Salans scoops team of three from New York rival

Franco-US firm Salans Hertzfeld & Heilbronn is expanding its New York intellectual property (IP) practice with a team from Pryor Cashman Sherman & Flynn.

The group is led by partner Jeffrey Laytin and includes two of counsel – Mitchell Stein and Richard Verner. This is the latest move in the international expansion of Salans’ IP/IT practice, which has seen recruitment throughout Europe.

In August last year, the firm took on Masons IT partner Rachel Burnett for its London office. Earlier in the year it hired telecoms partner Kryzstof Stefanowicz from Hogan & Hartson in Poland.

The three additions in New York bring the international IP/IT practice to about 50 lawyers, with 15 in New York. The group does transactional work and litigation.

The co-chairman of the firm’s executive committee James Boynton says: “We’ve been building the IP/IT capability across our firm over the last year and a half or so, with additions in a number of European cities. Our strategy is to grow the four areas that we regard as core – M&A and securities, banking and finance, IP/IT and international arbitration and cross-border litigation.”

The firm is in preliminary merger talks with City firm Theodore Goddard to secure a link-up that would boost its media, banking and PFI practices.

The new group acts for high-profile clients that include Time Warner Entertainment, golfers Tiger Woods and Jack Nicklaus, pop groups Pearl Jam and the Spice Girls and institutions such as the University of California and the University of Notre Dame du Lac.

Laytin says that he decided to leave 120-lawyer Pryor Cashman because clients were increasingly demanding international coverage and he wanted to be able to offer a seamless service.