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Dewey lost a number of high-profile partners across the country in the run-up to the merger. Unrelated to the merger fallout, the firm’s East Palo Alto office also lost a group of IP litigators, headed by well-known IP lawyer James Elacqua, to Dechert at the beginning of last year.

Jeffrey Kessler, head of Dewey’s litigation practice, said partner Aldo Badini will relocate from New York to serve as acting managing partner.

“We are in it for the long haul in the Bay Area and are going to redouble our efforts to ensure that we grow and thrive,” Kessler said. “While we’ve had a bit of a rough patch this last year, these are only temporary setbacks. We wish Jeannine well.”

Henry Bunsow, Howrey managing partner for Northern California, said the “widely respected” Sano will be a key addition to the firm. He said she comes on board as part of a strategy to expand the firm in the Bay Area.

“Our expansion plan is to almost double in the next two to three years,” said Bunsow. “Jeannine just offers us additional proven senior-level talent to grow behind.”

The firm recently added an antitrust partner, David Stewart from RealNetworks, to its San Francisco office.

Sano is the second Dewey IP partner to join Howrey in recent months. Cono Carrano, a friend of Sano and the other co-head of the IP litigation practice group at Dewey, joined the firm’s Washington, D.C., office last month.

“It’s always nice to work with your friends,” Sano said.

She’ll also be working near most of her old colleagues. The two firms work out of the same building in East Palo Alto: Howrey’s office is on the fourth floor and Dewey’s is on the fifth.