Ballard Spahr Andrews & Ingersoll announced Monday that it is acquiring Atlanta-based intellectual property boutique Needle & Rosenberg.

The merger, approved Thursday, ends for Philadelphia-based Ballard Spahr what had become a 15-year search for an IP group, says Chairman Arthur Makadon. Needle & Rosenberg has 26 lawyers and seven other professionals. Of those lawyers, seven will join as partner. Not part of the deal is Needle’s one-lawyer San Diego office. “We stay away from single-person offices,” Makadon says.

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