Berger Kahn began as a unique law firm and continues that spirit today during the celebration of the firm’s 45-year anniversary. Today, the O.C. office is the headquarters for the statewide firm, which practices in the areas of Insurance, Subrogation, Employment, Litigation, Business and Personal Injury.
The firm traces its original roots back to attorney William Berger (admitted 1928,) father of Paul Berger and was a labor lawyer representing the Screen Actor’s Guild since the 1940’s. Young Paul Berger joined his father’s practice in the late 1960’s after graduating UCLA in 1964. Just after William Berger passed away, Chuck Kahn joined with Paul and named the firm Berger, Berger & Kahn. The other founding members of the firm, Anthony E. Shafton, Jon Moss and Paul F. Figler, joined one-by-one shortly thereafter. Craig Simon, now managing partner, joined the firm as a law clerk in 1975, was told the firm had started about five years prior, in 1970.
Berger Kahn opened its Orange County office in 1984, with Craig Simon and Sherman Spitz moving from the firm’s L.A. office at the request of a major client. The O.C. office now serves as the firm’s headquarters. Says Simon, “I am proud to say that in the 40 years I have been with Berger Kahn, we have always been a place where excellent lawyering is practiced in a comfortable, fun environment.”
The O.C. office has expanded and contracted over the years to service the varying needs of its clients, but the one thing that has remained constant is the commitment to exceptional legal work. While the lawyers are fierce advocates for their clients, the firm atmosphere was and is casual — a place where the associates, partners, support staff, and clerks are treated as equals to the firm founders and owners.
Berger Kahn grew as a firm to include four additional longtime shareholders and owners: Lance LaBelle, Stephan Cohn, Teresa Ponder, and David Ezra. The administrative staff is headed by Executive Director Beverli Linn (26 years), Controller Frances Perkins (24 years) and O.C. Office Manager Lynn Klinger (24 years).
The firm also pioneered many firsts in Orange County: the first law office to use exclusively Apple based computers (an all Mac office since 1984, where the hard drives held a whopping 1MB of data!) and the first firm to dress casually in jeans or similar clothes every day (not just casual Fridays).
In addition to L.A. and O.C., the firm also has offices in Marin County and San Diego.
Very few boutique firms can claim similar longevity and the firm is proud that the same core group of attorneys and staff have created a legal family that has grown older together, with younger lawyers poised to carry the torch for many years to come beyond the current regime. “But not so fast,” joked Shareholder Sherman Spitz, “I still have a lot of years left.”
ABOUT BERGER KAHN: Berger Kahn, A Law Corporation, is a California-based law firm celebrating its 45th anniversary in 2015, with practice areas including insurance coverage and litigation, business litigation, labor and employment, serious personal injury and wrongful death, and subrogation. The firm has offices in Orange County, Los Angeles, San Diego, and the San Francisco Bay Area.