The Polsinelli law firm has been expanding its Denver office, adding 20 lawyers over the winter and recently adding a high-profile intellectual property attorney who helped bring the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office to the city.

John Posthumus, formerly of Denver-based Sheridan Ross, joined Polsinelli as a partner in its growing intellectual property practice two weeks ago.

Kansas City-based Polsinelli PC, which moved its Denver office into a new 22-story tower at 1401 Lawrence St. a year ago, now has 91 lawyers in Denver, with a couple more joining in coming days, said Jennifer Evans, managing partner in Denver for Polsinelli.

Gallery: Polsinelli law firm shows off new office in new downtown Denver building

Kansas City-based Polsinelli Denver office moved into its new office at 1401 Lawrence St. in December. The firm has the naming rights on the newly erected building and hosted a party March 2 to celebrate.

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“We are filling up faster than I anticipated,” said Evans, adding that it’s making the entire four-floor office a busy place.

Polsinelli’s growth in Denver is part of an ongoing national expansion that has included adding offices in Houston and Palo Alto, California, she said.

The 900-attorney firm manages the business by practice areas; it’s growth isn’t primarily led by geography, but by where client demand is for specific legal areas and where it can attract the relevant attorneys, Evans said.

Denver’s booming economy has helped spur the law firm’s local growth.

“We have so many clients in Denver, or in this part of the country, who either have their whole business here or their clients are in this part of the country.” Evans said. “Like everyone, we’ve benefited from that infusion of capital, people and energy.”

The fastest growing parts of the Denver office include Polsinelli’s global franchise business supply chain legal practice, its corporate M&A law practice and its intellectual property practice.

The company’s adding a Denver- and Dallas-based practice in franchise supply chain law, based on the hiring of attorneys Joyce Mazero and Len MacPhee who will be co-chairs of the practice.

In addition to having clients here, lawyers in the M&A practice benefit by being located centrally with easy access to coastal business centers and other parts of the country, Evans said.

The way Polsinelli’s been shaping its practice to attract and retain clients as it has grown helped convince Posthumus to join its IP practice, he said.

“I’ve been watching them for a while and noticing what they were doing, which was quite a bit different from other firms in town,” said Posthumus, who had spent eight years at Sheridan Ross, a boutique that specializes in intellectual property work, but previously had worked at other national law firms with a presence in Denver.

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John Posthumus, an Denver intellectual property lawyer, recently joined Polsinelli PC’s expanding IP law practice.

Polsinelli has big law firm resources and legal capability, Posthumus said, but it makes itself accessible to clients of all sizes with a mid-market rate structure and a flexibility to pull resources from different practice areas across the organization as needed, he said.

“It’s nice sweet spot, I think,” he said.

Posthumus was one of the main lawyers that led a several-year effort to convince the federal government to open U.S. Patent and Trademark Office satellite locations outside Washington D.C., and to put one of them in Denver.

The Denver USPTO office opened in 2014 — one of four regional offices created nationwide — and made the city the patent hub for a nine-state region.

It has between 125-150 federal patent examiners now, and there’s a growing awareness in the regional business community of the services the USPTO offers, Posthumus said.

He said he hopes to start work on convincing the newly-appointed USPTO chief in Washington, D.C. to expand the staffing at all the regional USPTO offices — maybe having as many as 2,000 examiners in Denver by 2024 — in the hope of alleviating the longstanding backlog of patent applications filed by companies, entrepreneurs and inventors.

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