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Morgan, Lewis & Bockius has acquired the 35-lawyer New York firm Hopgood Calimafde Judlowe & Mondolino. The acquisition of Hopgood Calimafde, which specializes in patent litigation and intellectual property work, will bring Morgan Lewis’ New York attorney count to about 305 from 270. “The addition of the Hopgood lawyers significantly enhances our ability to meet strong client demand for sophisticated patent litigation experience,” said Francis M. Milone, chairman of Morgan Lewis, in a written statement. Stephen B. Judlowe, senior partner at Hopgood, said the firm, which has 11 partners and 24 associates, has been receiving merger offers from large general practice firms since the recession of early 1990s. According to Mr. Judlowe, the firm’s focus on patent work, which is resistant to economic downturns, made it an attractive partner for large general practice firms. Morgan Lewis was a good fit, Mr. Judlowe said, because Morgan had been building a strong practice group aimed at pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries, areas where Hopgood is also heavily focused. Philip Werner, Morgan Lewis’ New York-based managing partner for practice, said his firm had hatched a strategic plan two years ago that called for the establishment of a strong national patent litigation practice. Though Morgan looked at a handful of other firms, Mr. Werner said Hopgood was the only firm with which it conducted negotiations, starting last spring. Neither Mr. Judlowe or Mr. Werner would specify Hopgood’s profitability, though Mr. Judlowe said profits per partner were on the “high end” of what might be expected at a large, general practice firm. “I think that’s one of the attractions we have for them,” he said. Mr. Werner acknowledged that Hopgood’s profits per partner were “comparable” to those of Morgan Lewis, which were $705,000 last year. Headquartered in Philadelphia, Morgan Lewis has about 1,100 lawyers nationwide, of which 150 are involved in patent and intellectual property work. Hopgood Calimafde is a successor to the firm of Mitchell & Bechert, which was founded in the 19th century by Charles E. Mitchell, a former head of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. The firm, which has offices in the Lincoln Building across from Grand Central Station, will move into Morgan Lewis’ offices at 101 Park Avenue by March.

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