California-based Blakely Sokoloff Taylor Zafman, LLP joined Womble Bond Dickinson (US) LLP effective January 2, 2018. The addition of the Blakely team adds 20 lawyers and patent agents to Womble Bond Dickinson’s roster as well as offices in Los Angeles, Orange County and Sunnyvale to complement the firm’s existing Silicon Valley office.
“We have been impressed with the steady strategic growth of Womble Bond Dickinson’s IP practice,” said Roger Blakely. “We were also pleased to find that our firms share a vision for the future and commitment to clients.”
Blakely founded the firm in 1975 and, along with a core group of veteran attorneys, grew it into one of the most respected IP practices in the country. Most of the firm’s lawyers have deep technical backgrounds, particularly in software and electrical engineering, making Blakely a favored firm among California’s tech giants. The firm’s branding practice is also sought after across several industries.
Womble Bond Dickinson has experience working with those and many other tech companies based in California, having opened its first West Coast office in 2011 in Silicon Valley. Still, Mike Gencarella, Managing Partner of the firm’s Palo Alto office, said the addition of the Blakely IP professionals to Womble Bond Dickinson’s existing IP, transactional and litigation practices is a watershed moment for both firms.
“This combination repositions Womble Bond Dickinson in the technology sector by adding a tremendous technical depth to the IP practice and providing the capability to service broadly the markets of northern and southern California,” Gencarella said. “Also, as the firm continues to aggressively add practices in the state, the addition of the Blakely lawyers and their particular strengths makes the firm even more appealing to clients and talent.”
The Blakely transaction continues an unprecedented period of growth for Womble Bond Dickinson. US-based Womble Carlyle and UK-based Bond Dickinson formed Womble Bond Dickinson in November 2017 with one of the year’s largest law firm combinations. In 2017, the firm also opened a Boston office with another well-established IP team and announced it would add a leading boutique telecom firm to its Washington, D.C. office. However, Womble Bond Dickinson Chair and CEO, Betty Temple, said the firm remains focused on strategy, not headcount.
“The Blakely team is the perfect example of strategic growth,” she said. “The addition of this team and our Boston office, combined with our long history in IP law, makes us one of the premiere IP practices in the country. We’re focused on growth that enables us to deliver more to our clients.”