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.
Bradley Arant Boult Cummings has set up its eighth office around the Southeast by recruiting 12 lawyers from Tampa firm Glenn Rasmussen. The attorneys, who constituted most of the Glenn Rasmussen team, focus on banking and insolvency, commercial litigation, corporate finance, labor and employment, real estate and transactions work.
“This is a milestone in the growth of Bradley Arant Boult Cummings, and it marks our entry into the Florida market, which has long been a priority for the firm,” said Chairman Beau Grenier. “Our new colleagues have a strong reputation for high quality client service, which is one of our core values, and they add bench strength to our key practices. We look forward to serving clients throughout Florida from our new location.”
BABC officials also said they will "continue to explore opportunities for strategic growth." Should that involve a new territory, they could do worse than look at the South's largest city, which now sits neatly encircled by the firm's offices in Birmingham, Nashville, Charlotte and Tampa.
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