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The national business and real estate law firm Fennemore hired most of the attorneys of the 112-year-old San Bernardino firm Gresham Savage.

 “Our combined strengths in the real estate and land use, natural resources, and business law areas are tremendous. We look forward to continued growth in a market that has such a bright future,” said office director Mark Ostoich, formerly of Gresham Savage, in a press release.

Fennemore, an Arizona firm, began acquiring California offices in 2020. It holds 11 offices in four western states, and lists 192 attorneys on its website. 

The 21-person San Bernardino office Fennemore will retain all but three of the attorneys at Gresham Savage, with one new addition, Rachel Greenberg. The office will be at the same location, 550 E. Hospitality Lane, Suite 350. Fennemore also hired the three attorneys who worked out of Gresham Savage’s San Diego office.

“We are thrilled to welcome these accomplished attorneys and allied legal professionals to Fennemore. They share our enthusiasm for helping clients thrive and building an innovative law firm,” said Fennemore CEO James Goodnow, in a press release.

Jonathan Shardlow already joined the Orange County office of Allen Matkins.

Gresham Savage traces its founding back to William Guthrie opening his solo practice in 1910. He served as city attorney for 12 years, according to the firm’s webpage. After returning to private practice, he worked for the Southern Pacific Railroad, California Portland Cement Co. and American Potash & Chemical Co., both of which have remained with the firm since then. He was handpicked to work for Henry Kaiser to manage the legal affairs of the Fontana Steel Mill. The firm also worked for the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway, now known as the BNSF Railway Co.

Louis Chalmers and Richard Sloan, later a judge and Arizona governor, co-founded Fennemore in Arizona in 1885, according to the firm’s history page. Edward Kent joined the firm in 1912 after establishing water rights for two river systems as a Territorial Supreme Court judge. Harry Fennemore joined in 1916, after drafting Arizona’s workmen’s compensation law and sales tax act. Firm members organized the State Bar of Arizona, served as presidents of the Arizona Bar Association and the American Bar Association. Members also drafted the Arizona Groundwater Management Act. Supreme Justice Sandra Day O’Connor married a member of the firm, and employed an attorney as law clerk.

Fennemore began expanding into Tucson in 1989, Nogales in 1999 and Las Vegas and Denver in 2006. In 2012, they grew by 25 attorneys after acquiring a Nevada law firm. They added another 19 in 2015. 

The firm began moving into California in 2020, when almost 100 legal professionals from Fresno’s Dowling Aaron joined the firm. 

“The growth in the Inland Empire of Southern California, its close proximity to the massive Los Angeles market, and alignment with Fennemore’s core practice strengths made it an ideal launchpad for our continued strategic growth in the future and new business opportunities,” the firm said.

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