Bass Berry & Sims has taking another growth step with its office in Washington, D.C., which it set up in late 2011. On Wednesday, firm officials said they've established a practice group focused on the issues around contracting with government agencies. The 11 attorneys in the group include Nashville-based Wally Dietz, John Eason and former federal prosecutor Lisa Rivera.
"Our attorneys apply extensive public sector experience to help firm clients understand, prevent and mitigate the risks associated with government procurement, and to fight back when those risks become reality," said John Kelly, managing partner of Bass' D.C. office.
SEE ALSO: Word from the firm a month ago that it had recruited two veteran attorneys and launched an international trade practice group
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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