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Washington DC firm Crowell & Moring is merging with a niche intellectual property (IP) firm in a bid to give a better service to its technology client base.
The firm is adding IP capability through a merger with Washington DC firm Evenson McKeown Edwards & Lenahan, which has 14 lawyers. Seven of those lawyers will join Crowell as partners.
The move comes a year after the bulk of Crowell's IP practice jumped ship and headed to Shaw Pittman's Northern Virginia office. Partners Larry Gotts and Mike Bednarek left the firm in need of boosting its IP capability.
Crowell is essentially a litigation firm with a strong regulatory practice. Its client base includes technology groups such as US telecoms giant SBC Communications, DuPont, Nortel Networks, United Technologies, Northwest Airlines and Boeing.
Chairman of the firm John Macleod says: "We have a sophisticated client base with a good deal of science work. They frequently have issues in the IP area, and this plays in very well with that.
"Our aerospace, computer, biotechnology, pharmaceutical, technology and telecommunications clients will all benefit. When we lost our two patent partners to a Northern Virginia opportunity, we promised them that we would rebuild our IP practice capability and make it broader and deeper."
He declines to comment on Evenson McKeown's client base, other to say that it includes big German and Japanese companies.
The new group will fit in with three of Crowell's key practices - litigation and biotechnology and telecoms media and technology. Macleod says it will also help the firm's London office, which is led by technology partner Peter Teare.