Here's another piece from this week's issue of The Lawyer. Dutch M&A heavyweight law firm Stibbe is to restructure its intellectual property department following the departure of two of its partners, former judge Jan Brinkhof and patent and trade mark expert Kurt Stöpetie.The pair are leaving Stibbe along with two assistants to set up their own technology and pharmaceutical law boutique on 1 January. The departures will leave Stibbe with just five fee-earners in its IP group, which will be folded into the firm’s litigation team.
Stibbe managing partner Joost van Lanschot is reported as having described the parting as "amicable", although he admitted the reason was a dispute over the prominence of IP at the firm.
"They felt the IP team should expand and we thought that the current size was ok. They concluded that their work would be better done outside Stibbe, and we will refer matters to them".The IPKat has seen this all before. IP specialists feel frustrated when they feel they are just a small cog in a large machine, but equally they feel exposed and vulnerable when their boutique practices have to compete against full service law firms. The result is a sort of pendulum effect. In the US the swing is away from boutiques and specialist practices, while in the Netherlands it's in quite the opposite direction.
More boutiques here, here and here
Lethal boutiques here