Monday, May 10, 2004

M&G&B&D&S&M&? - Minneapolis-based Merchant & Gould, aiming to triple its size and stake a claim as a national intellectual property powerhouse, is negotiating to merge with two out-of-state law firms.

"It's very important that we have not only sufficient competency but also sufficient numbers to handle large patent litigation matters," said Randy King, CEO and managing director of Merchant & Gould (M&G), which specializes in intellectual property (IP) law and has 110 attorneys. "We want to be up in the range of 200 to 300 [attorneys] reasonably quickly. The way to do that is to find an IP firm culturally similar to our own and bring them together."

King has been negotiating since last fall to merge with Burns, Doane, Swecker & Mathis, an Alexandria, Va.-based IP firm with more than 80 attorneys. A third, undisclosed IP firm began negotiating with M&G and Burns in the past month, King said. No timetable has been set for a deal.

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