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Howrey has lured away the managing partner of Dewey Ballantine’s shrinking Silicon Valley office, another aftershock of the New York firm’s failed merger with Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe. Jeannine Yoo Sano, who also co-chaired Dewey’s IP litigation practice group, began working at Howrey’s office in East Palo Alto in May. Sano says she was drawn to Howrey because of the depth of its IP practice. The 630-lawyer firm, based in Washington, D.C., focuses on IP, antitrust and global litigation. Sano’s list of clients includes Rambus Inc. and Intel Corp. Sano, who headed Dewey’s Silicon Valley office since its inception in 2002, says Howrey offered a “much larger team and a much larger playground.” Dewey’s Silicon Valley office, which at its height had about 25 lawyers, has recently shrunk to eight attorneys, including just one partner, according to the firm’s Web site. Sano says the failed merger talks with Orrick earlier this year were a factor in that. “As a result of the merger talks, there were some opportunities that got offered to people,” says Sano, noting the recent departure of a few associates. “It probably affected this office more than others because it’s so small.” 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, says 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,” says Kessler. “While we’ve had a bit of a rough patch this last year, these are only temporary setbacks.” Sano is the second IP partner from Dewey to join Howrey in recent months. Cono Carrano, the other co-head of Dewey’s IP litigation group, joined the firm’s Washington office earlier in the year. For her part, Sano will be working near most of her old colleagues. Dewey and Howrey work out of the same building in East Palo Alto � only one floor apart. Zusha Elinson covers law firm matters at The Recorder, which publishes IP Magazine.

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