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Minneapolis-based Dorsey & Whitney has inked a deal to acquire San Francisco IP boutique Flehr Hohbach Test Albritton & Herbert, the two firms announced Thursday. The 27-attorney Flehr Hohbach said the merger would enable the firm to provide clients with a broader range of services. Founded in 1947, the firm has been a fixture in the San Francisco IP community. “We thought over the long term the trend was going to be [for IP firms] to move toward full service,” said Flehr Hohbach partner Robin Silva. “We began looking for a firm that provides full service” with a focus on IP and technology. Dorsey has 120 attorneys active in intellectual property issues. News of the imminent merger came to light earlier in the week when Flehr Hohbach partner Donald MacIntosh filed suit against his colleagues, claiming he was being mistreated because he declined to go along with the deal. The merger expands Dorsey’s IP capabilities and gives the 750-attorney firm a presence in the Bay Area. With the addition of Flehr Hohbach’s San Francisco and Palo Alto, Calif., offices, Dorsey has 22 offices worldwide. The firm also has a 10-attorney outpost in Costa Mesa, Calif. “The merger makes us one of the premier IP firms in the country,” said Dorsey partner Craig Diviney. It also gives the firm a presence in Northern California, “which we believe will continue to be the leading high-tech place in the world.” Diviney said his firm had been looking at expanding into Northern California for a while but Flehr Hohbach was “the first legitimate opportunity” to come along. Flehr Hohbach attorneys are now operating under the Dorsey & Whitney name. MacIntosh is the only partner who declined to join Dorsey. He filed suit in San Francisco Superior Court April 29, claiming partners were throwing him out of his office upon completion of the merger. He sought a 120-day transition period in which he would retain use of his office, support services and insurance coverage. Judge James McBride denied his request for a temporary restraining order April 30. Silva said Flehr Hohbach attorneys are working out a deal that will enable MacIntosh to transition out of the firm. “But four months is impractical,” she said. “Flehr as an entity is not going to renew its insurance malpractice for that long.” Nine Flehr Hohbach partners will be joining Dorsey as partners and two as of counsel. Silva said name partner Harold Hohbach is retiring from the firm.

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