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San Francisco-based Brobeck, Phleger & Harrison is losing another partner, as intellectual property attorney Rodger Tate prepares to join Richmond, Va.-based Hunton & Williams next month. Tate was managing partner of Brobeck’s Washington, D.C., office until he submitted his resignation three weeks ago. With his departure, the D.C. office will have two IP associates. Brobeck lost nearly half the 24 partners in its IP group last week when practice head James Elacqua took 10 partners with him to New York’s Dewey Ballantine. The group included two Washington, D.C., partners, Cono Carrano and Anthony Shaw. Tate is the latest in a string of partners to resign from Brobeck. Since January, at least 48 other partners have left the firm, including 17 who went to London-based Clifford Chance. Tate said his decision to leave Brobeck was personal and unrelated to the departures of other partners. “I have a number of friends at Hunton & Williams that I used to practice with in other places,” Tate said. “So I’m getting back with them.” Prior to joining Brobeck two years ago, Tate spent eight years at Houston-based Baker Botts and 18 years with D.C.’s Banner & Witcoff. Asked if he would take others with him to Hunton & Williams, Tate said, “I don’t know for sure.” Brobeck opened its Washington, D.C., office in 1999 and later expanded into Reston, Va. When Tate joined Brobeck in September 2000, Legal Times, a Recorder affiliate, reported that the D.C. office had more than 40 lawyers. The firm’s D.C. and Reston offices together now have 14 attorneys. Despite the reduction in its ranks, Brobeck said the firm does not plan to close either outpost. “It’s on our short-term and long-term agenda to grow the Washington regional presence,” said Stephen Riddick, managing partner of the D.C. office. Brobeck may, of course, expand through a merger. The firm is rumored to be in serious talks with Washington, D.C.’s Hogan & Hartson. But Brobeck remained mum about whether it is contemplating marriage. “Brobeck has a very unique niche between Reston and D.C.,” said firm spokeswoman Mara Brazer. “It certainly would be attractive to a firm with other practices there.”

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