While most of the technical community’s attention this month has been focused on the demise of San Francisco- based Brobeck, little notice outside of legal circles was given to the closure of yet another Bay-area law firm, 26 year-old Skjerven Morrill, which closed Feb. 3.
Skjerven, “…encountered the perfect storm,” says Joseph Macrum, director of marketing for the firm. “Everything from the general economy, to the technology downturn, to the restructuring of management, to the departure of partners in a difficult economy all came together at the same time. Ultimately this affected the revenue and costs of the firm, which resulted in a decision of the partners to dissolve.”
“The firm had a very large footprint in technology,” according to Macrum, “especially patent litigation and intellectual property, but the footprint got smaller last year. We also had a very strong energy practice and a general litigation practice as well…but this is a very competitive environment.”
Skjerven represented technology clients such as Mosel Vitelic (against Hitachi), PCTel (against ESS), Xilinx (gainst Altera), and a host of others in issues that were settled out of court, including cases for Tandem, Samsung and Uniphase.
Before the firm shuttered its doors, like most other Bay area law firms, Skjerven had implemented several rounds of jobs cuts, reducing the size of the firm to about 180 attorneys and staff. “The partners have all departed for other firms, so they do not want to talk any further about the closure,” says Macrum, who adds “…and this is my last day. I am retiring.”
Email Jerry Borrell