Legal Business

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.

Legal Business

Cooley continues London expansion with launch of City patent practice


With a mandate to generate London revenues of upwards of $40m, Cooley is making good on its City ambitions and hired a trio of Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo lawyers to bulk out its London offering and launch a patent practice.

The trio, David Wraige, Jacqueline Ireland and Daniel Sellwood, are the latest addition to the West Coast firm’s London presence, having launched in the City with a 55-strong lawyer office taken from Edwards Wildman Palmer and Morrison & Foerster in January and which has since been added to by Olswang’s longstanding corporate partner Stephen Rosen and a life sciences team from Reed Smith.

Wraige is a European patent attorney who advises clients in the UK and US on patent drafting, prosecution and EPO oppositions, while Ireland, a fellow European patent attorney, handles issues within the biochemistry and molecular genetics industry. Sellwood meanwhile, is a UK‐qualified patent attorney and specialised in European patent prosecution, drafting applications, opposition, portfolio management and foreign prosecution work.

The firm has previously dipped into Mintz Levin’s intellectual property (IP) offering, including its former co-chair of IP, Ivor Elrifi in New York, and Boston partner Heidi Erlacher in April 2014.

Cooley’s UK managing partner Justin Stock said: ‘The momentum in London keeps growing. Launching a patent practice with such talented practitioners was a natural next step for Cooley, which is so dominant in tech and life sciences. Nothing demonstrates this more than our very recent work on Europe’s largest private life sciences financing for a British-based company seeking to find a cure for cancer.’

‘The arrival of this high quality patent team gives Cooley’s clients a balance of core IP strengths in both the UK and the US,’ added Elrifi who previously led the group at Mintz Levin. ‘David, Jacqueline and Daniel are superb practitioners whom I’ve known for several years – our transatlantic team is looking forward to building great things together.’

For more on the new US firms looking to make it in the City see: The Third Wave – high stakes City deals for Akin and Cooley highlight changing tactics