Buchanans poaches six partners from rival firm

Leading Philadelphia firm Buchanan Ingersoll is more than doubling the size of its new New York practice by poaching a team of six partners from a rival firm.

The team of trademark and finance partners is moving with a group of six associates from New York State firm Harris Beach & Wilcox.

Buchanan Ingersoll moved into New York last year with six lawyers. The move coincided with the recruitment of a team of healthcare partners from Beachcroft Wansbroughs to set up in London.

The new team is led by William O'Connor, managing partner of the New York City office of Harris Beach. O'Connor represents financial institutions including Fleet Boston and Asset Investors Corporation.

He is joined by top trademark partner Jay Begler, who acts as international trademark counsel for Revlon, and by finance partner Vincenzo Paparo.

The other partners joining the team are commercial litigation lawyers Evelyn Seeler and Gregg Sodini, and trademark lawyer Mark Speciner.

Chief financial officer Tom Van Kirk says that the recruitment of the team is part of the firm's plan to have more than 30 lawyers in New York by the first anniversary of its opening in October.

O'Connor says: “These lawyers made it known that they were going to be leaving their firm and we were delighted to have them. They are a creditors rights practice and represent the sort of institutional clients that we would like to have.”

Despite focusing on healthcare law in the London office, the New York practice of Buchanan Ingersoll is quickly expanding its technology team.

Concentrating on the East Coast's so-called Silicon Alley, earlier in the year the firm hired two partners to deal with internet start-ups and dotcom ventures.

It now represents more than 600 technology and entrepreneurial growth companies, investment banks and venture capitalists across the US.

Harris Beach, a 170-lawyer firm based in upstate New York, has hired a team of eight partners and 20 associates from rival local firm Lester Schwab Katz & Dwyer. One of those partners, Frederick Fern, will take over as managing partner of the firm's New York City office.