Darby & Darby, an intellectual property boutique with a strong presence in New York and Seattle is going under. Last night, tipsters reported serious trouble for the firm that has been around since 1895. Multiple sources put the news in similar, explicit language:
Darby & Darby is shutting down, [Friday].
This morning, Darby & Darby released an official statement:
It is with a heavy heart that we announce that after more than 100 years in continuous operation, Darby & Darby will begin the process of winding down the firm in anticipation of an orderly dissolution. While we continue to have exceptional clients, from individual inventors to Fortune Global 500 Companies, and remain profitable, many of the factors frequently cited in other firm’s demise have similarly impacted us. That said, we believe strongly in the IP boutique model which continues to produce some of the best legal talent in the Intellectual Property field. We will be working with all of our amazing and loyal professionals and staff to help them find new homes and know they will be very successful wherever they land.
Tipsters report that the news has been running all over the firm’s New York and Seattle offices since last night. And they are telling stories of partners in the know “looting” the firm and aggressively looking for other work…
According to our tipsters, the death knell for Darby struck when a merger with K&L Gates fell through earlier this week:
I think the merger talk ended on Tuesday. Today was the first time I’d heard someone mention that Darby’s financial scene wasn’t looking good, but I don’t know any more about that.
Yes, as we’ve seen from other firm dissolutions, partners tend to know about these things long before the associates:
Other Darby partners are shopping around for other places to work and have effectively been given permission to do so (as in, they don’t have to hide the fact that they are looking for other employment).
Another tipster really feels it is every man for himself over at Darby:
Partners knew all along and looted the partnership, never told anyone. smooth-talked everyone into believing merger talks were productive. Thursday, only one partner shows up, everyone else took the money and split.
These situations are always so difficult for the lawyers and staff affected. Best of luck to former Darby & Darby people, we hope you land on your feet.
Earlier: Prior ATL coverage of Darby & Darby.