Beleaguered Heller Ehrman is about to lose around 15 IP partners following the failure of the merger talks with Mayer Brown.

A group of around 15 intellectual partners from Heller Ehrman are thought to about to leave the firm to join Washington DC-based Covington & Burling.

The latest development to hit beleaguered firm Heller coincides with the ending of its latest round of merger talks, this time with Mayer Brown.

The loss of such a large group of partners would come as a significant blow to Heller, as IP is one of its signature practice areas.

The chair of Covington’s management and executive committees, Timothy Hester refused to expand on the rumours when contacted today by The Lawyer. “At this point we’re not making any comment,” he said.

However, numerous sources on the west coast confirmed that the DC firm was about to hire “a large group” of Heller partners.

Heller has been at the centre of merger rumours throughout the summer, with other candidates thought to have included Baker & McKenzie and Winston & Strawn.

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