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The stream of intellectual property partners heading from Woodcock Washburn to Cozen O’Connor continued as patent attorney Michael P. Straher brings his chemistry skills to a practice group that already has added 10 partners this year. Patent agent Daniel M. Scolnick is also making the move with Straher. The Woodcock to Cozen pipeline between the Philadelphia-based firms began this spring with trademark partners Camille Miller, Laura Miller and Brian Urban and continued in late summer when patent prosecution partners Doreen Trujillo, Mark DeLuca, Paul Legaard and Gwilym Attwell came aboard. Urban, Legaard and Attwell joined as junior partners while the firm added another junior member, Scott Schwartz, from Intel Corp. in California this past June. In addition, three associates recently have moved into the group. Straher, who joined Cozen this month, came on board as a senior partner. Straher is friendly with all of the Woodcock �migr�s, and sources said he considered making the move with his fellow patent lawyers this summer but was torn and decided to stay. One factor that played a key role in his ultimate decision to join Cozen O’Connor was the opportunity to eventually work out of the firm’s New York office. Straher lives in North Jersey and commutes to Philadelphia. Woodcock does not have a New York office but Cozen does and, Straher said that the firm promised him that he can eventually move up to that office at least part time to be closer to family and shorten his commute. “Mike and I are close friends so we talk all the time,” said DeLuca, who, along with Camille Miller, is co-chairman of Cozen’s IP practice. “We have dinner together as much as I have dinner with my wife. So if Mike chose to join another firm, we would still be good friends. Part of the goal I have is to practice with people I like, so I’m glad he joined us. And as a chemist, he gives us another discipline that we didn’t have with biochemistry and [organic] chemistry.” DeLuca said that the firm would still like to add expertise in electrical engineering, computer science and mechanical engineering but that it will focus on filling out its needs in the Philadelphia office before adding IP lawyers to Cozen’s other sites. “This is not as much about me leaving Woodcock as it is about me joining Cozen,” Straher said. “Cozen has a large client base, and I think there will be some synergies there [in terms of cross-marketing].” Woodcock Washburn partner John Caldwell, chairman of the patent prosecution and counseling practice group, said he will miss Straher but understands and respects his reasons for leaving the firm for Cozen. As for the eight lawyers — six of whom were Woodcock Washburn partners — who left for Cozen this year, Caldwell said it could be partly attributed to a change in management and management structure. Woodcock Washburn now has a five-person executive committee that wields more power than the previous management body. The firm also has instituted established practice groups to focus on specific areas and has a less rigid compensation structure. Caldwell said the firm used to determine compensation almost entirely based on billable hours but now incorporates rainmaking and contributions to the firm such as management and training. “I think when management has more power, other partners have less autonomy, and that doesn’t always appeal to everyone,” Caldwell said. Caldwell said Woodcock has brought in Janet Reed, Alfred Zaher and Bruce George from Saul Ewing in the past year as well as added partner Jeff King to its Seattle office and two lateral associates this fall. He said any thought that the firm was getting out of the trademark side of the practice after the Millers’ departure is dead wrong. “We were practicing trademark law long before the Millers arrived, and we’ll be practicing it long after,” Caldwell said. “We’ve added some good people this year, and we think things are moving along nicely for us.” Straher earned his undergraduate degree in chemistry from Brooklyn College in 1979, his doctorate in biochemistry from the Graduate School of the City University of New York in 1987 and his law degree from the University of Miami Law School in 1991. He began his legal career at Finnegan Henderson in Washington, D.C., before joining Woodcock in 1993. He handles patent prosecution and counseling for a variety of clients.

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