Midsize firm Cole Schotz, which has maintained a small outpost in Dallas since 2014, has more than doubled its size there with the addition of a four-lawyer intellectual property group.
The IP lawyers, led by partners Aaron Davidson and Gary Sorden, joined Cole Schotz’s Dallas office on Monday. They came from Klemchuk LLP, a small firm in Dallas that handles IP, litigation, technology and international business work.
Associates Brian King and Tim Craddock also joined Cole Schotz in Dallas, boosting the office to six lawyers. The firm also has two lawyers in Fort Worth, led by bankruptcy partner Michael Warner.
James Walker, a Cole Schotz partner who opened the Dallas office in 2014, said Davidson and Sorden are not only skilled litigators but “some of the nicest guys you will meet.”
“They have a lot of experience in the courtroom. They’ve picked a lot of juries, argued hearings and appeals—the kind of trial lawyers and practitioners we are really looking to build the office with,” Walker said.
Sorden said he and Davidson had decided recently that they needed to move their practice to a larger firm, and they were attracted to Cole Schotz’s roster of talented attorneys and its national reach.
The New Jersey-based firm has been in Texas since 2010, when it opened the Fort Worth office. Walker, who joined the firm in Fort Worth in 2013, launched the Dallas office the next year.
Cole Schotz has more than 135 lawyers in offices in New Jersey, New York, Delaware, Maryland, Florida and Texas.
“We had been exploring options for a little while,” Davidson said about their decision to join Cole Schotz. “It really was the people here that we were introduced to that resonated with us. We liked the firm we were at. We liked working together. This was really a cultural fit, first and foremost.”
Darin Klemchuk, managing partner of Klemchuk, did not immediately return a telephone message.
Davidson said he and Sorden met at Klemchuk, which they both joined four years ago, and built an IP group there. He said they plan to expand the IP team in Dallas.
Davidson, whose practice includes IP and commercial litigation, spent 17 years at Baker Botts and then a few months at Dallas’ Munck Wilson Mandala before joining Klemchuk in 2015. Sorden practiced at Thompson & Knight, Farney Daniels and Braxton Hilton & Perrone before moving to Klemchuk.
Sorden said their IP litigation clients include EyeTalk365, GeigTech East Bay and Dynastudy.
Walker said Cole Schotz is looking to build the Dallas office by adding lawyers in practice groups that mirror the firm, including real estate, corporate, estate planning and tax but will grow conservatively. “Time will tell. There’s no pressure,” he said.
“For Dallas, we wanted to come into the market and get settled. We wanted to make sure it’s going to make sense. I’ve been delighted with my five years with the firm,” Walker said.
Cole Schotz isn’t trying to be like the Big Law firms that have launched Texas offices and grew quickly, he said.
“You look at some of the growth that’s going on, and you have to wonder, with the cost structures, how sustainable that’s going to be in two to three years in some of those deals,” Walker said.