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BCG News 06/02/10


Former Kirkland & Ellis Partner Purchases 4,500 Patents and Creates A New Firm To Protect Them
Former litigation partner at Kirkland & Ellis, John Desmarais, has purchased 4,500 patents and has created a new law firm in order to sue those who infringe on those patents. He is also helping clients sue to enforce their own patents.

BCG News 06/02/10

Desmarais' new firm will open today, June 1st, in New York, and has a roster of three lawyers. Desmarais expects that the firm will have hired a total of 12 lawyers by the year's end.

''It fills a market niche that doesn't exist right now in legal services,'' Desmarais says of his new firm, which will represent a company that owns patents as opposed to goods.

The firm will also offer alternative-fee arrangements such as fixed-fees and contingent fees, according to Desmarais. Some analysts predict this form of fee structure will become more prevalent in the years to come.

Chicago-Based Sonnenschein Nath & Rosenthal To Merge With London Firm
Chicago-based Sonnenschein Nath & Rosenthal is merging with the London-based Denton Wilde Sapte. The merger will create a global business with a roster of more than 1,300 lawyers. The merger is indicative of a trend in Chicago law firms seeking to extend their practices internationally.

The combined entity will be called SNR Denton. It comes after Washington's Hogan & Hartson's merger with London-based Lovells, which took place earlier in May and Chicago-based Mayer Brown's expansion into Asia in 2007.

The deal will give Sonnenchein access to the legal markets of Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Partners will either approve of or disapprove of the merger on June 9. Should it occur, the merger would double Sonnenchein's size and give it more resources to put towards hiring, marketing and cross-border legal work.

Insurance Specialist Firm Plans Move To Park Avenue
New York-based law firm Hargraves McConnell & Costigan, an insurance specialist law firm, has moved from the Graybar building at 420 Lexington Avenue to 230 Park Avenue, signing a 10 year-lease for a space of 10,000 square feet.

Landlord Monday Properties will build out the space in time for the firm's move in the fall.

''230 Park Avenue is an excellent building for law firms because of the flexible layouts we can design for private offices as well as open areas,'' said Brian Robin, CEO of Monday Properties. ''The turnkey quality we offer is exceptional. The Hargraves law firm will enjoy highly improved space and unparalleled Park Avenue views, just steps from Grand Central.''

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