Legal Business Blogs

Mintz Levin scales back London office as managing partner leaves to set up pharma boutique

Having lost the bulk of its City patent practice to fellow US firm Cooley earlier this month, Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo has made the decision to scale back its London offering with managing partner Julian Crump exiting to establish his own pharmaceuticals boutique.

Having served at the Boston-bred firm since 2004, Crump departed the London office at Alder Castle, 10 Noble Street in early August to set up his own shop, named Beresford-Crump, which will see the lawyer act for start-ups and corporations on issues related to pharmaceuticals, biotechnology and medical devices.

Last week saw Cooley launch a London patent practice with Mintz Levin trio David Wraige, Jacqueline Ireland and Daniel Sellwood, nearly 18 months after the West Coast firm hired Mintz Levin’s former co-chair of IP, Ivor Elrifi, in New York who was said to be instrumental in the founding of the London office.

According to a source close to the matter, Mintz Levin is winding down its London office as most of the outpost’s clients, around 60 tech and life sciences companies, transferred to Cooley following the hires. A skeleton staff is currently working to enable the transfer of files and wrap up remaining issues.

The firm said in a statement: ‘Mintz Levin will no longer conduct European patent prosecution from its London office. The London office will continue to offer corporate services and we will continue to provide European patent prosecution through our correspondent firms, including those our former London colleagues have joined.’

The firm added that lawyer Susan Foster, who works with clients primarily on licensing, collaborations and commercial matters in clean and high technology, mobile media, and life sciences industries, will remain in the London office and ‘continue to service the firm’s UK-based corporate clients through that office.’ It is not known where the two remaining patent attorneys listed on the firm’s website, namely Emma Bevan and Isobel Finnie will move to next. Heidi Lawson, who is an insurance litigator, will remain based in Boston and New York but also practice in London.