Hanson Bridgett Names First Woman to Lead the Bay Area Law Firm

San Francisco law firm Hanson Bridgett LLP said Tuesday that Kristina Lawson became managing partner, effective at the start of this year.

Lawson, who was managing partner-elect throughout 2020, is the first woman to lead the firm. She succeeds Andrew Giacomini, who held the role for almost 20 years. During his tenure, Hanson Bridgett expanded to three new cities, including Los Angeles, and saw the firm grow to more than 180 attorneys.

Giacomini was also ahead of the curve in embracing employees working remotely. In January 2019, Giacomini told me that the firm was giving up an entire floor at 425 Market St. since so many of the firm’s people were working from home. The law firm estimated the move would save more than $13 million. He said cost-cutting wasn’t the key driver, but rather a way to allow employees to work more effectively.

“We’re building a law firm for the future, not the past,” Giacomini said in the 2019 interview. “The ability to work remotely is a competitive advantage in recruiting talent.”

Giacomini continues as a partner in the firm, focusing on his construction litigation practice as well as the firm’s government relations practice.

Hanson Bridgett, founded in 1958, ranked No. 13 on the San Francisco Business Times list of the 75 largest greater Bay Area law firms, published in January 2020, based on the number of attorneys in the region.

Lawson joined Hanson Bridgett in 2017, becoming part of the law firm’s real estate and environment section, which she led. Earlier in her career, Lawson was a member of the Walnut Creek City Council and later mayor of the East Bay city.

“In my work with Andrew last year to help steer the firm through the myriad business and personal challenges caused by Covid-19, as well as to address the industry-wide racial reckoning sparked by the murder of George Floyd, one thing was clear: Hanson Bridgett is a truly unique organization,” Lawson said.

In 2012, Lawson was recognized in the San Francisco Business Times’ 40 Under 40 publication. Her goal by the time she had reached 40: “Make a difference.”