San Francisco firm Graham & James is turning its back on its New York office in order to merge with Squire Sanders & Dempsey.
The New York practice, which includes the firm's highly rated intellectual property practice, is understood to be talking to a number of other firms about its future.
Top IP partner Al Jacobs, who brings in as much as $15m (£9.4m) a year in fees and acts for clients including Glaxo Wellcome, admits his office is “engaged in discussions”.
Squire Sanders and Graham & James are both poised to vote on the merger before the end of the month, and it is widely tipped to go ahead.
The two firms began their talks in January. In the interim, Graham & James has lost several senior partners from its Californian offices (The Lawyer, 29 May).
One Squire Sanders partner says: “We are not done yet. I think there's been a lot of progress, but it's not over until it's over.”
The merger will create a national US firm combining Graham & James in the west with Squire Sanders in the east and southwest.
the lawyer 19 june 2000