FPA (formerly Freehills Patent Attorneys) – probably the most underrated patent attorney firm in the Australian pantheon. Formerly part of Freehills (now Herbert Smith Freehills), one of Australia’s top tier law firms, FPA became an affiliate of HSF around the time Freehills merged with Herbert Smith. As an affiliate, FPA maintained ties with HSF but ran its own business. One of those ties was the use of HSF’s premises at the prestigious 101 Collins Street.
As an independent practice, FPA was able to become one of the subsidiaries of QANTM IP at the time of its listing. However, to this day, it remains at the premises of HSF at 101 Collins Street.
Why underrated? Because, despite, or perhaps because of its unusual position within Freehills, FPA is quality. It contains some of the most innovative and progressive thinkers in the profession and some of the most rigorous systems.
Anyhow, this unusual firm with (legacy) ties to HSF and clear and present ties to QANTM IP may soon have to rethink its position and at least its physical location. Why? Because, in the next couple of years, HSF is moving across the road to 80 Collins.
It is hard to imagine that HSF will want to bring FPA along with it. So what is FPA to do? It does not make sense for QANTM IP to rent them another premises when they could just move them into Davies Collison Cave’s haunts. And so there is my prediction: within 2 years Davies Collison Cave and FPA will be co-located and probably merged.
Is there a chance that I am wrong – certainly! FPA has bobbed like a cork for all of its existence, maintaining its culture through a multiplicity of different contexts. Let’s see how it goes in this one.