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Breaking up is hard to do. But one can always use the reliable Seinfeldian refrain: “It’s not you, it’s me.” Just ask past and present Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney partner Brian O’Shaughnessy. On Nov. 3, Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice chirpily announced O’Shaughnessy’s addition as a partner in their Tysons Corner, Va., intellectual property office. O’Shaughnessy expressed similar enthusiasm. “I am delighted to be able to use my skills and experience to help Womble Carlyle’s clients,” O’Shaughnessy said in Womble’s press release. But not everything was copacetic. O’Shaughnessy says that throughout the process, he was never sure of his decision. “It was something where I pursued an opportunity that looked great,” he says.”When I left Buchanan I realized that I was leaving behind relationships that I’d formed and realized I didn’t want to go.” O’Shaughnessy started at Womble the day after Halloween, never spent a moment there practicing law, and was gone before the end of the week. (Actually, it appears he cleared out at about the same time Womble was touting his hire.) O’Shaughnessy returned to his position as co-chairman of Buchanan’s pharmaceutical practice. “We treated it as [if] I’d never left,” he says. For its part, Womble is also publicly taking a “not that there’s anything wrong with that” approach. Jonathan Groner, a spokesman for Womble, says, “We regard him as an excellent attorney, and we respect his decision to return to his previous firm.”
Nathan Carlile can be contacted at [email protected].

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