… as firm seeks to forge closer ties with US referral firms

Field Fisher Waterhouse (FFW) has overhauled its US strategy, with plans to form closer relationships with a handful of US firms including IP/IT firm Fish & Richardson.

It is understood that FFW had a target list of 25 US firms with which it had ­referral relationships that it is whittling down.

The original list included West Coast firms such as Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, IP boutiques, and others such as Bracewell & Giuliani.

A source at FFW said the relationship with Fish & Richardson was not exclusive, despite claims made by trademarks head John Olsen in his dispute with the firm.

In his claim, Olsen said he had been replaced by ­fellow IP partner Nick Rose as the main point of contact with Fish & Richardson, “knowing full well that they were going to sign up to an exclusive relationship”.

Olsen added that 80 per cent of all US referral ­revenue to FFW involves trademark ;and ;brand ­protection work, and was aggrieved at being left out of the US strategy discussion.

A Fish & Richardson spokesperson said: “Fish & Richardson has relationships with many excellent firms in the UK and elsewhere in Europe and around the world, including FFW, and those relationships enhance the global services we are able to provide to our clients, but we do not have exclusive relationships.”