Less than a week after opening a Boston operation, Pierce Bainbridge Beck Price & Hecht announced the addition of a pair of life sciences partners from Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel in New York.
Kramer Levin life sciences chair Brian Slater and partner Greg Sephton are joining the litigation boutique’s Manhattan office, which first opened last spring.
“We were looking for a place that was innovative [and] forward-thinking,” said Slater, a veteran patent litigator who will chair the rapidly expanding firm’s life sciences practice.
“In the practice of law, if you stand still you fall behind, so we were looking for a place that truly understands that concept and is willing to invest in technology,” Slater added.
The duo joined Kramer Levin in 2015 after practicing for over two decades at New York intellectual property firm Fitzpatrick, Cella, Harper & Scinto, which completed a merger in November with Venable after nearly 50 years in business.
Both Slater and Sephton have built practices over the decades specializing in all aspects of patent litigation, as well as IP strategy. The pair have taken on leading roles in high-stakes biotechnology and pharmaceutical IP litigation for high-profile clients including AstraZeneca, Gilead, Merck, and Sanofi.
The relative lack of traditional overhead law firm costs at Pierce Bainbridge, which has a lighter office footprint and leaner staffing model than most firms, was a big attraction, Sephton said.
“The way they’re approaching the business of law is going to benefit us and our clients,” Sephton said. “We’re not working in a marble palace, but we’re not sacrificing quality at all.”
First founded as Pierce Sergenian in early 2017 by former K&L Gates and Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan partner John Pierce, the young litigation shop has rapidly expanded across the country and undergone several name changes in the process.
The Los Angeles-based firm set up shop in New York last spring, bringing on solo practitioner James Bainbridge and several other lawyers. Over the year, it added several more partners in New York, including former Davis Polk & Wardwell’s Patrick Bradford as well as the head of Baker & Hostetler’s New York class action practice, Deborah Renner.
Just last week, the firm announced the addition of Baker & Hostetler’s national appellate practice co-chair,Thomas Warren, as well as the launch of its new Boston office.
“Most of the work that [Sephton] and I are currently doing is with clients based in the Boston area,” Slater said.
The duo plans on working with its newly formed office, led by Murphy & King lateral addition Ted Folkman and former Ropes & Gray and Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison associate Conor McDonough to improve and increase its clientele among Beantown’s booming life sciences sector.
“It’s a natural fit for us,” Slater said.