Tuesday, November 09, 2004

2004 MERGER UPDATE: In a move that seems certain to raise further doubts about the viability of stand-alone intellectual property law firms, the New York IP boutique Fish & Neave has agreed to merge with Ropes & Gray, a large Boston firm.

Fish & Neave, which has about 160 lawyers in New York, Palo Alto, Calif., and Washington, D.C., is one of the nation's largest IP boutiques. It is also one of the oldest, having represented clients including Thomas Edison and the Wright Brothers since its founding in 1878.

The merger, which is to become effective Jan. 1, will increase Ropes & Gray's New York office to more than 200 lawyers from around 80. The combined firm, which will operate as Ropes & Gray, will have more than 750 lawyers nationwide. Unusually, the firm will retain the Fish & Neave name for its firmwide IP practice group.

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