Law Firms

Intellectual Property Boutique Is Hot for New Recruits

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The last time patent litigator Bert Ehrlich experienced a downturn in the economy, his law firm missed the boat. Not this time.

Ehrlich, a partner at the intellectual property boutique Ladas & Parry, sees his firm as a beacon of hope to disgruntled BigLaw partners and associates. Business at Ladas & Parry is brisk, and expansion plans are coming into fruition. The firm recently acquired five new associates in its New York office and added David C. Brezina as of counsel in Chicago. The firm said it will continue to take advantage of opportunities to cherry-pick laid-off lawyers and add partners with proven track records to its busy patent litigation and prosecution practices.

“With the downturn and the economy, there’s going to be other firms hurting,” Ehrlich said in an interview with the ABA Journal. “We want to be ready to pick up good people.”

Ladas & Parry has significant expansion plans in the works, according to Ehrlich, although he declined to discuss further details. He did add that the nearly 60-lawyer firm has seen an influx in temporary restraining order requests from companies quick to defend patents and market share, as well as prosecution work from previously filed patents. Business from foreign associates has also increased as countries like China and South Korea subsidize their domestic businesses to ease the effects of the global recession, Ehrlich said.

The firm also recently invested in a Web-accessible software system to manage cases and track records, and implemented value pricing programs to increase efficiency and provide an affordable cost structure to its clients, including small and midsize businesses.

“In good times, we were confronted with fewer hiring opportunities,” Ehrlich said. “But now, some IP firms aren’t situated as well as we are, and other general practice firms are spinning people off, so we’re seeing opportunities to bring in more people.”

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