Intellectual property boutique Novak Druce & Quigg is opening a new office in West Palm Beach, Florida with six attorneys it poached from Miami-based Akerman Senterfitt’s intellectual property practice.
The 60-attorney Novak Druce has locations in San Francisco, Washington and Houston.
The six attorneys leaving Akerman made up the core of the firm’s IP practice. J. Rodman Steele, Gregory Nelson, Jerold Schneider and Joseph Bain are joining Novak as senior partners, while John Vetter is joining as a partner and Gregory Lefkowitz is joining as a senior associate. All six worked in Akerman’s West Palm Beach office.
Steele founded Akerman’s IP practice more than 20 years ago, and Schneider is currently the co-chairman of its IP litigation practice. Bain and Nelson also have held leadership positions.
The departure of its IP group is the latest problem for Akerman, which had a difficult 2008. Merger talks with Phillie’s Wolf Block broke down in September. Several attorneys were laid off from the firm in November.
It did, however, serve as lead counsel for the $11 billion merger of two waste management companies at the end of 2008.
Novak’s West Palm Beach office will open on February 2nd.