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IP firm bolsters expansion plans with key acquisition

One of Australia’s largest independent intellectual property firms has announced it has acquired Melbourne-based EKM as it looks to remain independent, while further expanding its operations nationwide.

IP firm Wrays will fully integrate with EKM from 31 March next year, making it the largest independent intellectual property firm in the Melbourne market, complete with a significant trademarks portfolio. The new, combined entity will operate out of Wrays’ offices on Collins Street in Melbourne’s CBD.

Speaking to Lawyers Weekly, Wrays CEO Frank Hurley (pictured) said the decision comes after realising there was a need to distinguish itself from other IP firms in the country, especially those who have decided to list on the ASX in recent years

“The legal and patent attorney services marketplace is rapidly evolving and consolidating, and to remain competitive we focus on offering our clients access to a broad range of IP, legal and strategic consulting services on a national level,” he said.

“The combined entity will solidify our presence in Melbourne, giving our clients on-the-ground access to highly qualified and experienced attorneys.

“By maintaining our independence, we continue to focus on what’s best for our clients, which is high quality IP and legal advice, rather than be distracted by the demands of a listed parent company and shareholder return.”

Mr Hurley said the collaboration with EKM was a natural fit, and something that has been on the cards for six to 12 months.

“We knew one of the principals, [Jennifer McEwan]. She used to work for us at Wrays back in the '90s so we have a good relationship with her,” he said.

“Jen and David [King], the two principals, have grown EKM so clearly there’s a lot of emotional attachment and this is a big step for them. We’re really pleased that they’ve come on board with us and are bringing their team.”

Ms McEwan agreed that the integration of the two firms was the best approach forward for both parties.

“We are determined that becoming part of the Wrays network would ensure that our clients continue to receive the best possible long-term service, with access to intellectual property experts nationwide,” she said.

“We will work closely with Wrays to ensure a seamless transition for our clients and employees, and we look forward to providing our clients with additional expertise and specialised IP services locally and globally.”


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