Alliance brings together SmithAmundsen, Brannon Sowers IP firm

SmithAmundsen and the Indianapolis intellectual property firm of Brannon Sowers & Cracraft have agreed to a strategic alliance which will allow each firm to retain its identity while having access to the other’s attorneys and resources.

“This move presents the best of both worlds; each firm utilizing the resources of the other while retaining its own identity,” said Stephen Stitle, SmithAmundsen’s chief operating officer. “It’s a key step in our efforts to provide clients of both firms with broader legal services.”

The alliance is the result of talks between the two firms that began in the spring of 2019 and, Stitle said, could eventually lead to a merger. For now, the firms are remaining separate but have a contractual agreement that will enable Brannon to tap into the range of practice areas and service capabilities offered by SmithAmundsen and allow SmithAmundsen to draw upon the IP expertise at Brannon.

Although the relationship is not exclusive with the firms under no obligation to refer clients each other, Stitle called it the “best of both worlds.” SmithAmundsen and Brannon Sowers will be able to offer their respective clients more legal assistance while they take a trial run at working together before deciding whether to merge.

Talks between the two firms began a few months after six IP attorneys from SmithAmundsen’s Indianapolis office moved to Frost Brown Todd. Stitle credited Brannon Sowers’ chief executive officer John Brannon with hitting upon the idea of forming an alliance.

“Having the quality of services and reputation of the SmithAmundsen firm of attorneys will enable our law firms to provide the array of legal services demanded of sophisticated clients,” Brannon said.

The firms engaged in many discussions to formulate this unique arrangement and the resulting contract between them is complex with details covering disclosures, conflicts, responsibilities and ethics, Stitle said.

“I’m excited,” Stitle said, noting he hopes to join in similar strategic alliances with a couple of other firms. “I’m very optimistic.”

Brannon Sowers & Cracraft, founded in 2008, is an intellectual property, business and litigation law firm. It has a dozen attorneys and offices in Indianapolis and Bloomington.

SmithAmundsen has more than 180 attorneys offering business and litigation services to clients throughout the United States and overseas. It has seven offices in the Midwest including three in Illinois and one in Indianapolis.

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