Mintz Levin rains on Sonnenschein’s opening day parade

Boston-headquartered Mintz Levin Cohn Ferris Glovsky and Popeo has raided the Silicon Valley office of Sonnenschein Nath & Rosenthal just a day after the latter firm opened for business there.

Corporate partners Matt Kirmayer and Jason Altieri are moving to Mintz Levin’s Palo Alto office after setting up Sonnenschein’s Silicon Valley offering just three months ago. That office officially launched yesterday.

Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney’s former San Diego managing partner Daniel Pascucci and IP partner Andrew Skale are also moving to Mintz Levin’s San Diego office.

Mintz Levin’s co-managing partner Steve Rosenthal exclusively told The Lawyer: “I think we’ve got our West Coast growth right. We’re not aggregating lawyers for the sake of it. We’re following our clients and we’ve been strategic in our recruiting.”

The firm’s most important clients on the West Coast include Merck and StemCells Inc.

In addition to the four partners, two associates are joining from Buchanan Ingersoll and two more will join Mintz Levin from Bozicevic Field & Francis. Rosenthal said more associates would be added and that growth generally on the West Coast would continue in 2007.

Mintz Levin first launched in the West Coast a year ago, with raids on Fish & Richardson and Reed Intellectual Property Law Group to set up in San Diego and Palo Alto.

In contrast, the opening of Sonnenschein’s Silicon Valley presence will be left to patent litigation partner Yar Chaikovsky, who joined from Weil Gotshal & Manges in January (The Lawyer, 24 January), plus two other partners and an associate. A spokesman said that Sonnenschein is actively recruiting for the office.

Meanwhile, Sonnenschein has just announced its partnership promotions for 2007. It has made up 17 new partners and three of counsel, plus two promotions in its non-lawyer public policy group.

Although the firm’s Chicago headquarters scored four new partners, so did the Washington DC office, home to the firm’s new chairman Elliott Portnoy. Although the new Silicon Valley office got no new partners, the West Coast as a whole got three.

The promotions were well spread across practice areas, with litigation netting four new partners and corporate, IP, insurance/regulatory and real estate each gaining two.