Montreal intellectual property firm Goudreau Gage Dubuc is merging with Lavery Lawyers, with both firms citing the demands of clients to have a “360 approach to service” in an age when the digital and knowledge economy is driving innovation.
The two firms will combine their teams in Montreal with GGD’s more than 40 members, including 16 lawyers and patent agents, joining Lavery over the coming weeks at 1 Place Ville Marie in Montreal.
Lavery, the largest independent firm in Quebec, has about 183 lawyers located in offices in Montreal, Quebec City, Sherbrooke and Trois-Rivieres.
“Lavery had really identified intellectual property as being a strategic sector which we really wanted to be in,” Anik Trudel, Lavery’s chief executive officer, told Legal Feeds. “Last year, we launched our artificial intelligence lab and, in order to make sure we saw some growth in that area, intellectual property was identified. Part of our strategic planning had identified the sector.”
Trudel said several meetings then took place between Lavery and GGD lawyers and it was demonstrated there was a “clear compatibility” in terms of culture, and negotiations commenced.
“We quickly realized we were complementary as far as professional skills within the two firms,” says Alain LeClerc, senior partner at GGD. “We were bringing forth some expertise with regards to IP and a critical mass of agents for patents and trademarks with a worldwide clientele. We were also looking for increased bandwidth as far as client services were concerned, to help them with areas such as tax law and a team that does more licensing, export/import skills and we found all of those at Lavery.”
While Lavery has a few IP lawyers, Trudel says it did not have a “critical mass.”
“Our few people who practise in the area were jumping up and down with joy this morning to suddenly have this critical mass of very highly reputable resources joining forces,” says Trudel.
Trudel says the decision was made in the context of “expanding issues relating to the digital revolution, the knowledge economy and innovation.”
“It was part of an overall strategy of remaining relevant in the market, but obviously it is a combination of factors, but definitely the combining of our forces makes Lavery even more relevant in the Quebec market,” she says.
LeClerc said the Quebec market is “undergoing an evolution” in the sense that clients want to have conversations about various aspects of their commercial enterprises and to be able to have a 360 approach saves them “time, effort and money.”
“One of the difficulties is that everybody knows about trademarks, about copyright, about patents and industrial design, but it is very difficult to know how to put it all together in a coherent IP strategy and this is what clients are looking for,” he says.
Trudel says the combining of the two firms provides an opportunity to “rethink” the approach to client service and understand client strategies and “co-create.”
“The whole notion of innovation is a preoccupation of all industries and of our clients and in that perspective, we didn’t have a choice, in a way, to make sure we were able to service our clients fully and that includes intellectual property,” she says.
GGD serves numerous industries, including aerospace, new materials, energy storage, biotechnology, biochemistry, pharmaceuticals, computer science and telecommunications.