Silicon Valley IP pioneer ships out as New York firms move in

As more and more law firms flood into Silicon Valley, one of the area's original settlers and a former intellectual property star firm has announced it is shipping out.

Brown & Bain, a firm that waged landmark IP battles on behalf of high-profile clients such as Apple Computer and Intel, says it is closing its 20-year-old Palo Alto office at the end of this month.

The closure plan comes only days after New York firms Simpson Thacher & Bartlett and Davis Polk & Wardwell announced they plan to set up new offices in the area

Brown & Bain's managing partner Joseph Mais tells The Lawyer that the firm will continue to carry out litigation for clients in the area from its base in Phoenix.

He says: “We have had an office there for a long time but most of our Silicon Valley clients are largely represented by lawyers in the Phoenix office.

“The office is very small and most of our clients do not seem to care whether we have a presence there or not.”

He adds: “We are not like other firms in that many are going into the valley to establish relationships with new clients: we already have those relationships.”