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Duane Morris has added three new partners in an effort to expand its litigation and real estate practice groups in Philadelphia. Steven L. Friedman, former co-chairman of Dilworth Paxson’s litigation department, Tuesday joined Duane Morris’ trial practice group. His focus is on corporate and commercial litigation, including patent and trademark infringement. And George Kroculick and Drew Kapur, with a practice focus on eminent domain, condemnation, highway access management and control and relocation assistance, on Monday joined Duane Morris’ Philadelphia office in its real estate practice group, coming from Ballard Spahr Andrews & Ingersoll. According to vice chairman of Duane Morris, John J. Soroko, the relationship with Friedman is mutually beneficial, as Friedman is bringing over a number of corporate litigation clients, and Duane Morris is offering Friedman additional clients with business and corporate needs. Friedman has strong ties to Israel, including being a close friend and personal adviser of former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. “There’s very good business development opportunities because of a lot of his individual contacts in Israel and elsewhere,” Soroko said. Friedman said he is looking to build that international presence and, although he had great opportunities to do that in his 33 years at Dilworth Paxson, he said some of his newest ventures would require the resources provided by the larger Duane Morris. “It’s not a quality issue,” Friedman said about why he switched firms. “It’s a breadth and depth issue.” Friedman said he may be getting involved with a major construction venture in Israel that would require that breadth and depth, including international financing, construction and real estate expertise. Friedman also said he needs a pretty broad intellectual property firm for his work in that practice area as well as to support the needs of his business clients. Friedman said, “Duane has a very substantial group of IP lawyers.” Friedman has represented both plaintiffs and defendants in corporate takeovers and trade secret litigation. According to Friedman he had mixed emotions about his move and leaving the only job he had since law school, other than a clerkship. The move came when a close law school friend of his moved to Duane Morris’ New York office, and told him about his experience with the firm. Friedman said he called another friend, and former adversary in a case, Soroko, in June and told him he might be thinking about making a move. Dilworth Paxson managing partner Stephen Harmelin said it’s never easy to see someone you have worked with for over 30 years leave. “He is continuing to grow the international aspect of his practice,” Harmelin said. Friedman said he is excited about the international capabilities Duane Morris presents, with its New York and London offices. He said that he has friends and colleagues in places he was not able to make use of in the past. Kroculick and Kapur represent mainly commercial property owners including oil companies, retailers, shopping malls and hotels. David I. Haas, a long-time partner in Duane Morris’ real estate practice group, said eminent domain issues were not something that the firm previously handled in great detail. “They’re another layer of expertise that we can add,” Haas said of Kroculick and Kapur. Kroculick was the co-chair of Ballard Spahr’s eminent domain/condemnation group in the firm’s Voorhees, N.J., office. Kapur was an associate there, making this move a jump for him to partner. Haas said that the pair will be bringing over a number of large public companies that have a real estate presence in New Jersey, Pennsylvania and elsewhere. The 12 members of Duane Morris’ Philadelphia real estate practice group is double what it was just a few month ago, Haas said. The firm has been adding several different lateral hires, some just in October, he said. Haas said that with the amount of development in this area, particularly involving public-private partnerships, as well as the recent Supreme Court case on eminent domain, Kroculick and Kapur’s expertise will definitely be put to use. Arthur Makadon, chairman of Ballard Spahr, said he thinks they found a better place to expand their practice. “The [real estate] practice here was not really part of our mainstream practice,” he said. These additions come shortly after Duane Morris acquired San Francisco firm Hancock Rothert & Bunshoft. At that time, firm chairman Sheldon Bonovitz said the firm was looking to balance its nearly 300 litigators, and would look to acquire firms with transactional, corporate, intellectual property and health care backgrounds. The three additions could be seen as part of the firm’s “dual track” approach at growth, in which it will continue to add laterals and practice groups while it is still looking for quality merger prospects, Bonovitz previously said.

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