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Enhancing the brand: US IP specialist launches in London

One of the strongest intellectual property firms in the US, Washington DC-based Finnegan Henderson Farabow Garrett & Dunner, has launched an office in the highly competitive London market in a bid to strengthen its European patent practice.

The launch follows the closure of the firm’s Brussels practice announced in August, which will officially shut down early next year once the logistics of transferring to London have been finalised.

Two partners have relocated from Brussels to London to set up shop at 16 Old Bailey – previously home to litigation shop Quinn Emanuel, while a further lateral hire is set to join in January 2014.

London managing partner and former managing partner of Finnegan’s Brussels office, Anthony Tridico (pictured), is heading the office, joined by partner Martin Hyden, who joined Finnegan in 2010 from Rouse & Co where he headed its UK patents practice. The firm aims to grow the team to around 20 patent attorneys and lawyers.

Tridico said: ‘We are thrilled to announce the opening of our London office. We are focused on the expansion of our European patent practice and having a strong presence in London is a definitive sign of our commitment to the market.

‘We have already hired new European patent attorneys who will be joining us in the coming weeks and months, and look forward to continued growth. The combination of a US and European patent practice offers greater opportunity and options for our clients.’

Some of the firm’s major clients in Europe include Schlumberger, ConocoPhilips, BTG, Pronova BioPharma Norge, Grünenthal, Swiss Post and Tetra Pak. The firm is top-ranked for both patent and trade mark litigation in the US in The Legal 500 but will nonetheless hope from direct instructions from its stateside client base as gaining traction in the City IP market, particularly in patents has proven notoriously difficult for US firms, with lateral hires hard to come by in a tight knit community. The London offices of firms such as Winston & Strawn, Latham & Watkins and Arnold & Porter taking some time to establish footholds.