Soemadipradja & Taher’s (S&T) 18-strong IP team has broken away from the firm to create K&K Advocates, at a time when S&T consolidates its business strategy and focuses on corporate M&A work in the region.

Justisiari Kusumah, an S&T partner with the firm for 16 years, has decided to start a firm specializing in IP enforcement and dispute resolution in a mutual agreement to separate. K&K Advocates has promoted the three senior associates from S&T to a salaried partnership, to join Kusumah in leading the firm. The three new partners are Risti Wulansari, Maya Ghita Gunadi and Yulianto Nurmansyah.

A strengthening pipeline of non-contentious IP work as well as litigation since two months ago is expected to keep the firm busy. “Despite the fact that the level of corruption is still high, local clients as well as multinational clients have increasing confidence in the court system in Indonesia,” Kusumah said when asked what drove the increased level of work in IP practice.

“Given the current state of market development, I am sure that we will grow bigger in the next 12 months. The present setup has given us more freedom and flexibility to chart an independent strategy and adjust our fees and pricing. Client work has been flowing in through a strong pipeline and we expect to recruit at least 2-3 lawyers in the next few months,” he said.

The move to form a spin-off was a mutually beneficial one – and after 16 years at the firm, it was the right time for him to try out his new venture, Kusumah said.

A trend of breakaway practices from larger established law firms has cemented its place in the Indonesian legal landscape in recent years.

Last year, ex-Hadiputranto, Hadinoto & Partners lawyers Daniel Ginting and Harun Reksodiputro left HHP to set up Allen & Overy affiliate firm Ginting & Reksodiputro in June 2010.

This year, Atik Susanto & Partners, a 13-strong corporate boutique firm was acquired by Oenteong Suria & Partners, who joined up with Blake Dawson, after the latter divorced Soebajo, Jatim, Djarot.

“Indonesia is quite prolific in terms of the spin-offs from larger firms. Senior or well-known practitioners in law firms spinning off and setting up their own arrangements – I would say is more common in Indonesia than it is in other jurisdictions but in Indonesia there is a real trend for partners of larger firms spinning off and setting up their own operations,” Allens Arthur Robinson partner David Holme had said in an interview for ALB’s Indonesia country report 2011.ALB

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