(couresy photo)

Vorys, Sater, Seymour and Pease beefed up its patent strength with a four-lawyer group that joined the Midwest-based firm’s Houston office after leaving McDermott Will & Emery.

Carey Jordan, Iona Kaiser and Jeremy Harrison joined Vorys on Wednesday as partners, and Donna Haynes joined as of counsel.

Jordan said they made the move to benefit their clients because Vorys is a regional firm with a track record of “excellent service” and the structure to allow them to charge lower billing rates. “This gives us an opportunity to really be that creative solution,” Jordan said.

Steve Browning.

Stephen Browning, managing partner of the Vorys office in Houston, said the firm has been looking for a while to grow strategically in Houston in the IP arena, and the laterals are a good fit for the firm. They do patent prosecution, IP portfolio management, transactional patent matters and IP litigation.

“It’s almost like a Kismet puzzle,” Jordan said. “We exactly fit into their strategic growth plan and they were exactly what we wanted.”

Browning said a legal search firm introduced them to the IP group a couple of months ago, but they quickly discovered they had many common relationships, including mutual clients. Jordan declined to identify the clients she and her group brought with them to Vorys, but she said 90 percent of them have already signed transfer letters.

With the four lateral hires, Vorys has 20 lawyers in Houston. The firm’s other offices are in Columbus, Cleveland, Cincinnati and Akron, Ohio; Pittsburgh; and Washington, D.C. Vorys opened its Houston office in 2009.

Steven Spears, partner-in-charge of the McDermott office in Houston, said, “We wish our former partners the best.”