Business & Practice

A New Face in NY’s Intellectual Property Circle

Sept. 22, 2016, 5:27 PM

The Boston-based intellectual property boutique Wolf Greenfield is opening a New York City office, on the 33rd floor of the Chrysler Building next month.

It marks the second office for the 115-lawyer firm, which stresses that its lawyers all have backgrounds in science or other technical fields, styling itself as a high end intellectual property boutique. The expansion comes at a time when many other intellectual property boutiques have been bolted on to larger firms. For instance, earlier this month, the roughly 50 lawyers at Kenyon & Kenyon were hired by Andrews Kurth.

We caught up with Wolf Greenfield’s president and managing partner Tim Oyer, who holds a PhD in inorganic chemistry from MIT, to learn more about his firm’s entrance into New York. Here’s what we learned:

  • Michael Rader, co-chair of the litigation group moved to New York three years ago, and the firm has been mulling expansion there since that time.

  • The New York office will have at least one full-time partner and an associate, but will be a five-office suite with a conference room.

  • Oyer said the firm represents about 35 companies that do significant business in New York or are located in New York, including Sony, Columbia University, Sloan-Kettering, Gimlet Media, the Ludwig Institute, Keurig and Fan Duel.

  • Put another way, he said four to five percent of its clients are based in New York, and 12 to 13 percent of the firm’s clients are multinationals that do significant work in New York.

  • Oyer said the firm is “absolutely not” fishing for a merger partner. “There’s just no need, and we don’t see the advantage,” he said.

  • Trademark group chair Doug Wolf is president of the Columbia College Alumni Association, and Oyer said they hope to plant more roots in the community.

  • “We don’t jump at trends,” said Oyer. “We don’t jump at things that we think will magically jumpstart us to a new profit level.”

UPDATED: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated that Michael Albert had moved to New York and used the wrong title for Doug Wolf.

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