RALEIGH – The Research Triangle is growing as one of the nation’s top life science hubs, and a national law firm wants in on the action.

Barnes & Thornburg, a large U.S. law firm and lobbying group, today announced that it has set up shop in Raleigh, adding a life sciences patent group.

The firm will start with nine employees – five lawyers and four paralegals, several of whom have moved over from the  Raleigh-based boutique IP firm Brinks, Gilson & Lione.

“We wanted to team up with a firm that could offer the full range of services,” explained Allen Baum, an intellectual property attorney previously with Brinks, Gilson & Lione who will be leading the new group.

“Our prior firm was an IP boutique, and we wanted to be at a place where we could service all of our client’s needs at one law firm.”

Allen Baum

He said it was part of a larger trend that has been going on in the sector for a number of years.

“What’s happening in the market is clients want to be able to get everything from one place, negotiate a fee arrangement with one firm instead of 12, and then manage costs to budget. Barnes really checks all those boxes,” he said.

“Here, we’re sort of a one-stop shop situation, addressing all their needs in a seamless, integrated fashion.”

North Carolina’s Raleigh-Durham metro area, a.k.a. the Research Triangle, has the nation’s fourth-leading life science base among major metro hubs, according to  the recent 2019 Life Sciences Outlook report issued by Chicago-based Jones Lang LaSalle.

The Triangle now ranks only behind Greater Boston, the San Francisco Bay Area and San Diego.

The rankings are based on life science employment concentration and growth, company concentration, venture capital funding, NIH funding and patents.

Baum said the firm is keen to service this growing market.

The group brings “several decades of combined experience and advanced degrees” in such fields as organic chemistry, molecular biology, chemistry and biotechnology. Members also have “in-house experience with some of the foremost names in life sciences and pharmaceuticals,” Barnes & Thornburg said in its release.

The firm is currently in a temporary office at 4819 Emperor Boulevard, but is looking for a more permanent space.

“We’ve narrowed it down to a couple of locations. It will be somewhere on the belt line,” said Baum.

Barnes & Thornburg is also adding new offices in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and Salt Lake City, Utah. That brings its total number of offices to 18.

With more than 600 attorneys and other legal professionals, Barnes & Thornburg is one of the largest law firms in the country. The firm serves clients worldwide from offices in Atlanta, California, Chicago, Delaware, Indiana, Michigan, Minneapolis, Ohio, Raleigh, Salt Lake City, Texas and Washington, D.C.

Triangle now 4th largest life science hub in US, says new report