Rumor: Akin Gump’s Philly IP Group Leaving

Word in the legal community is that Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld is parting ways with its Philadelphia intellectual property group. According to several sources, the IP group, which was formed when Ronald L. Panitch merged his 28-attorney intellectual property boutique, Panitch Schwarze Jacobs & Nadel with Akin Gump in 1999, is leaving, with at least some of the lawyers forming a reconstituted Panitch Schwarze.

It was impossible to confirm the rumors at press time. Calls to Panitch and Akin Gump’s media office were unsuccessful at press time.

A check of Akin Gump’s Web site showed that Panitch was still listed as the partner-in-charge of the firm’s Philadelphia office as of Wednesday night.

One source said it was not clear if all the IP attorneys were going to the new firm. The source said word of the IP group leaving first started hitting the streets Monday. There was supposedly a meeting in which attorneys and staff were made aware of the decision and that there would be a press release on the matter, a source said.

One source said that was how word got out: staff people started calling around looking for jobs.

“They’re looking for a job, and a job with Akin Gump pay, not boutique pay,” one source said.

The departure of the IP group would significantly reduce the size of Akin Gump’s Philadelphia office.

If the rumor is true, it would particularly interesting in light of Panitch’s previous comments to The Legal touting the benefits of merging an IP boutique with a large law firm.

Look for more on this story tomorrow on The Legal’s Web site.

–Hank Grezlak, Editor-in-Chief

Explore posts in the same categories: Firm News, Legal Profession

2 Comments on “Rumor: Akin Gump’s Philly IP Group Leaving”

  1. Anon Says:

    From: McLean, Bruce
    Sent: Wednesday, October 17, 2007 2:44 PM
    To: FW ALL
    Subject: Philadelphia IP Transition

    Effective January 1, 2008, Akin Gump’s intellectual property transactional practice, located in Philadelphia, will spin off to create IP boutique Panitch, Schwarze, Belisario & Nadel. Partners Ron Panitch, Bill Schwarze, Martin Belisario, John Jamieson, and Al Nadel, along with the bulk of the Philadelphia IP associates, counsel, agents, and staff will comprise the new boutique. Clark Jablon will be a partner at the new firm.

    The decision was based on the nature and metrics of IP transactional law practice in the Philadelphia/Mid-Atlantic market and the fact that the sheer volume of matters in such practices translates into conflicts that often preclude Akin Gump from servicing existing clients and vice versa.

    The new spin-off has the full support of Akin Gump. We plan to maintain a strong working and referral relationship with the new boutique firm; in fact, the practice will remain in its existing space. The Philadelphia IP partners and Akin Gump management are both confident that the spin-off is in the best interests of the clients, Akin Gump and the new firm. We will provide additional information about the transition as we move forward.

  2. Gzkrlbho Says:

    Chz11F comment6 ,

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