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Venable to acquire New York-based IP firm

A New York City-based intellectual property firm will join Venable LLP, creating one of the largest IP groups in the country, Venable announced Tuesday.

Venable’s deal with Fitzgerald, Cella, Harper & Scinto is expected to close Nov. 1, at which point Venable will have 175 lawyers in its IP practice and approximately 800 lawyers in all, according to the firm. Brendan J. McCormick, a Venable spokesperson, said lawyers from the firms first worked together a few years ago when Fitzpatrick partnered with Venable’s product liability team in Baltimore to represent a pharmaceutical company.

Conversations about a merger picked up last fall, McCormick said. The two firms have “complimentary” IP practices, he added, with Fitzpatrick having a strong patent prosecution team but doing a little less work with trademarks, for example.

“This allows us to compete more strongly in IP and compete more strongly in New York City,” McCormick said. “They are looking forward to the opportunity to introduce their clients to Venable’s services.”

Stu Ingis, Venable’s chairman, said in a statement the addition of Fitzpatrick would “benefit our client base requiring broader IP support.”

“We are very pleased to welcome such an elite group of lawyers with a long-standing and sophisticated client base,” he said. “Fitzpatrick has been one of the top IP firms in the country for nearly 50 years.”

Founded in 1971, Fitzpatrick has additional offices in Los Angeles and Washington, D.C. It has more than 90 litigation attorneys and a practice that handles cases before the International Trade Commission. The firm’s international client base includes Fortune 500 companies and start-ups.

“While we have been incredibly successful on our own, this deal creates a synergy that we couldn’t pass up,” said Dominick Conde, chair of Fitzpatrick’s management committee, in a statement. “As a result, the firm will be able to extend its dedication to clients to more areas and is an excellent fit of people and practices of two outstanding firms.”

Venable’s roster in New York will grow to more than 160 lawyers, making it one of the larger firms in the city. Venable’s and Fitzpatrick’s offices are across West 51st Street from each other, and the firms will remain in their locations for at least a few years until their existing leases expire, McCormick said.

As for any future acquisitions, McCormick said Venable will maintain its strategy of “deliberate growth and expansion driven by our clients’ needs.”

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