A&O opens in Boston as Simmons launches in Silicon Valley

UK firms have made significant moves stateside, with Allen & Overy and Simmons & Simmons announcing the opening of new US offices.

Allen & Overy’s US expansion project appears set to continue. With a new office in Boston set to open following the arrival of a five-partner group from Goodwin. The firm, which has been recruiting across numerous US practice areas since the collapse of the planned merger with O’Melveny & Myers, welcomed the new partners into its intellectual property litigation practice, significantly bolstering its offering in the life sciences industry. Elizabeth Holland will join the New York office and is set to become the head of the US life sciences practice, with Bill James joining the firm in Washington.

The new Boston office is set to be established by the additions of John Bennett, Nick Mitrokostas and Daniel Margolis, all of whom bring experience of litigation in life sciences.

US senior partner Tim House said: ‘Our sustained expansion across the US speaks to our strategy to become the only elite global law firm to offer scaled, coordinated, top tier intellectual property litigation capabilities to life sciences businesses across the US, UK, continental Europe and Asia-Pacific. The ability to develop coordinated, cross-border IP protection strategies from within a single firm with a uniform commitment to quality and client service is something that is requested by more and more of our global clients.’

The new arrivals are the latest in a string of hires in the contentious life sciences space and follow the addition of Sapna Palla and Stephen Neuhaus, who joined the New York and Germany groups in July and May 2021 respectively.

Elsewhere, Simmons & Simmons announced the opening of its first US office, with the new Silicon Valley practice poised to open in May.

The new office, which will not practise US law, follows the introduction of a Shenzhen practice in 2019 and signifies the overarching strategy of the firm to establish itself as a significant presence on the international tech market. Commenting on the development, head of TMT Alex Brown said: ‘This is a globally significant move for the firm’s TMT sector service. Silicon Valley is the epicentre of the global technology sector and is home to many of the world’s largest technology companies. With Simmons’ existing TMT sector expertise and its new on-the-ground presence, the firm is poised to win new work and forge stronger relationships with our existing US TMT sector clients. Together with firm’s office in Shenzhen, this will give us a presence in the two largest tech hubs in the world.’

Situated in San Francisco, the office is to be headed by new recruit Emily Jones. Having spent the previous five years leading Osborne Clarke’s practice in the area, Jones specialises in technology and data privacy and will oversee a practice focused on serving US TMT clients.

Jones said: ‘Having spent the last five years building my client base and reputation in Silicon Valley, working closely with companies as they expand outside the US and gaining valuable experience and understanding of the issues and challenges that are most important to them, I am ideally placed to represent Simmons on the US West Coast. It’s a time of tremendous growth and innovation in the technology market and Silicon Valley remains the focal point of this activity.’


This story first appeared on Legal Business.