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11/25/13

BakerHostetler Boosting IP Practice with Woodcock Washburn Merger



There's going to be a new law firm merger. National IP boutique Woodcock Washburn is combining with Cleveland-based BakerHostetler. By itself, a mid-size law merger wouldn't have been news in 2013, but this merger confirms one thing more: IP practice is going strong, and the future looks rosy. Otherwise, the 800-lawyer BakerHostetler, wouldn't have absorbed a law firm to double its IP practice.

Steven Kestner, the Managing Partner of BakerHostetler said in a statement, "The legal industry in general has been fairly stagnant since about 2008. One of the few areas where there has been growth is in patent litigation and patent prosecution."

Also, founded in 1946, Woodcock Washburn is known to have steadfastly resisted merger proposals over the years and continued to remain a standalone intellectual property law firm. However, this time, Joseph Lucci, member of the policy committee of Woodcock Washburn admitted, "The opportunity brought about by the potential combination of the resources of Woodcock Washburn and BakerHostetler was too good to pass up."

Now, the IP practice of BakerHostetler would be having 140 lawyers. The merger is also significant in that it extends BakerHostetler's presence to Atlanta, Philadelphia & Seattle.

The merger is expected to go through smoothly, and though the partner votes are still pending at both the law firms, the firms themselves issued a joint statement confirming the merger.

Steven Kestner said, "This is another significant step in our mission to help our clients grow and protect their business in today's complex business and regulatory environment."

And that includes trademarks, patents, and copyrights. Kestner admitted, "Woodcock Washburn's nationally known and highly regarded intellectual-property practice strengthens our IP position, particularly for clients in the technology sector."

On the part of Woodcock Washburn, so far, it has been announced that Joseph Lucci will become the managing partner of the Philadelphia office with Steven Rocci joining BakerHostetler's policy committee.

BakerHostetler was founded in 1916 with one of the founding partners, Newton Baker, serving as the Secretary of War under President Woodrow Wilson. If the merger is approved, Woodcock Washburn would work under the brand name of BakerHostetler.

Baker & Hostetler LLP

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