Polsinelli Shughart Law Firm Acquires California's Women-Owned Quateman

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SAN FRANCISCO — The law firm Polsinelli Shughart has acquired ­Quateman LLP, California’s biggest women-owned municipal bond counsel firm.

The acquisition adds a West Coast presence and an expanded public finance team to Polsinelli Shughart’s roster that now spans 17 cities and more than 500 attorneys.

“The fit, really, was that they have been looking for a group to use as a starting point, a foundation, a presence in California,” Lisa Greer Quateman, the firm’s founder, said in an interview. “There is a great alignment of incentives in the overall arrangement that I think is very exciting and promising.”

Quateman couldn’t comment on the specifics of the deal but said “it is structured to our satisfaction.”

Started 22 years ago, Quateman has grown from a one-woman shop to a firm that includes a half-dozen lawyers with major focuses in municipal finance, complex real estate workouts, and corporate finance.

Quateman’s firm focuses on a range of public finance sectors, including airports, ports, water and power, housing, and pollution control.

Polsinelli Shughart’s own public finance team has a strong focus on health care and nonprofits.

“I just see that as a good melding,” Quateman said. “They are going to give us some additional areas in public finance that we can offer to clients in this market.”

The Los Angeles firm’s bond clients have included California, Los Angeles and its agencies, and the Southern California Metropolitan Water District. The firm remains a part of the state’s bond counsel pool.

From 2008 to 2009, Quateman’s firm handled $2.84 billion worth of bond deals, according to Thomson Reuters. It has been the top-ranked women-owned firm in California over the past five years.

Polsinelli Shughart’s practice focuses on business law, financial services, real estate, and business litigation.

Quateman, who spent the first part of her career as a securities and real estate lawyer at big national and international companies, started her firm in 1989.

Kathleen Brown, now a managing director at Goldman, Sachs & Co., helped give Quateman a start in the muni business when she pushed to include women- and minority-owned businesses among the state’s financing teams during her tenure as California treasurer from 1991 to 1995.

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