Dorsey & Whitney is not the first US firm to recruit UK intellectual property (IP) lawyers. Last April, Brobeck Hale and Dorr became the first US firm in the UK to venture outside London when it poached three partners from Morgan Cole to set up an office in Oxford.

Then in May, Hammond Suddards (now Hammond Suddards Edge) lost its head of IP Larry Cohen to US firm McDermott Will & Emery.

White & Case set up its London IP practice back in July 1999. It took IP lawyer David Llewelyn from niche London firm Llewelyn Zietman to head the firm's European IP group.

Finally, US firm Shaw Pittman set up its London office in August 1998 after poaching IT partner Alistair Maughan from Dibb Lupton Alsop (now DLA).