The “vast majority” of lawyers and staff from Houston-based IP boutique Novack Druce Connolly Bove & Quigg will be absorbed into the fast-growing Polsinelli, according to recent reports by The American Lawyer.
Polsinelli chairman and CEO Russell Welsh told The American Lawyer that acquisition by Polsinelli, which currently has just over 700 attorneys, will enhance their already “robust IP practice,” especially in the burgeoning area of post-grant patent reviews (as quoted in The American Lawyer).
Novak Druce, which had 140 attorneys in 2012, has been losing “a stream of partners to competitors,” The American Lawyer reports, including Drinker Biddle, Reed Smith, and Dykema Gossett. This mirrors the ongoing trend for intellectual property boutiques in the recent years, many of which have been struggling and have since been absorbed into or have had partners taken by mid-sized, full-service firms like Polsinelli.
Ranked the fast-growing firm for the seventh year in the row, Polsinelli has experienced continued success in their expansion efforts, with revenue rising 11.4 percent in 2015 (The American Lawyer). Their now-proven strategy is to concentrate growth in low overhead markets in order to compete for health care work and other “price-sensitive assignments.” Todd Dickinson of Novack Druce’s executive committee agrees with their method, telling The American Lawyer that Polsinelli utilizes a “Midwest sensibility about rates that’s client friendly.”
Innovative strategies are necessary for continued firm growth in the corporate legal market, according to a recent article from The American Lawyer. William Henderson and Evan Parker report that due to decades of organic growth, when law firms simply grew with their clients, the “supply of capable outside counsel [now] exceeds demand,” requiring firms to consider a new, focused approach for future expansion.
They posit that the Am Law 200 firms are now forced to grow solely by taking the market share. Henderson and Parker believe that focus is key to successfully doing so, quoting the approach that Apple’s Steve Jobs took of “starting with the customer experience and working backwards to the technology.” They encourage law firms to act similarly by exploring their particular niche and studying their existing clients in order to effectively take the market share.
The article also broke down market size by practice area, and found that “the largest market is the one most synonymous with large-firm practice: antitrust, corporate, securities, finance, and insurance”–essentially, the commercial world.
Henderson and Parker use the $15 billion labor and employment market as a case study to illustrate Jobs’ focused approach, attributing the L&E firms success to “working backwards from the needs of the client” in order to build “an ark that won’t sink.”