Business of Law

Ex-BigLaw IP Partners Boomerang Back to Foley & Lardner--with Same Small-Firm Rate Structure


A little over a year ago, two intellectual property partners left Foley & Lardner, where one had been managing partner of the Silicon Valley office, to form their own patent boutique, citing a need to lower costs.

But now Gerald Swiss and Lorna Tanner are boomeranging back—not only to BigLaw but to Foley & Lardner, along with an associate, two patent agents and a clerk. And their reduced rate structure will remain intact, reports the Recorder in an article reprinted in New York Lawyer (reg. req.).

“The practice has grown, but not as much as I would like,” Swiss tells the legal publication. “People viewed us as a small firm. They didn’t want a small firm handling their key IP.”

Paul Stewart, who now serves as managing partner of the Silicon Valley office, says it is happy to welcome the former partners back. However, he says, sophisticated clients understand that cost-efficient legal bills depend on expertise and getting the right legal services, not simply billable rates.

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