BOSTON -- Lahive & Cockfield, a top-ranked Boston intellectual property law firm, is combining with Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough, a large East Coast law firm known nationally for its technology and science-related litigation.

The move expands services for clients of both firms, increases the combined intellectual property team to more than 70 attorneys and technical specialists, and will double the size of the Nelson Mullins Boston office.

Nelson Mullins has an office in Huntington.

The expanded IP group will continue to provide comprehensive patent, trademark, copyright, and IP litigation services to domestic and international clients. Taking a cross-disciplinary approach, the group will work with more than 400 Nelson Mullins attorneys and government relations professionals who practice in more than 40 areas of law, including its general litigation, corporate, transactions and licensing, and financing and securities groups.

Lahive Executive Committee Chair Amy Mandragouras said the 23 attorneys and technical professionals of Lahive "wanted to grow our practice and expand our core specialty areas. By combining with Nelson Mullins, we will have more resources to meet client service demands."

"In Nelson Mullins, we found a partner that truly complements our practice," Ms. Mandragouras said. "We are joining Lahive's patent and trademark preparation and prosecution professionals with Nelson Mullins' IP attorneys and litigators to form a diverse and highly skilled IP group with deep technical knowledge."

Both firms represent clients ranging from start-up companies to institutions to Fortune 500 companies in technology areas. Attorneys and technical specialists from both firms are scientists, engineers, and mathematicians, many with Ph.D. degrees, masters and bachelor degrees in technical disciplines such as electrical engineering, computer science, biology, biochemistry, chemistry, immunology, and mechanical engineering. The group includes both former Patent Examiners as well as a number of former Federal Circuit law clerks. And both firms' approach to client representation is shaped by the client's needs and individual attention.

"With the addition of 23 attorneys and patent professionals from Lahive, Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough continues our rapid growth in New England," said Nelson Mullins Managing Partner David E. Dukes. "These professionals are recognized for their high quality patent work and will enhance our existing intellectual property practice. The relationship also provides both our national and international clients, in particular those in the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries, with deeper legal resources."

In February 2006, Nelson Mullins opened its Boston Office under the leadership of William T. Hogan III. Robert B. Crowe brought a group of nine attorneys and two public strategies professionals to join the Boston office in April 2009, which also resulted in its move to its current location at 1 Boston Place. Mr. Hogan and Mr. Crowe, who are co-managing partners of the Boston office, agree that this is a significant milestone in the growth of NM in Boston.

"We have steadily built a reputation in the Boston legal community with our government relations, litigation, financial services, and corporate practices," said Mr. Crowe. "The addition of Lahive's intellectual property talent is a logical next step for our presence in New England."

Mr. Hogan sees the growth of the Boston office as an indicator of the strength of Nelson Mullins. "I am pleased to be a part of a growing office and a vital law firm," he said. "Nelson Mullins is making itself known in Boston and the Northeast by building on its commitment to its clients."

Established in 1897, Nelson Mullins has experienced recent significant growth, having opened offices in Boston, Florida, and West Virginia in the past five years. The 12 Nelson Mullins locations also include offices in Washington, Atlanta, and multiple locations in North Carolina and South Carolina.

"Together, we can offer the services of a group of attorneys and patent professionals who understand both a client's business and its technology," said Mark Dukes, partner and chair of the Nelson Mullins Intellectual Property Law and Litigation Group."From the beginning of an issue, our IP attorneys seek to find business solutions to clients' problems. Combining with Lahive enhances our overall ability to provide the means for achieving client goals."

Additionally, Mark Dukes said, IP lawyers often work in conjunction with other sections of the Firm to enhance the value and efficiency of client service well beyond the bounds of a traditional intellectual property practice. "For example, the experience and resources of the nationally recognized Nelson Mullins litigation practice are particularly valuable in IP litigation. Moreover, Nelson Mullins lawyers handle venture capital transactions on a routine basis and frequently negotiate complex technology transfers, licenses, and acquisitions in a wide variety of industries."

Five of the nation's largest companies have named Nelson Mullins as their Go-To Law Firm for its intellectual property and litigation work. US News Media Group and Best Lawyers also listed the firm as a top tier law firm in intellectual property in Columbia, S.C. Nelson Mullins' litigation presence nationally, particularly in defense of pharmaceutical and life science companies, has been recognized by Chambers and Partners legal directory as among the best in the nation. Law 360, a Portfolio Media online legal news organization, in 2009 ranked the Nelson Mullins product liability practice group as the second largest in the nation.

Lahive consistently ranks among the top five Boston law firms for number of patents filed and obtained. The 2010 edition of Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business recognized Lahive & Cockfield as one of the top intellectual property law firms in Massachusetts. Chambers commended Lahive for its "solid practice" covering a range of matters including litigation and protection of IP rights, as well as trade secrets, strategic planning, patent preparation and prosecution.

Effective Nov. 1, Lahive & Cockfield will operate as Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough LLP. Nelson Mullins will relocate its current Boston office and 19 attorneys and policy advisors to Lahive's current office located at One Post Office Square in Boston.

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