On Friday, the heads of Connolly Bove said that their imminent merger with Novak was unaffected by the recent departures of a number of Connolly partners. The merger scheduled in January is set to create the seventh-largest IP law firm in the United States. However, since the announcement of the merger, at least six partners have left Connolly Bove and gone over to other law firms.
On Friday, Jeffrey Bove, the managing partner of Connolly Bove, issued a statement saying that the partner departures were “expected and not considered in our discussions or included in our merger plans.” Bove also stressed that the partners who had left “early on gave indications they were joining large general practice firms that are very different than our vision for Novak Druce Connoly Bove + Quigg.”
The managing partner of Novak Druce, Gregory Novak, said in an interview that the partner departures at Connolly Bove had “zero impact on business planning.” Novak also confirmed that the merger was going ahead as planned. He said, “Momentum’s building on both sides, I don’t see any speed bumps or anything else.” Commenting on the partners who were leaving because they did not share the same vision, Novak said, “There’s always going to be a divergence of thought.”
The most recent departures from Connolly Bove occurred on Tuesday with a group of five lawyers including three partners going over to Womble Carlyle. Also on Tuesday, Scot Miller, who headed the Los Angeles office of Connolly and was working as a member of the law firm’s management committee, announced that he would be joining Sheppard Mullin. Sheppard Mullin has already recruited another Connolly Bove partner and is known to be strengthening its IP practice.