Greg Novak’s job is about to get a lot busier—by about 100 percent. In January, Novak, 51, will become managing partner of newly created Novak Druce Connolly Bove + Quigg, a 125-attorney intellectual property superboutique formed by the merger of Wilmington, Del.-based Connolly Bove Lodge & Hutz and Houston-based Novak Druce + Quigg. The two firms, of about equal size, finalized their arrangements earlier this month and, as of January 1, will operate from offices in seven cities, including Los Angeles, San Francisco, Washington and West Palm Beach, Fla.
The National Law Journal spoke with Novak, who left Howrey in 2004 to start his own firm, about his new role. He discussed what the merger means for the two firms.
The National Law Journal: How much of your time do you spend practicing and how much do you spend managing?
Greg Novak: It’s about 50-50 now, but I’m hoping that the time [spent practicing] gets to be more.
NLJ: But you’ll be leading a firm double the size of your current one. How will that work?
Novak: We’ll have an expanded executive committee, so we’ll have enhanced practice management. Jeff Bove will be heavy in the client development side and Don Quigg will serve in an advisory position to the members of the executive committee.
NLJ: How much of your time do you spend traveling since the firms announced the merger?
Novak: I’m in the air three days a week.
NLJ: Consolidation usually means some redundancies of certain jobs. Do you expect any attorney or staff layoffs?
Novak: There’s always going to be attrition somewhere, but there is nothing like that planned.
NLJ: Why is bigger better for an intellectual property boutique?
Novak: We have to compete with general practice firms and bigger IP firms like Knobbe Martens. Most general practice firms just want to do just IP litigation. We can serve the entrepreneurial, start-up side. Clients are under a lot of pressure to consolidate. We need to be able to do it all.
NLJ: Why combine with Connolly Bove as opposed to some other IP firm?
Novak: They’re more heavily in pharma and chemical [patents]. Novak traditionally has been involved in electronics, communication and software. Also, they have a lot of cohesiveness. That’s one of the things that impressed us about the Connolly Bove side.
NLJ: What do you like best about your job?
Novak: Working with my partners. I like planning where we’re going to go next. I like trying to think creatively.
Contact Leigh Jones at firstname.lastname@example.org.