Six lawyers have left Patton Boggs to open a Dallas office for McGuireWoods, the firm said today, confirming reports last week about the moves.

Private equity attorneys Jon Finger, Akash Sethi, Kevin Boardman and David McLean, in addition to intellectual property lawyers Darren Collins and Robert Hilton, joined McGuireWoods. McLean said the lawyers sought a different way to grow business focused on midsized public companies.

“We thought it was too good to pass up,” McLean said of the job move in an interview Monday with The National Law Journal. “It really had nothing to do with Patton Boggs.”

The six depart Washington-based Patton Boggs at a time of financial turmoil, a possible merger and downsizing for that firm.

The group has yet to find office space and set up their individual phone systems. McLean, however, said McGuireWoods is working quickly to integrate the new team. Thomas Cabaniss, McGuireWoods’ managing partner, visited the Dallas group last week. And McLean said his email was available within five minutes of being on the clock at McGuireWoods. The private-equity lawyers started work last week, while the intellectual property lawyers began at McGuireWoods today.

The firm hasn’t determined yet who will be partner in charge of the office. McLean said the group has worked together for years, including when some served as associates together beginning in 2000 and moved to Patton Boggs about 10 years ago.

McLean declined to describe how the talks began with McGuireWoods.

“We’ve wanted to be in Dallas for a long time,” said McGuireWoods Chairman Richard Cullen in a statement Monday. “So we are delighted that this opportunity came along.”

Cabaniss, in the written statement, said the office will grow its number of attorneys “rapidly.”

Although McLean said the group hopes to increase its client roster, the lawyers also will continue to work with clients they’ve had for about a decade. It’s unclear what this will mean for attorneys still working in Patton Boggs’ Dallas office and their books of business.

McGuireWoods has more than 900 attorneys in 18 U.S. offices, including Houston and Austin, and offices in London and Brussels. The Austin office was its most recent addition, in January 2011.

Contact Katelyn Polantz at kpolantz@alm.com. On Twitter: @kpolantz.

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