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Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney’s Alexandria, Va., office picked up more than the 48 attorneys when the firm acquired intellectual property boutique Burns, Doane, Swecker & Mathis in 2005. The acquisition also brought serious client conflicts, which has now resulted in a gain of six IP lawyers for Crowell & Moring’s D.C. office. When it comes to Buchanan’s IP clients, new Crowell partner E. Joseph Gess says, “We were kind of running into each other.” Gess previously headed Buchanan’s Alexandria and Silicon Valley offices. He estimates that more than 30 clients and about 6,500 active patent prosecution matters were moved to Crowell. Gess, who was partner-in-charge of Burns, Doane when it joined with Buchanan, and Teresa Stanek Rea, also formerly with Burns, Doane, led the move. Rea was previously chairwoman of Buchanan’s biotechnology practice, and she is president-elect of the American Intellectual Property Law Association. Gess and Rea chose Crowell, Gess says, because friends there spoke highly of the firm’s now-55-lawyer IP practice. Buchanan’s CEO, Thomas VanKirk, says he had been discussing the client problems with Gess and Rea for three months, but he says the decision to leave was ultimately theirs. Clients represented by the departed group include Chevron, Johns Manville, Breckenridge Pharmaceutical, Elan Pharmaceuticals, and XenoPort. VanKirk says Gess’ work for Chevron had spurred “two or three separate conflict issues” with other Buchanan clients who compete with the energy company. Also joining are partner Melissa Hayworth and associates Asaf Batelman, Mary Bram, and Deborah Yellin. Crowell also picked up C. Randolph Ross from Buchanan’s Philadelphia office.
Marisa McQuilken can be contacted at [email protected].

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