Shaw Pittman poaches IP team from rival firm

Washington DC firm Shaw Pittman has wooed an IP team from Crowell & Moring just a month after announcing a major expansion plan.

The rapidly growing high-tech firm is taking three partners and seven other lawyers from its 250-lawyer strong rival.

Crowell & Moring's chair of litigation and head of IP Lawrence Gotts and his colleagues Michael Bednarak and Aslan Baghdadi are joining Shaw Pittman as partners. The team concentrates on patent protection, prosecution and litigation.

Managing partner Paul Mickey says the move is the next step in the firm's bid to become the global leader in advising on complex technology transactions.

Mickey says: “This group is perfectly matched with Shaw Pittman's needs.

“Their experience with software patent issues will be of immediate value to our technology clients – from major corporate users to dotcom start-ups – and their skills dealing with business process patents will help our financial institution clients.”

Shaw Pittman has offices in Washington DC, northern Virginia, New York, Los Angeles and London and more than half of its 400 lawyers now work in the technology sector of the firm.

Shaw Pittman's growing technology practice is emerging as a key player as many telecoms law firms in Washington DC go through a series of consolidations.

In March, Shaw Pittman merged with boutique Washington telecoms firm Fisher Wayland Cooper Leader & Zaragoza and opened its first west coast office in Los Angeles (The Lawyer, 28 February).

Last month Shaw Pittman became the first Washington practice to match the rocketing associate salaries of firms in New York and California. Wages for newly qualifieds went up from $102,000 to $125,000 (The Lawyer, 28 February).

In March, two other niche technology firms linked up with national players when Atlanta's Holland & Knight snapped up Koteen & Naftalin and Morrison & Foerster acquired Gurman Blask & Freedman.