Barclay Damon is Poised for Growth in Boston

Barclay Damon has had a busy year.

The 275-attorney firm not only executed a merger and an office move in Boston since last year, but also renovated a new office in Syracuse in a building to be renamed Barclay Damon Tower and secured a nearly $24 million jury verdict on behalf of a major technology-based client in a record-setting patent litigation matter.

Formerly Hiscock & Barclay, the firm’s merger one year ago with Buffalo-based Damon Morey has created a unique super-regional law firm with a deeper bench of legal talent and experience and an enhanced platform for strategic growth, according to Brian Whiteley, the firm’s Commercial Litigation Practice Group leader.

“It’s hard to be a large firm in only one city in today’s national and global economy; you need a broader footprint,” said legacy Damon Morey partner Carol Snider, now head of Barclay Damon’s Mass & Toxic Torts Practice Area. “We knew we needed offices in other cities to support the practice that we had, and the one that we wanted to have. Hiscock & Barclay had offices in major markets like Boston, New York and Toronto which was a great fit for where we were and where we wanted to be.”

The merger, says partner Joe Stanganelli, is similar to the opportunities and advantages that Hiscock & Barclay saw in opening up a Boston office in 2008, when he and his partners Whiteley and Tony Scibelli joined the firm.

“Tony, Brian and I had all left Hale and Dorr, and then had our own small firm for just about 10 years,” said Stanganelli. “Joining Hiscock & Barclay in 2008 allowed us to broaden the services we can offer to our clients.” “And now, as Barclay Damon, we have an even deeper bench and a more expansive platform."

Now several years from initially coming to Boston and a year since the merger with Damon Morey, Barclay Damon is seeing the benefits of the combination. “As mergers go, it went very quickly and smoothly,” said Snider. “If someone had told me it would be so seamless, I would never have believed it. But that should have foretold how well the two firms would mesh.”

IP partner John Gutkoski agrees, and sees new opportunities for Boston-based work. “Part of the impetus for Hiscock & Barclay opening a Boston office was its very significant and prominent energy practice, which had clients in Massachusetts, as well as its growing IP and healthcare practices.”

Barclay Damon’s IP Litigation Practice Area, led by Doug Nash, another former Hale and Dorr attorney and colleague of the resident partners of the Boston office, had a big success to point to last year, thanks in part to leveraging firm resources in other offices. With a team of attorneys from the firm’s offices in Boston, Syracuse and Albany, Nash and Gutkoski represented PPC Broadband, a world leader in coaxial cable connectors, in patent litigation against Corning Optical, which has a division also specializing in connectors. After a week-long jury trial, the team secured a verdict of willful infringement and an award of just under $24 million.

“It’s one of the largest patent verdicts in the Northern District of New York,” Nash said, “and a great example of how the firm has come together and seamlessly used its resources across offices.”

The bringing together of lawyers who have big firm, big client, and big case experience is part of Barclay Damon’s appeal to clients and lateral partners operating in the national global firms with a higher cost structure and constant rate pressure.

“A number of our hiring practices, particularly on the IP side, are built around recruiting folks who have grown up at high profile, larger law firms, and bringing that expertise to this model – here in Boston and in New York, DC, and Toronto,” Gutkoski said.

This strategy – and the anticipation of more growth – motivated Barclay Damon’s recent move to larger offices at Boston’s One Financial Center.

“We are very pleased with the space and expect it will help as we continue to pursue lateral opportunities, “ Whiteley said. “In our view, the new space reaffirms Barclay Damon’s commitment to Boston and to growing the office, and we’re all looking forward to the opportunities that commitment will present.”

“The firm’s commitment to expanding our office in Boston is nothing new,” Scibelli added, noting that Steve Oleskey, a long-time partner at Hale and Dorr (and then WilmerHale), joined several years ago. Oleskey was named a “Lawyer of the Year” by Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly in 2008 and is a recipient of a Lifetime Achievement Pro Bono Public Service Award by the American Bar Association. “Steve was a mentor to all of us when we were starting our careers at Hale and Dorr,” Scibelli noted, “and is an integral member of our team in Boston.”