Brinks Hofer

Though there are signs that things are looking up for the legal market next year, the economy remains troubled. This week the recession claimed 18 at intellectual-property boutique Brinks Hofer.

We spoke with firm president Gary Ropski, who confirmed that seven attorneys, one patent agent, and ten staff were laid off this week. [FN1] Most of these layoffs took place in the firm’s main Chicago office. The firm spoke individually with every person let go, and had a firm-wide conference call yesterday to discuss the layoffs.

“It’s the toughest part of my job,” said Ropski. This was less than 5% of the total workforce of the firm, which has 400 employees nationally.

There’s been much talk in the legal sector about problems for IP boutiques as bigger firms encroach on their turf. Earlier this year, IP firm Darby & Darby dissolved. We asked Ropski whether he was worried about the outlook for IP boutiques in today’s economy….

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