Connolly Bove is also said by knowledgeable sources in Delaware to have been hurt by a reduction in patent litigation by one of its biggest clients, drugmaker Pfizer. The firm had represented Pfizer in a number of patent litigation lawsuits, including multiple cases against companies allegedly attempting to infringe upon the compounds used in the cholesterol-lowering drug Lipitor, which has generated $1.2 billion in sales since its 1996 approval, according to data from Pfizer's website.
Connolly Bove served as lead counsel for Pfizer in a number of high-profile disputes, which have occurred in federal courts throughout the country since the late 1990s.
A partner at one major Delaware firm told DLW that he thought Pfizer was pleased with Connolly Bove's work, which resulted in several key victories for the company. However, there was no longer a need for the amount of litigation previously generated by Lipitor since the drug's patent expired in November 2011, allowing generic drug manufacturers to replicate the product's compounds. Furthermore, the price of the generic drug dropped to the same price of other generics, which is usually cheaper than the name brand, on May 31. The price reduction is expected to result in generic drugmakers flooding the market with their versions.
In fact, the last major litigation stemming from the Lipitor patents was a March settlement reached between Pfizer and generic manufacturer Apotex Pharmachem Inc., which was negotiated by Connolly Bove.
Meanwhile, in Delaware, Connolly Bove's business practice group was said to have been hit hard by the defections of Seitz and Brady. Although neither attorney's exact book of business could be learned, it is known that the attorneys took several clients with them to their new firms.
Seitz, who spent 30 years at Connolly Bove, left the firm in the spring of 2011, along with two other Connolly Bove partners: David Ross and Bradley Aronstam. The partners launched their own boutique commercial litigation firm, Seitz Ross Aronstam & Moritz.
Brady joined Eckert Seamans Cherin & Mellott earlier this year, after seven years at Connolly Bove. During his time at Connolly Bove, he chaired the firm's business law group and the information security, electronic discovery and records management group.
Sources have also said the firm has already been impacted by the possibility of a reduced workload for Hutz, who turned 74 in February and is considered by many to be a legend in the world of intellectual property litigation.