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A Split at Connolly Bove Leaves Firm with Only an IP Practice

Posted Sep 6, 2012 6:38 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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Twenty-one corporate litigation lawyers have left Connolly Bove Lodge & Hutz to form their own law firm, leaving Connolly Bove with only an intellectual property practice.

The new firm is Connolly & Gallagher, Delaware Online reports. Name partner Arthur “Chip” Connolly III was formerly managing partner at Connolly Bove.

Delaware Law Weekly reported on an impending split in June. Connolly Bove once had about 100 lawyers in both its IP and corporate practices, but the number fell to about 40 IP lawyers and 30 corporate litigation lawyers after several departures, the article said at the time.

“The buzz among the Delaware legal community,” Delaware Law Weekly said, “is that the breakup was fueled by the departures of two key players in the firm's commercial practice, C.J. Seitz and Kevin F. Brady. Both men were partners when they left Connolly Bove and took clients and revenue with them to their new firms.”

A Delaware Law Weekly article published in July cites additional factors in Connolly Bove's struggles: underperforming satellite offices; a reduction in patent litigation from one of the firm's biggest clients, Pfizer Inc., after the drug maker's Lipitor patent expired; debt incurred during a 2003 move to the Nemours Building; and a possible reduced workload for renowned IP partner Rudolf Hutz, who turned 74 in February.

Connolly Bove’s new managing partner Jeff Bove says the split is amicable. “Our internationally renowned [intellectual property] practice simply requires a different platform than these Delaware-based practices. It just made sense to separate these business units so each could flourish and pursue the strategies that work best for the different client bases,” he said in a statement issued to Delaware Online.

Connolly Bove can retain its name because "Connolly" refers to Chip Connolly's grandfather, Delaware Law Weekly reported in August.

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