Pepper Hamilton Opens Silicon Valley Office

, The Legal Intelligencer

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Pepper Hamilton CEO Scott Green

But once the firm was put in touch with the Goodwin Procter group, it knew it had found the right fit, Green said.

"They all come strongly recommended from our contacts in Northern California," Green said, adding that the type of work Bishop, Fitzpatrick and Chan do, as well as their client base and their personalities, mesh well with the firm as a whole.

Green said the firm decided to name Fitzpatrick its third IP department co-chair in order to have a practice head focused solely on the firm's California operations.

Pepper Hamilton's Silicon Valley office comes about 11 months after Duane Morris opened an IP-focused office in Palo Alto, Calif., with K&L Gates partner Karineh Khachatourian and associate Patrick S. Salceda.

A number of other Am Law 100 firms with Pennsylvania offices have Silicon Valley locations as well, including Reed Smith, Dechert, Morgan, Lewis & Bockius, DLA Piper, Greenberg Traurig and Jones Day.

Green said competition among law firms in the Silicon Valley is fierce, so Pepper Hamilton was very careful to ensure it had a sufficient foothold in the region to support a new office there.

"There are some firms that get more than their fair share [of work] and some firms that really struggle out there," Green said, adding, "We have a significant amount of business in the pipeline out there so there's no question we're going to keep those guys very busy, both with the clients they bring with them and our clients. We're very confident this office is going to be very successful very early on."

Green said the firm is already planning to move two or three associates to the Silicon Valley office from its other offices.

As for how the office will grow beyond that, Green said that while the location will most likely always focus on IP, he does envision adding corporate and fund attorneys in the region at some point.

Green said the Silicon Valley office is not likely to have much of an effect on the firm's existing Southern California offices since those locations currently only service a handful of Northern California clients.

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