It’s not too surprising the leaders at Townsend and Kilpatrick Stockton aren’t in a chatty mood this week.
The Daily Journal reported Tuesday that the two firms have made it official that their merger discussions, first leaked back in May, are dead in the water.
Townsend veteran partner Paul Vapnek heard late last week from another partner that the talks were off, he said, because of irreconcilable conflicts with a major Kilpatrick client. “We had just a bunch of conflicts with that client and the client wasn’t willing to waive them,” Vapnek said. “That kind of put the kibosh on it.”
Townsend spokesman Brian Colucci confirmed the talks had ended. He declined to say when they started, but said both sides were excited about the possibilities of merging the firms’ IP groups – which Colucci said had no geographic overlap. “We would’ve been a very large national IP player.”
Townsend chief Maureen Sheehy and former chairman Jim Gilliland didn’t return calls for comment. Bill Dorris, co-managing partner at Kilpatrick Stockton, cited the conflict problem in a brief email statement. “We explored merger discussions with our friends at Townsend, but clients always come first. When client-related conflicts could not be resolved, we could not proceed further.”
Will Townsend try again with another firm?
“We’re not in discussion with Kilpatrick or any other firm,” Colucci said. “We are focused on remaining one of the premier IP firms in the country.”