Bill Samuels ()
Amid rapid growth in New York City’s technology market, New Jersey-based intellectual property boutique Scarinci Hollenbeck announced Wednesday an expansion of its offerings through its combination with three-lawyer shop W.R. Samuels Law.
The New York-based boutique was founded in 2010 by William “Bill” Samuels, who joins Scarinci Hollenbeck as chair of its copyright and trademark law group. The merger, effective as of Oct. 1, also sees W.R. Samuels associates John Laurence and Iva Rukelj, as well as its paralegal Kathleen Gorman join Scarinci Hollenbeck’s office in Times Square, one that opened in 2015.
The tie-up between the two firms was a nearly a year in the making, said Scarinci Hollenbeck executive director Russell Ascher. The Lyndhurst, New Jersey-based firm had just acquired five-lawyer entertainment IP shop Bienstock & Michael, but was still missing a strong IP presence in the Big Apple.
After Scarinci Hollenbeck hired Baker & Hostetler partner David Einhorn in March as chair of its technology practice in New York, Ascher reconnected with Samuels about the specific goal of building out a an IP boutique-like practice to offer patent and trademark services to a broad client base in the city.
“We feel like right now, in New York, tech is really exploding,” Ascher said. “We’re situated in a great area where there are a lot of tech firms that are opening up and expanding.”
Ascher, whose firm relied on Millennium Executive Consulting Inc. recruiter Carol Hayden in New York to help orchestrate the tie-up with Samuels’ firm, said that Scarinci Hollenbeck is focused on getting work from start-ups that might not be able to go to larger law firms. One way to do that is by offering more competitive billing rates and personalized service, while having a wide variety of practice offerings that can benefit these budding companies.
“We’re just trying to offer services to assist them in their initial grow and try to get on board right at the beginning of the formation of these new companies,” Ascher said.
It was this build out of Scarinci Hollenbeck’s IP practice combined with the platform and resources of a full-service firm that enticed Samuels to give up control of his own firm.
“One of the things that kind of excited me about this opportunity is the chance to keep doing our thing in this better, greater structure,” said Samuels, who described his practice as “industry agnostic” working with a wide array of clients, including fashion designers and retailers for technology companies.
The addition of W.R. Samuels also gives Scarinci Hollenbeck its first outpost on the West Coast, as the latter will absorb Samuels’ San Francisco office, which serves clients in the Bay Area and Silicon Valley. Samuels said he will split his time between developing the New York practice for his new firm, as well as create a foothold for its potential expansion in California.
“We’re going to try to expand into Southern California,” said Ascher, noting that Scarinci Hollenbeck sees future growth opportunities in the Golden State.