ON THE MOVE: IP Lawyer Leaves Baker Donelson To Go Solo And Simplify
Mike Powell has opened a solo intellectual property practice, leaving Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz after 13 years to gain time for his family while helping clients simplify their intellectual property issues.
Powell said his focus at Powell IP Law is on mediation and advising, not litigation. "I help companies navigate their IP issues," he said, adding that he has formed an of counsel relationship with Casey Gilson for litigation.
"I've practiced IP law for years, and in my view it's become unnecessarily complex and costly," he said. "I had a desire to practice IP law while being closer to my family and my clients."
Powell, 47, has four children between the ages of seven and 12. "I want to enjoy my kids' childhoods," he said.
With a solo practice he can do more mediation and leave the consuming, bet-the-company IP litigation to the big firms, he said.
Powell gained mediation experience from his early career as a construction lawyer at Martin Caven & Andersen. Construction law is an area that relies heavily on arbitration and mediation.
Powell has worked at a smaller shop before. He was part of the five-lawyer IP boutique Kennedy, Davis & Hodge, which Baker Donelson acquired in 2000 to start its Atlanta office. Powell then served as the office's managing shareholder.
The Tennessee-based firm has grown quite a bit since then. It has about 600 lawyers, with 74 in Atlanta.
Powell said he plans to stay solo for now. "The key is simplifying my practice. If I need to grow, I will. I've done it before."
Real estate lawyer Diane Lidz has left a partnership at Troutman Sanders, where she spent 17 years, to become a partner at Hartman Simons & Wood. Lidz handles retail development projects, industrial leasing and loan workouts.