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Eight corporate and litigation lawyers recently left Andrews Kurth in Austin and joined Fish & Richardson. The lawyers, who moved to Fish & Richardson’s Austin office in early July, include corporate principals Edward A. Cavazos, Kinloch Gill III and Steven M. Tyndall, and litigation principal J. Scott Denko. Denko says the lawyers moved to Fish & Richardson because of the firm’s strong intellectual property practice. That’s important to some of the group’s clients, he says, because many of them have IP assets. “AK is a nice firm, but it is not Fish & Richardson. It does not deal primarily with companies whose assets are intangible properties,” Denko says. “It makes it much easier for us, on the corporate side, to sell our services to our clients [because] we’ve partnered with the best IP lawyers in the business,” Gill says. The group’s clients include Staktek, Maine Root, Microwave Networks Inc., Mentor Graphics and Centennial Ventures. The other four Andrews Kurth lawyers who moved to Fish & Richardson include corporate of counsel Millicent Lundburg and Gavino Morin and associate Alfred Macdaniel Jr., and litigation associate Steven Lauff. Jennifer Williams Sloan, a corporate principal in Fish & Richardson in Dallas, moved to the Austin office. Also, Craig Jepson, a former professor at Franklin Pierce Law Center in New Hampshire, joined the firm in Austin as of counsel. Denko says Alan Albright, the managing principal of Fish & Richardson’s Austin office, approached him in May to talk about the move. Then, he says, “one thing led to another” and other lawyers he works with became interested in the firm. Albright did not return a telephone call seeking comment, but he says in a written statement that the group of lawyers brings a “wealth of experience and excellent clients to our firm.” With the additions, Boston-based Fish & Richardson has 20 lawyers in Austin and 49 in Dallas. Fish & Richardson, which has 380 lawyers firmwide, opened its Austin office in January 2005. Rex VanMiddlesworth, managing partner of Andrews Kurth’s Austin office, says he’s sorry to see the group of lawyers leave the firm, but he notes that Fish & Richardson is new in Austin and “making a big push to establish a presence.” VanMiddlesworth says 404-lawyer Andrews Kurth is aggressively trying to increase its lawyer count in Austin, where the firm currently has 30 lawyers. Significantly, he says, Ross Rommell Jr., who was head of the firm’s litigation section from 1997 through 2004, this month moved from the firm’s Houston headquarters to Austin. In August, VanMiddlesworth says, three other lawyers, including public law partner Kathryn Garner, plan to move from Houston to Austin. He says, “Our business is strong and our struggle is to just get enough folks to do what we need to do.”

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