11:46, March 09 293 0 abajournal.com

2017-03-09 11:46:05
100 lawyers and staff expected to leave Ropes & Gray, following IP practice restructure

Ropes & Gray has plans to move its patent prosecution work to a new, connected firm, and approximately 100 attorneys and staff members are expected to leave over the next few months.

The Boston-based firm on March 7 announced plans to restructure how it provides patent prosecution services, the American Lawyer reports. It will work with partner Joe Guiliano to establish the new firm, with other Ropes & Gray partners. According to a statement (PDF) from the firm, the new offering will handle most of its patent prosecution work. Also, Ropes & Gray may have an exclusive referral relationship with the new firm, Ropes & Gray chairman R. Bradford Malt told the American Lawyer.

Following the creation of the Patent Trial and Appeal Board five years ago, competition in intellectual property work has increased, he said.

“Looking at IP more broadly, PTAB definitely moved litigation to quicker, more efficient forums, and a Supreme Court ruling reduced some IP litigation,” Malt said. “I think you see a lot of big firms now realizing that they’re a bit oversized in IP.”

Guiliano, who came to Ropes & Gray when the firm acquired Fish & Neave, told the American Lawyer that the new firm will have offices in New York and Silicon Valley.

Recently, Ropes & Gray IP partners have joined other firms, as well. Anita Varma, a Boston partner who co-chaired the office’s IP rights group, left for White & Case, the American Lawyer reports. In January, J. Steven Baughman, a Washington, D.C., IP litigation partner, left Ropes & Gray to join Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison. Ian Brooks, Nicole Jantzi and Paul Schoenhard, three other Ropes & Gray IP litigation partners, recently joined McDermott Will & Emery, and another, Christopher Harnett, went to Jones Day.