was one of the principals in charge of BA&W’s finance group.
Brian Smith served as the head of BA&W’s construction and alternative energy groups, and also advises public school district and county office of education clients throughout Southern California with respect to developer mitigation, formation of Community Facility Districts, the acquisition, leasing and disposal of real property, general law matters such as the Brown Act, Public Records Act and Political Reform Act, and other matters.
Jeff Hoskinson has worked exclusively with public agency clients since 2003, with a focus on water districts, school districts, county offices of education, and joint powers agency clients. He has experience in a range of matters, including land and site acquisition, eminent domain, environmental and the California Environmental Quality Act, public works construction, construction contracting, bonding and insurance, surplus properties and asset management, redevelopment, and water rights, as well as general governance matters such as Brown Act and the Public Records Act. He currently serves as general counsel to the East Orange County Water District.
As a litigator, Jeff Frey has successfully advocated for and defended school districts and other public agencies. In his transactions practice, Mr. Frey works on facilities and construction, school/developer fees, public contracts, conflicts of interest, the Brown Act, and other public law matters. Mr. Frey was recognized as a Super Lawyers Rising Star in 2014 and 2015.
Nicolle Falcis brings an extensive background in public works and school construction, including prequalification of contractors, various delivery methods and competitive bidding, leases, joint use agreements, and professional service contracts.
“AALRR has carefully grown from five lawyers in 1979 to more than 180 today through excellent client service and attracting top notch lawyers,” said Mark Palin, AALRR’s Managing Partner. “In an environment where the industry-wide demand for legal services and headcount growth has been flat over the last several years, it is a tribute to our firm’s culture and talent that we continue to strategically increase our footprint. We expand our numbers and have opened new offices in order to accommodate the client bases of the exceptional lawyers who join our firm. Many of our lawyers live and work in the communities they serve. It’s important to us to provide those lawyers a strong family life and a connection to the community, while still enabling them to leverage the platform of a large firm like ours. Bowie, Arneson & Wiles is known for its quality work, and our new colleagues are top-notch. We’re looking forward to January when they join our team.”