ArentFox Schiff hires eight-partner team in Boston from Burns & Levinson

IP and disputes group’s move follows ArentFox Schiff adding automotive partner quartet from Burns in Boston in April

ArentFox Schiff has hired a 17-strong group in Boston from Burns & Levinson to bolster its intellectual property and complex litigation offering in the life sciences hub.

The team includes seven IP partners alongside a trio of counsel and six associates and patent agents. Joining them is litigation partner Shepard Davidson, who focuses his practice on complex business torts and contract claims. 

The group’s hire follows ArentFox Schiff recruiting four automotive partners from Burns in Boston in April and means the firm has grown its Boston team by more than 40% this year, to around 65 lawyers. 

Firm chairman, Anthony Lupo, said ArentFox Schiff had been looking to expand its IP practice in Boston with a focus on life sciences, patent, litigation and trademark services. 

“Adding this team helps us accomplish that goal,” he said. “This group’s clients also fit strategically into our industry approach to the business of law, and based on our prior success with laterals and groups, we anticipate opportunities to significantly grow revenue.”

The IP partners joining include Joseph Maraia, Dr Daniel Clarke and Christopher Carroll, as well as Laura Carroll, Brooke Penrose, Paul Pysher and Howard Susser. 

The team brings decades of combined experience with patent, trademark and copyright issues, covering areas including patent procurement and counselling, opinion services, transactional services, post-grant proceedings, due diligence, licensing and litigation. ArentFox Schiff said their backgrounds – including a former patent examiner, a master electrician and a molecular microbiology PhD, among others, would offer valuable insights to clients in specialised and technical industries.

“The Boston area continues to be a hub for innovation that demands top-tier IP services,” said ArentFox Schiff’s Boston managing partner, David Barbash. “Adding this group of attorneys will offer immense benefits to our clients in New England and across the country as they grow their businesses.”

Members of the team handle IP matters for clients across industries including consumer products, defence, telecoms, manufacturing, healthcare and retail as well as tech and life sciences. They practice before state and federal courts, the US Patent and Trademark Office and internationally before the European Patent Office and the World Intellectual Property Organization. 

“ArentFox Schiff’s IP team is among the best in the field, advising industry giants, start-ups and everything in between on their IP portfolios,” said incoming partner Maraia. “We look forward to leveraging the firm’s platform to help our clients make the most out of their innovations.”

ArentFox Schiff was formed in 2021 from the merger of Arent Fox and Schiff Hardin, a deal that catapulted the combined firms into the US top 100 by revenue. Back in January, it announced it had elected Brian Waldman to firmwide managing partner, succeeding co-managing partners Cristina Carvalho and Joseph Krasovec, who have led the firm since the merger’s completion.

A Burns spokesperson commented: “The departure of this group of IP attorneys and litigators was long in the works. We wish our former colleagues well.”

They added that the firm’s IP practice chair, Deborah Peckham, would continue to lead the group and that the firm was “exploring several growth options” including high-level lateral hires or a combination with another law firm. 

Boston-founded Burns also lost a group of 25 corporate and finance lawyers last month to Blank Rome for its debut in the city. The recent exits have left Burns with 64 lawyers across offices in Massachusetts, Rhode Island and London, having once boasted a lawyer headcount of more than 125. 

Boston has seen an influx of law firms in recent years as it cemented its position as a tech and life sciences hub and its financial services market exploded. Last month Simpson Thacher & Bartlett said it had hired registered funds partner Kenneth Burdon from Skadden ahead of its launch in the city later this year, while in April Paul Hastings recruited a team from Sidley Austin led by a co-leader of its international private equity practice, Alexander Temel, to open an office in the city

Other US firms opening in Boston over the past few years include Arnold & Porter, Barnes & Thornburg, Fox Rothschild, Husch Blackwell and Withers. UK firms Clyde & Co and Allen & Overy have also set up shop there. 

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