Updated 8:26 p.m.
Stroock & Stroock & Lavan has opened a Washington office, bolstered by the addition of two partners.
Chris Griner and Robert Plaze join the firm from Kaye Scholer and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, respectively.
Griner, who takes on the role of D.C. managing partner, was formerly a special counsel at Kaye Scholer and co-chairman of the firm's national security, government contracts and regulatory compliance department. He focuses his practice on matters before the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States. The committee assesses potential national security issues involved in transactions that could result in foreign control of U.S. businesses.
Plaze was formerly deputy director of the SEC's Division of Investment Management. He joins a group of eight corporate partners who represent clients ranging from mutual funds to business development companies.
The firm previously operated an office in Washington, however it was shuttered in the late 90's, according to an estimate by Griner.
In an interview, Griner said the opportunity to build a new office was too good to pass up.
"The idea is to build a premier regulatory practice," Griner said. "The way regulatory practices are coming to Washington, the firm realized they need to be involved."
The decision to expand to Washington was largely driven to better service existing clients, Griner said. The new office will focus on issues like Foreign Corrupt Practices Act prosecutions and investigations, SEC regulatory matters and white collar issues.
As for growth, Griner said the firm would like to expand to about 30 attorneys at its office located at 1875 K Street N.W.
"There are several people, both high level government as well as people in the private practice, who we are looking at," Griner said. "Once you get your marker down you're able to develop things much better."