Mintz Levin

For a firm keen on organic growth, 2006 has been an aberration for Boston-based Mintz Levin Cohn Ferris Glovsky and Popeo. This spring the firm took on two California offices in as many months, in both instances by netting swathes of lawyers from specialist IP boutiques.

Managing partners:

Stephen Rosenthal and Andrew Urban
Global turnover: $250m (£133.5m)
Total number of lawyers: 480
Total number of partners: 72
Main practice areas: IP/IT; technology, media and telecoms; life sciences; litigation; corporate/M&A
Key clients: CVS Corporation, Kindred Healthcare, OSI Pharmaceuticals
Offices: Eight
Locations: Boston, London, Los Angeles, New York, Palo Alto, San Diego, Stamford, Washington DC

For a firm keen on organic growth, 2006 has been an aberration for Boston-based Mintz Levin Cohn Ferris Glovsky and Popeo. This spring the firm took on two California offices in as many months, in both instances by netting swathes of lawyers from specialist IP boutiques.

In April Mintz Levin launched in Palo Alto by taking over patent filing specialists Reed Intellectual Property Law Group. Then, in June, a 12-lawyer team from Fish & Richardson kick-started Mintz Levin’s San Diego office.

“We’re very much a culture of builders,” says Mintz Levin co-managing partner Stephen Rosenthal, stressing the importance of internal promotions rather than flag-planting in growing the firm.

That is as may be, but Mintz Levin’s trek out West proves not only how important the West Coast is to IP/IT, but also how important the practice is to the firm. Around 20 per cent of the firm’s 480 lawyers are in IP.

It is true that, while the firm has absorbed other teams, it still made up 12 associates to the partnership this year, and 14 last year. Average profit per equity partner is just $835,000 (£440,200), but Rosenthal expects it to rise to $900,000 (£474,500) this year, an increase of 7 per cent on 2005.

“I feel vindicated that our business plan has worked,” says Rosenthal.

In this, London paved the way for success in California. Mintz Levin looked east before it looked west, and came to London in 2003, to general scepticism that an office based on a patent practice would work. Three years down the line and further expansion, perhaps to other jurisdictions in Europe and Asia, is a possibility, according to Rosenthal.

In London Mintz Levin has had enough success to expand into corporate/M&A work. Earlier in the year it hired partner Lena Hodge from Rosenblatt Solicitors, who leverages her practice off US companies and nominated advisers’ interest in AIM. After a promotional jaunt to California by AIM to drum up business, Hodge is seeing increased interest in London from that part of the world.