Baker & Hostetler, Woodcock Washburn Partners Approve Merger

, The Legal Intelligencer

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Joseph Lucci
Joseph Lucci

The partnerships of Baker & Hostetler and intellectual property boutique Woodcock Washburn have voted to merge their two firms, making official their signed letter of intention to combine that was announced last month.

Woodcock Washburn policy committee member Joseph Lucci said Wednesday morning that the two partnerships had voted to approve the proposed merger, which is now set to go into effect Jan. 1.

A spokeswoman for Baker & Hostetler said that firm's partnership voted Dec. 10 and Woodcock Washburn voted Monday. She said both votes were unanimous.

The addition of the 68 attorneys at Woodcock Washburn will give 800-lawyer Baker & Hostetler double the IP practice they currently have as well as new offices in Philadelphia, Seattle and Atlanta.

Woodcock Washburn will assume the Baker & Hostetler name but may try to keep its identity in some form for the near future, Lucci said last month.

"Our clients will benefit from being able to tap into the various practice strengths within Baker & Hostetler," Lucci had said in a statement last month. "We'll be a go-to law firm for technology companies of all types. Baker & Hostetler's strength in New York, Southern California, Washington, D.C., and other litigation and technology corridors will enable us to expand the resources we collectively can provide to a wide range of market-leading companies."

Once the merger goes into effect, Steven Rocci of Woodcock Washburn will join Baker & Hostetler's policy committee and Lucci will become managing partner of the Philadelphia office, the firms said. Additional Woodcock Washburn partners will have leadership roles in the combined firm's IP practice, they said.

While Woodcock Washburn has seen some partner defections over the last few years, the firm does not appear to have lost any attorneys since the intent to merge became public. The firm still has the same 68 lawyers on its website.

Lucci said last month that he gets the sense all of the attorneys at Woodcock Washburn are welcome at Baker & Hostetler, but said he couldn't say whether they would all choose to join the combined firm.

As of last month, Lucci said there are no plans for staff changes at Woodcock Washburn to address any redundancies that may exist from the merger, but he had said "going forward, it's hard to say."

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