As part of a recent spate of lateral hires, Merchant & Gould has added two IP lawyers to its office in Alexandria, Va. from Crowell & Moring. E. Joseph Gess and Melissa Hayworth both join the IP boutique as partners.
Gess advises clients on licensing and chemical patent preparation and prosecution. Hayworth focuses her practice on in infringement and validity opinions, IP strategies for inter-parties proceedings, patent preparation and prosecution, and licensing, particularly in the organic chemistry, pharmaceutical chemistry, and petroleum chemistry industries.
Prior to Gess and Hayworth joining Merchant, the firm had just partner W. David Wallace in Alexandria. The Minneapolis-based firm has about 100 lawyers across the country.
Merchant’s hires in Alexandria follow the firm’s opening of a New York office with a team of lawyers from Darby & Darby, which announced last month that it shutting down after more than a century in existence. The New York office will be headed by Adda Gogoris, who represents pharmaceutical and biotechnology on patent matters. Joining Gogoris in New York are partner Dianna Goldenson and patent agent Andrew Larsen. Both Goldenson and Larsen were previously at Darby & Darby.
Merchant & Gould is also adding two people to its Seattle office. H. Beattie, who was previously at Schwabe, Williamson & Wyatt, is joining Merchant as a partner; and Christopher Frank, who was at Darby & Darby prior to joining Merchant, is joining as a scientific adviser.
Randall King, Merchant & Gould’s chief executive officer, was not immediately available for comment. But in a statement he said, “The past two years have not been kind to many IP boutiques. And we take no pleasure in the setbacks of so many friends and colleagues. But Merchant & Gould has continued to thrive despite this economic climate by staying true to its guiding principles. We grow gradually by reinforcing our already great expertise with the best talent available and by delivering excellent client service and value. It's a strategy that has served the firm well, and we hope and believe it will continue to do so going forward."
Gess and Hayworth were not immediately available for comment.