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The Philadelphia office of intellectual property firm Woodcock Washburn has added a new litigation partner. David Wolfsohn, former shareholder at litigation boutique Hangley Aronchick Segal & Pudlin, will concentrate his practice on intellectual property litigation including patents, copyrights and trade secrets. Wolfsohn is a longtime friend of Woodcock Washburn management committee member Steven J. Rocci, who discussed with Wolfsohn the firm’s plans to expand its litigation profile, Wolfsohn said. Rocci said talks with Wolfsohn have been going on “for some time,” as he and his colleagues have gotten to know Wolfsohn on a social basis, including just riding the train together. Woodcock Washburn has been looking to expand beyond patent litigation, and Wolfsohn’s experience in copyright and trade secret litigation, along with licensing disputes, fits into that strategy, Wolfsohn said. “He’s different from the rest of us,” Rocci said. “He’s a patent lawyer with a focus in commercial litigation.” Wolfsohn said some of his clients are following him over to Woodcock Washburn, including those involved in the pharmaceutical and insurance industries, to name a few. Rocci would not comment on what that business would mean to his bottom line, except to say that it is substantial. “He’s a heavy hitter at Hangley,” Michael Coleman of Coleman Legal Search said. “He developed a very meaningful practice by Hangley standards.” Although he practices patent litigation, Wolfsohn’s new position will focus mainly on nonpatent issues, he said. Rocci said the firm is looking to expand into more non-traditional intellectual property issues that include commercial areas touching on intellectual property, such as bankruptcy, antitrust, contracts and indemnification. “They are a big deal if you’re looking to be a full-service IP firm,” he said. Wolfsohn’s parting with Hangley Aronchick — his ties to the firm date back to when it was Hangley Connelly and it’s the only firm he has ever worked for since law school — was on the best of terms, he said. “I was looking at this stage in my career to both specialize more on intellectual property litigation and develop a group of intellectual property attorneys to do that,” Wolfsohn said. Woodcock Washburn is expanding in the exact areas where Wolfsohn wants to take his practice, he said. That expansion is not only in the form of head count, but geographically as well. The firm opened a Seattle office five years ago at the request of its client Microsoft, and just this past May it opened an Atlanta office in order to service the Southeastern portion of the country. The firm’s efforts in expanding its platform was something that drew Wolfsohn to the firm, he said. “This presents opportunities for me to bring my practice to a national arena,” he said. “They have a national reputation as an intellectual property firm.” According to Bill Hangley, CEO of Hangley Aronchick, Wolfsohn will have something to bring to that arena as well. “I’m confident that David is going to continue to be a very substantial business-getter,” Hangley said. “David over the years became more specialized in the intellectual property area than he started out being.” Wolfsohn said he definitely evolved into practicing intellectual property. Hangley Aronchick is a litigation generalist, he said, and while there he worked on cases ranging from contract disputes to protests during the Republican national convention in Philadelphia. “I got great training because they do such a broad variety of litigation stuff,” he said. Hangley said he is confident that his firm’s intellectual property practice will continue to thrive, although he admits no one remains as specialized as Wolfsohn. He said he is not opposed to adding new practice areas, but the firm is very careful in adding lateral hires. Woodcock Washburn is moving closer to the 100-lawyer mark between its three offices. The firm’s Philadelphia office has approximately 70 attorneys, the Seattle office has nine, and there are four attorneys in its Atlanta office. The Philadelphia office will move next year into the Cira Centre across from 30th Street Station — where it will occupy 108,000 square feet as opposed to the 80,000 it currently has at One Liberty Place. According to firm representatives, that space can hold approximately 120 attorneys.

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