As we approach our three-year anniversary of the formation of Kahana & Feld, I look back upon our incredible journey and the amazing accomplishments we have achieved in such a short amount of time. In February 2017, we started this firm with five lawyers and one paralegal – and set out to form a different type of law firm that did not fit the normal stereotype or structure of traditional firms. I had left my prior firm of 15 years to start a journey with one of my best friends. To dive directly into the deep end, not knowing whether we would have enough clients, cases and business to make this dream of having a firm that we could truly call ours a reality. My partner Amir Kahana had started his career with the big law firms and grinded it out as a hard-working associate. When Amir had his first child, he decided to leave the large firm environment and open his own solo practice. Amir had built a small boutique firm with private clients for several years, but was missing the large institutional clients and insurance carriers to really grow his firm. So in early 2017, I made the best decision of my legal career and joined Amir to form Kahana & Feld. I was proud to join Amir, Sam Yu, Avi Attal and, of course, Taylor Gailing, who is the glue that holds our firm together as our head paralegal and operations manager. I was also especially proud to have brought over Alex Chazen to be my right-hand man in establishing the insurance defense practice group at the firm.
In our first year, I was pleasantly surprised that all of my private clients and insurance carriers followed me over to K&F as new firm clients. It did not take long to grow the practice and not only add new clients and carriers, but expand our existing insurance carrier panel presence to include other areas of practice in addition to Construction Defect, including Employment, General Liability and Business Litigation. We had our first firm retreat in Lake Arrowhead for the seven of us, including our first law clerk. This was my first firm retreat in almost 20 years of practice as a lawyer. We established our firm culture to be “Upstanding, Outstanding, & Understanding” and worked on short- and long-term goals, and really bonded as a firm. The goals set in 2017 were surpassed exponentially in the next two years.
In 2018, we hired three more attorneys and additional staff. We outgrew our original offices and had to rent the suite next door to accommodate all of the new people. We also opened an office in Phoenix, Arizona after Courtney Winzeler joined our firm and brought with her Arizona clients and cases. By the end of 2018, at our second annual retreat in La Quinta, we set new goals of opening additional offices and expanding to other states to better serve our clients and insurance carriers. We were definitely not expecting the accelerated growth that was to come in 2019.
In 2019, we hired an astonishing six more lawyers and even more staff. We opened an office in Oakland, California led by my longtime friend and colleague, Emmett Seltzer. One of the best moments for me last year was visiting our offices in Oakland and seeing the Kahana & Feld name on the entrance to our suite. We also formally opened offices in Los Angeles and Houston in 2019. Having the opportunity to open a Texas office was near and dear to me, having been born and raised in Houston and being a proud alumnus of the University of Houston. The year ended with another firm retreat at Bruin Woods in Lake Arrowhead, where we had 21 total employees in attendance (14 lawyers and seven staff).
As we enter our third year as a firm, I am very proud of our accomplishments and thankful for all of the hard work everyone at K&F has put into making this firm what it is today. I look forward to our continued growth and development as the premier law firm in California, Arizona, Texas, and wherever our next opportunity takes us.