Graham & James

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Graham & James LLP is a now-defunct law firm. It was founded as Graham & Morse by Chalmers Graham and Clarence Morse in San Francisco in 1934. Morse left the firm to become chair of the Federal Maritime Commission,[1] and Leonard James, a maritime lawyer who had become friends with Graham and Morse while working for the War Shipping Administration during World War II, became a name partner.[2] The firm was originally a small firm focused on the maritime industry.[3]

The firm was active in Asia as early as the 1950s, when it sent one of its lawyers to Tokyo.[3] It formed a strategic alliance with the Deacons law firm in Hong Kong and the Price Sanond law firm in Bangkok, operating in Asia under the collective name "Deacons Graham & James."[4]

With the bulk of its practice focused on the Pacific Rim, Graham & James was severely affected by the Asian economic crisis of the 1990s. By then, it was primarily an intellectual property and technology firm, with California and Asian offices.[5] Graham & James attempted to merge with the New York firm of Reid & Priest in 1991,[6] and also had a partnership with the Seattle law firm of Riddell Williams from 1995 to 1999.[7] As of June 1999 it had around 340 attorneys.[1] The alliance with Deacons dissolved in June 2000, with Deacons backing out due to G&J's failure to commit resources to Asia and dwindling position in US law firm rankings.[8]

In June 2000, it effected two transactions. Reflecting internal divisions among its partners and affiliates, most partners in the California, Tokyo and Beijing offices of the firm merged with Squire, Sanders & Dempsey,[9] while the New York office, largely devoted to pharmaceutical patent prosecution, merged with Greenberg Traurig.[5][10]


  1. ^ a b "About Graham & James". Graham & James LLP. Archived from the original on September 10, 1999.
  2. ^ Chiang, Harriett (April 12, 1996). "Leonard G. James". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 2017-07-29.
  3. ^ a b "Alexander Calhoun" (PDF). The Asian Art Museum Oral History Project, UC-Berkeley. Retrieved 28 January 2015.
  4. ^ "History - Price Sanond: Lawyers in Bangkok, Thailand". 26 February 2011.
  5. ^ a b Cosmides, John (30 May 2001). "Law Firm Mergers: Managing & Dealing With Organizational Change". The Barustors Report. San Francisco, CA: The Cosmides Group. Archived from the original on 17 March 2013. Retrieved 5 March 2013.
  6. ^ "Graham & James Breaks Off Talks With New York Law Firm". Los Angeles Times. 4 June 1991.
  7. ^ "Bizjournals".
  8. ^ "Deacons dumps Graham & James -".
  9. ^ Williams, Rochelle (30 June 2000). "Squire Sanders Announces Plans To Purchase Graham & James". Bond Buyer. Business Source Complete: EBSCOhost. 332 (30924): 3. ISSN 0732-0469. 3308660. Archived from the original on 3 March 2016. Retrieved 5 March 2013.; see also
  10. ^ Lawyer, The (2000-07-16). "Greenberg Traurig doubles with Graham & James team". The Lawyer | Legal insight, benchmarking data and jobs. Retrieved 2020-07-14.