Combination bringing global firm to Indianapolis

Crowell & Moring, an international law firm with more than 550 attorneys around the world, is entering the Indianapolis market through a merger with the boutique intellectual property law firm, Brinks Gilson & Lione.

The firms, which plan to complete the combination in July, will operate under the name Crowell & Moring and, with the addition of Brinks Gilson’s 61 attorneys, will top 625 lawyers in the United States, Europe, Asia and the Middle East and Northern Africa.

Philip Inglima, chair of Crowell, said the focus will be on growing Brinks Gilson’s offices in Chicago and Indianapolis. The growth will come by adding talent as well as tapping into Crowell’s expansive practice areas including transaction, government contracts and health care.

Currently, the Brinks Gilson office on North Illinois Street in the Circle City has one registered patent agent and one scientific advisor in addition to the two shareholders. They are serving clients in Indiana as well as across the firm’s other four offices.

Gustavo Siller, president of Brinks Gilson, said his 100-year-old firm has a robust intellectual property practice with clients around the world. However, market pressures were causing the firm to look for growth opportunities as clients increasingly expect a broader range of services from their outside counsels.

As an example, Siller pointed to clients in the pharmaceutical and medical device industries. They need legal assistance not only with patent prosecution and protection but also with government regulations.

While Crowell will give Brinks Gilson access to more practice areas, the Chicago-based firm is giving Crowell its first footprint in the Midwest. Based in Washington, D.C., Crowell has locations on the east and west coasts but clients in Illinois, Michigan and Minnesota wanted the firm to have an office closer to them.

Inglima said Brinks Gilson with its reputation of being a well-know and well-regarded firm is giving Crowell credibility as it enters a new market. Also, it is strengthening Crowell’s technology practice.

“This is an extraordinary opportunity to expand our reach with one of the most highly respected IP firms in the nation. We are particularly excited about enhancing and extending our collective ability to advise clients on the rapidly-evolving areas of their businesses that are affected – and increasingly transformed – by technology and innovation,” Inglima said in a press release. “Brinks Gilson & Lione has earned a reputation for protecting well-known corporate brands and complex intellectual property assets in the U.S. and across the globe. The firm provides exceptional value to clients because of their deep experience in cutting-edge technology and the sciences, and their ability to deliver practical solutions to the most complex IP challenges.”

Siller acknowledged Brinks Gilson has fielded merger offers over the years but whenever had any real interest because those firms had different strategic views. Crowell, he said, presented a good fit in terms of culture and values. In particular, the attorneys in both firms work collaboratively put high priority on serving clients.

“We recognized the significant benefit to our clients and to our practice of joining forces with Crowell & Moring — a firm with shared values and a commitment to exceptional client service,” Siller said. “We look forward to collaborating with our new colleagues to offer clients strategic capabilities that align with their complex legal needs at a time of such rapid business change and innovation.”

The combination with Brinks Gilson is Crowell & Moring’s latest growth acquisition. Over the past three years, the firm has added close to 90 lateral partners and 21 senior counsel. In April, 24 lawyers from the storied Wall Street boutique, Kibbe & Orbe joined the firm’s New York, London, and Washington, D.C. offices, including 13 partners. In addition, last year, the firm established an office in Doha with the addition of an infrastructure development and controversy team, opened an office in Shanghai, and through C&M International, its global government relations, public policy, and public affairs affiliate, launched an office in Singapore.

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