Terrence Allen. (Photo: Laurel Hungerford)

Terrence Allen. (Photo: Laurel Hungerford)

Terrence Allen, a corporate and securities expert who joined Pepper Hamilton’s Los Angeles office a year ago, is on the move again.

Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld announced Tuesday that Allen would join the firm as a partner in its Orange County office in Irvine, California. His departure marks the latest partner exit from Pepper Hamilton, which just saw a prominent construction group join Cozen O’Connor.

Allen said that Akin Gump’s regulatory capabilities will help him handle deals in the heavily regulated life sciences sector, which make up a significant chunk of his practice. He has represented Irish drug giant Allergan Inc., which has a large presence in Irvine, on several acquisitions, including the company’s nearly $1 billion buy of MAP Pharmaceuticals in 2013.

Akin Gump was the nation’s highest-paid lobbying firm in 2016. The lobbying group, having just taken in more than $9 million in revenue during the first quarter of 2017, also just got a new bipartisan leadership team in G. Hunter Bates and Brian Pomper.

“Akin Gump has a true full-service M&A support platform with a really nice policy regulatory component that I think is often helpful in M&A transactions,” said Allen, who prior to working at Pepper Hamilton spent eight years at Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, a firm he joined in mid-2007 from O’Melveny & Myers.

Allen’s other specialties include media and technology transactions, and he took the lead for former social networking giant MySpace.com on its $35 million sale in 2011. Allen was at Gibson Dunn for that deal, and during his time at the firm said he worked opposite Akin Gump on at least one acquisition. His positive impression from that interaction left him eager to learn more about Akin Gump after the firm recently approached Allen about coming aboard.

Akin Gump opened its Orange county outpost in early 2014. Allen will be the firm’s third partner in Irvine. Akin Gump has two other California offices in Los Angeles and San Francisco.

“Terry has a very strong corporate practice in the Southern California market that aligns very well with our team and our strategic goals for the region,” Akin Gump chair Kim Koopersmith said in a statement. “His impressive record leading M&A deals across the technology, health care and consumer brands industries is a great fit for us as we continue to expand our client offerings on the West Coast.”

Pepper Hamilton, which saw its gross revenue and partner profits plunge in 2016, has tried to re-orient itself this year, creating a health sciences department headed by one of its top rainmakers and adding Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer commercial litigation partner H. Peter Haveles in New York. But partner exits have continued to mount, with Duane Morris hiring corporate partner Michael Gallagher this week in Philadelphia and Blank Rome bringing on three employee benefits partners in February.

Allen said his departure hadn’t been driven by conditions at his previous firm, which a year ago this month ended merger talks with Reed Smith.

“I’ve been focused in this process on Akin Gump,” he said.