The year 2015 hasn't been kind so far to Ed Lanquist, managing shareholder at Patterson Intellectual Property Law, the firm that used to go by Waddey & Patterson. First, fellow founder Jack Waddey bolted for Waller and took four colleagues with him. Then, partner Phil Walker left to join Bradley Arant Boult Cummings.
Saying goodbye to six of your 21 attorneys in the space of two weeks is a punch in the gut. But Lanquist is adamant that the departures don't constitute an existential threat.
"Not at all," Lanquist said after word got out of Waller's full haul. "We obviously wish them luck. Waller's a good firm and we're disappointed they've left. But we can still act as counsel for a lot of firms that don't have an IP group."
Lanquist had been looking to grow the firm — which has been a prominent supporter of the Entrepreneur Center and Jumpstart Foundry — even before Waddey and the others walked out. (Former U.S. Patent and Trademark Office examiner Tiffany Palmer came on board late last year.) That plan hasn't changed but it also hasn't been pushed into high gear. Lanquist said he wants to safeguard his firm's culture — he's looking to bring in both entry-level associates and some with three to five years of experience — and won't rush the hiring process just to fill office space.
"There's no place I'd rather be as a patent attorney than Nashville, Tennessee," he said.
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