Heller Ehrman hires DLA Piper IP partner

Heller Ehrman has recruited IP partner Richard Penfold from DLA Piper to boost its year-old London office as speculation over an impending merger with Baker & McKenzie persists.

Penfold’s move represents continued growth in Heller Ehrman’s London office, which opened in early 2007 and now has 24 lawyers, including 11 partners.

London partner Richard Eaton told The Lawyer: “Unlike anyone else in the City we advise everyone from two guys in a garage with a good idea to FTSE100 companies. The two guys in a garage have one asset – their IP. We will help them protect the IP.”

Penfold was a partner at Harbottle & Lewis in London prior to joining DLA Piper as a partner in 2004 shortly before the firm expanded its technology, media and communications team massively with an 11-partner raid on Denton Wilde Sapte.

Heller is also transferring Kirt Shuldberg, a partner in the firm’s corporate practice in San Diego, to London.

Heller has lost nearly 50 partners to rivals during the last two years, sparking a speculation in the US that the firm was seeking a merger. The most recent rumour regarding Baker & McKenzie has refused to die after both sides refused to initial denials.

A DLA Piper spokesperson wished him well.