When Gregory V. Novak, managing partner of Houston firm Novak Druce + Quigg, said partners in his firm and Connolly Bove Lodge & Hutz of Wilmington, Del., agreed in November to merge on Jan. 1, 2013, he predicted the combined intellectual property firm would open two new offices early in the new year.
That wasn’t idle talk. On the eve of Jan. 1, the day the two intellectual property firms formed Novak Druce Connolly Bove + Quigg, the seven lawyers at Boston’s Rissman Hendricks Oliverio joined Novak Druce to open its Boston office.
Novak says he’s been talking to the Rissman Hendricks lawyers for four or five months, and the deal happened to close at the time of the merger. “Through a variety of timing and other issues, it came to happen on Dec. 31. It was a long day,” he says.
Novak, who is based in Washington, D.C., says a Boston office is a good fit with the firm’s other offices. He says both legacy firms – Novak Druce and Connolly Bove – have been interested in Boston for a while.
The newly formed Novak Druce is headquartered in Houston, with close to 150 lawyers, has offices in Wilmington, San Francisco, Silicon Valley, Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., and West Palm Beach, Fla., in addition to the new Boston office.
Oliverio says he and the lawyers at his firm were interested in joining Novak Druce because the larger firm is well managed and “provides a bang for our clients’ buck.” He says lawyers from Novak Druce have worked as outside experts for litigation his former firm handled, and lawyers from the two firms have served as co-counsel in some IP matters.
“They have a very good breadth of practice that fits really well with our client base, and for them, this market here in New England is primarily a very high technology… market, and they have that depth of practice among their attorney ranks,” Oliverio says.
Oliverio says his group’s clients include Caterpillar Inc., but he declines to immediately identify others.
Novak Druce is likely to open another new office in 2013. “We are in discussions with some groups of lawyers for that office and we are also in preliminary talks with another small group or firm that would essentially lateral into one of our existing offices,” Novak says.
- Brenda Sapino Jeffreys