MIAMI – Philadelphia-based Cozen O'Connor recently announced that it had acquired most of Feldman Gale, a Miami-based law firm that specializes in intellectual property (IP).
Bringing 15 Feldman Gale IP attorneys on board -- including founding partners Jeffrey Feldman and James Gale -- strengthens Cozen's already substantial presence in IP law, doubling its presence in South Florida and increasing the number of attorneys in its IP practice by about one-third.
Feldman and Gale will co-chair Cozen O'Connor's national IP litigation group while continuing to work primarily from Miami. Eleven others will join them. In addition, Feldman Gale partner Lawrence S. Gordon will join Cozen in San Francisco and partner Anthony Kessler, who leads Feldman Gale's trademark prosecution group, will be based in Cozen O'Connor's New York office.
The acquisition highlights two key, opposing trends that have characterized the business and economics of IP law amid a backdrop of growing demand: industry consolidation and the creation of specialist IP law boutique firms.
Consolidation among IP law firms, and within the legal industry broadly speaking, "has been a huge trend over the course of the last five to seven years," Amy Knapp, founder of law firm consultancy Knapp Marketing, told the Florida Record recently.
In the case of Cozen O'Connor, the attorneys from Feldman Gale will be bringing such high-profile clients as St. Jude Medical, Florida Power & Light Group, NextEra Energy and Popular with them as part of the move.
Yet, at the same time as big IP firms are consolidating, groups of IP attorneys are leaving larger firms to start boutique firms for themselves.
"I can point to four instances in just the last five months where groups of IP attorneys have left large firms to start boutiques," Knapp said.
Trends are moving in both directions, though, and there's still a lot of diversity among IP law firms and practices, Knapp said. The tremendous variety of industry sectors and types of organizations in which IP figures prominently is a big reason, as is ongoing growth in innovation-driven start-up companies.
"Companies of all types and sizes are potential clients for IP law firms and practices," Knapp said. ¨Some of these companies are huge. A Johnson & Johnson, for example, may want to work with a diversified, full-service firm. Others may want a more focused IP law firm or legal team that specializes in their industry.¨