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Fox employee David Huagen, left, speaks with Lawyer Bruce Patterson at the Fox Factory in Scotts Valley, Calif. The law firm Patterson/Sheridan staffs its San Jose office by flying their lawyers in from Houston on their private plane.

less Fox employee David Huagen, left, speaks with Lawyer Bruce Patterson at the Fox Factory in Scotts Valley, Calif. The law firm Patterson/Sheridan staffs its San Jose office by flying ...

But Patterson and Sheridan's Gulfstream, known as "the bus" around the firm, is a workhorse, logging 150,000 miles a year, including occasional trips to visit clients in Seattle; St. The only similar example he could think of was that of the San Francisco firm Brobeck, Phleger & Harrison, which avoided some of the skyrocketing costs of Silicon Valley during the dot-com boom of 20 years ago by maintaining a small office in San Jose, which it operated Tuesday through Thursday by rotating lawyers from its headquarters about 50 miles away.

One of Patterson and Sheridan's competitors is Fish and Richardson, a patent firm with 360 lawyers.

Patterson Sheridan is a mid-size intellectual property firm based in Houston.

Patterson Sheridan is a mid-size intellectual property firm based in Houston. more Members of Patterson Sheridan law team prepare to departe on a flight to Silicon Valley from the Sugar Land Regional Airport Tuesday, July 11, 2017, in Sugar Land.

( Steve Gonzales / Houston Chronicle ) less Todd Patterson (left) and Puja Detjen attempt to get work done before departing on a flight to Silicon Valley from the Sugar Land Regional Airport Tuesday, July 11, 2017, in Sugar Land. more Randol Read (left) and Todd Patterson attempt to get work done before departing on a flight to Silicon Valley from the Sugar Land Regional Airport Tuesday, July 11, 2017, in Sugar Land.Patterson and Sheridan staffs its San Jose office by flying lawyers ... - In the early light of a Tuesday morning at Sugar Land Regional Airport, a group of lawyers in sports coats and button-down shirts with open collars climbed aboard the idling Gulfstream G200 jet, handed their bags to the pilots, and settled into the cabin with polished eye-of-maple paneling, plush leather seats and a well-stocked bar. Rather, the jet is part of a novel strategy by the intellectual property firm Patterson and Sheridan to expand in Silicon Valley by exporting the cost advantages of Houston to one of the most expensive places in the world to do business.Instead of plunking down money on astronomically priced real estate and staffing up an office with some of the highest-price talent, the Houston firm bought a nine-seat corporate jet that each month flies a plane load of lawyers from Sugar Land to California, where they meet clients and try to find new ones.General counsel David Haugen said it doesn't matter whether lawyers live in Houston or Silicon Valley as long as they are available when he needs them."You can have a firm next door that is inattentive," he said, "and a firm that is 1,500 miles away that is very attentive." It's not unusual for lawyers to own jets, which have become the ultimate status symbol for millionaire personal injury lawyers. William Cobb, managing partner of Cobb Consulting in Houston, which advises law firms on compensation and strategy, said Patterson and Sheridan has come up with an unusual, if not unique, expansion model.

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