Cadwalader launches IP practice

New York firm Cadwalader Wickersham & Taft has launched an IP practice, raiding IP firm Morgan & Finnegan for a trio of senior lawyers.

The initial raid is the first step as the firm looks to roll out an IP practice across all of its offices, which include London and Beijing. Partner Christopher Hughes joins as head of the IP group, with Morgan & Finnegan partners Dorothy Auth and John Moehringer joining as special counsel.

Hughes said: “We think we can achieve a comprehensive IP practice with the reach of the firm in London, New York, Charlotte, Washington DC and Beijing. We’re looking for good lawyers at all levels.

“The firm has made it clear at law school presentations that it’s committed to IP. We’ve had some very warm replies from individuals about joining us.”

The practice will focus on patent and trademark litigation, with Hughes counting IBM, AT&T and Eastman Kodak among his blue-chip clients.

Cadwalader’s traditional strength has been in capital markets and restructuring, so the move into the IP market is quite a departure.

Hughes commented: “It’s natural now for clients to ask ‘why can’t you service my IP needs?’, and that’s the reason why Cadwalader responded.

“I think the strategy is to better serve existing clients, and they thought it would be a perfect fit to get organised into having a formal, larger IP practice.”