LOS ANGELES – Gregory Evans, a nationally prominent and highly accomplished litigator with more than two decades of federal and state trial experience, has merged his specialty litigation practice with 1,000-lawyer McGuireWoods. The move adds a second area office, in downtown L.A., to the firm’s current office in Century City.
Evans left an elite major Wall Street firm in 2010 to found Integer Law Corporation, a small firm with a stellar record in high-stakes, high-profile litigation. Evans and Integer’s three associates will maintain their offices in downtown Los Angeles at 633 West 5th Street. McGuireWoods has 63 lawyers in its Century City office.
The new downtown locale is the firm’s 21st office worldwide, and Evans will be the managing partner of the downtown office. His immediate goal is to continue his work for copper mining giant Asarco and its parent Grupo México, as well as for long time clients The Sherwin-Williams Co., Nike, Steinway Musical Instruments and others. His longer term goal is to grow the office in size and to increase its client base.
“We have come to know Greg well over the last five years as we worked closely together on highly complex litigation. Needless to say, we are big admirers of his work,” said Leonard J. Marsico, chair of McGuireWoods’ Commercial Litigation Department. “The addition of a downtown L.A. office complements our thriving Century City practice and positions us to rapidly expand our litigation practice.”
According to Evans, Integer had reached a crossroads. The firm has grown rapidly, landing matters for major corporate clients with hundreds of millions of dollars at stake. With these large cases pending in United States District Courts in seven states, Evans needed to ramp up very quickly or merge. That’s when Evans turned to a firm he had worked alongside for years and whose work and culture he had come to respect.
“I could continue to grow Integer, or I could merge with a firm that is a perfect fit in every way,” Evans said. “I have the highest regard for McGuireWoods, which has a reputation for excellent legal work, amazing client service and great results. That the firm goes about its business quietly and without hubris in a culture that’s supportive and collegial, which made the move all the more appealing.”
Evans has a wide array of successes to his credit, including the litigation of the largest environmental bankruptcy in U.S. history for Grupo México. His clients also have included many leading brands: Nike, Sherwin-Williams Co., 3M Corp. and Vodafone Group, as well as Ultimate Fighting Championship. With Evans leading the litigation work in 2009 for Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy, Grupo México and Asarco emerged from the largest environmental bankruptcy settlement in U.S. history by paying $1.8 billion – a fraction of the $9 billion the government initially demanded – to settle claims for environmental impacts at Superfund sites in 19 states. Since then, Evans has pursued litigation on Asarco’s behalf to compel cleanup payments by other parties that contributed to pollution at those sites.
In 2012, Evans and Integer turned the tables on the government for Asarco. Evans learned that the Environmental Protection Agency’s regional official was under criminal investigation for destroying evidence that would have benefited Asarco in a claim over lead contamination in an Omaha, Nebraska, neighborhood. He moved the District Court in Washington to throw out a multimillion-dollar settlement after learning through the Freedom of Information Act that the EPA had destroyed evidence. The EPA eventually paid Asarco $15 million to resolve the evidence tampering allegations.
Evans has achieved similar results for other clients. For Sherwin-Williams, the world’s largest paint and coating manufacturer, he obtained numerous dismissals of civil and criminal complaints against the company over alleged environmental damages. He successfully represented the company in a wide-scale investigation by California’s attorney general and related litigation that culminated with all claims against the company being dropped and no finding of fault. In a case by the United States Attorney asserting multi-state environmental crimes, Evans was able to demonstrate Sherwin-Williams’ compliance with the law, which led the government to drop the case entirely.
Terry Bagley, McGuireWoods deputy managing partner for litigation, called Evans the perfect addition.
“Greg is not only a highly sought-after litigator with a remarkable track record for success in the courtroom, he is a shining example of our core values. He is known for his high integrity and for substantial involvement in the community. Greg and his team will enhance the considerable litigation capabilities we offer to clients in California,” Bagley said.
At Integer, Evans also distinguished himself by implementing alternative fee arrangements for clients at a time when the economic downturn forced many businesses to slash legal budgets. McGuireWoods also has been a pioneer in the use of alternatives to the billable hour to help clients control legal costs.
“Greg has had remarkable success at Integer and throughout his career,” said Richard Grant, managing partner of McGuireWoods’ Century City office. “His addition, and with it the addition of a second Los Angeles office, shows clients how serious we are about this market.”
Prior to launching Integer, which received considerable media attention, Evans was a partner in the Los Angeles office of Milbank, one of New York’s oldest and most esteemed Wall Street firms. Before that he led the San Francisco litigation practice at one of the West Coast’s most highly regarded firms, Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe.
Clients stick with Evans and admire his talent. Asarco General Counsel Jorge Lazalde said, “Greg Evans is fearless, graceful and effective for us. We will continue to look to Greg, now backed up with 1,000 lawyers at McGuireWoods, to handle our environmental litigation nationally.”
Don McConnell, associate general counsel for Greg’s longtime client Sherwin-Williams said of Greg, “He is effective and fair. We have come to expect amazing results from Greg in every case he handles for us. And he always delivers – always.”
Former U.S. Sen. Evan Bayh, D-Indiana, and Evans are professional and political allies. “I have known Greg for many years and I am delighted that he is bringing his skill and experience as a litigator to McGuireWoods,” said Bayh, a partner in the firm’s Washington, D.C., office.
Evans received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Southern California in 1984, his master’s degree from the University of California at Berkeley in 1986 and his law degree from the University of Notre Dame in 1989.
Evans completed a fellowship with the U.S. Department of Justice in Washington and later served as deputy counsel to the National Coalition for the Homeless. He is a longstanding national board member of the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund and has been honored by this and other public service organizations for his civil rights, community and pro bono work. Greg is a longtime trustee for Catholic Charities of Los Angeles.
McGuireWoods’ litigation group is comprised of more than 500 litigators located across the United States and Europe, including many highly regarded first-chair trial lawyers. Independent authorities such as Chambers USA and Chambers UK rank the firm’s litigation practice and its individual lawyers among the leaders in the field. The Best Lawyers in America 2014 includes almost 40 of the firm’s commercial litigators, including nearly a half-dozen named as “Lawyers of the Year.” In its 2014 guide, Legal 500 United States recognized the firm’s litigation team in the areas of product liability and mass tort defense: automotive/transport, consumer products and toxic tort.
In addition, BTI Consulting Group listed McGuireWoods’ commercial litigation team on the honor roll in the 2014 edition of its BTI Litigation Outlook, a report based in client interviews and research.
McGuireWoods LLP is a leading international law firm with more than 1,000 lawyers in 21 offices worldwide. For more information, visit www.mcguirewoods.com. Its full-service public affairs arm, McGuireWoods Consulting LLC, offers infrastructure and economic development, strategic communications and grassroots advocacy, and government relations solutions.