Jeffery Norman is a partner in Kirkland & Ellis LLP’s cutting-edge Technology & IP Transactions Practice Group. Jeff offers more than two decades of experience and strategic counseling in complex transactions where technology or intellectual property rights are critical to the success of the venture. Jeff’s focus and extensive experience includes high profile international and domestic joint ventures, mergers and acquisitions, business carve-out transactions, master franchising agreements, financial technology and blockchain related transactions, long term supply and manufacturing agreements, beverage bottling and brewing agreements, trademark licensing, and software development and licensing.

Called a “fount of insight on software patent issues,” Jeff has been recognized in the IAM Patent 1000 guide for his patent-related work each year since 2010. He is also recognized in the “Technology: Transactions” category in the 2018 edition of The Legal 500 United States.

Jeff's scientific background includes significant commercial programming experience in multiple computer languages including C, C++ and Python. He has co-authored several peer-reviewed and oft-cited articles in the area of artificial intelligence and reasoning. He is active in the software community and his comments on computer technology, patent infringement issues and open source code have appeared in several articles. He has presented at numerous events on topics such as information security breaches, open source law and IP issues in business transactions.

Jeff holds a JD, Order of the Coif, from Washington University School of Law, where he received the Dean’s Honor Scholar Award and served as law review Associate Editor for the Washington University Law Quarterly.


Thought Leadership

Press Mentions

Jeff’s comments on computer technology, patent infringement issues and open-source code have appeared in the following articles:

Microsoft Gets Its Groove On With New Patent, PC World (June 7, 2007)

Lawsuit Threatens Spamhaus with Shutdown, InfoWorld.com (October 17, 2006)

Microsoft Opens Up, PCMag.com (October 11, 2006)

Court Blocks Microsoft’s Chimney in Longhorn, Eweek.com (April 14, 2005)

Microsoft Patents Could Threaten Linux, Networkworld.com (August 2, 2004)

SCO Seeks More Code from IBM, InfoWorld.com (June 3, 2004)

Linux for Desktops: Some Analysts Say Usage Data Inflated, Investor’s Business Daily (May 27, 2004)

IBM Seeks to Force SCO’s Hand in Lawsuit, Computerworld.com (May 21, 2004)

Software Organization Rebuffs SCO Subpoena, InfoWorld.com (May 20, 2004)

Eolas Patent Rejected, But Decision Not Seen As Final, InfoWorld.com (March 5, 2004)

The Myths of Open-Source, CIO Magazine (March 1, 2004) 


Jeff has authored or co-authored the following articles:

Intellectual Property Issues, PLI Acquiring or Selling the Privately Held Company 2006 (April 2005, April 2006, April 2007, April 2008, April 2009, April 2010, April 2011)

Kirkland & Ellis IP Spotlight: SCO Redux: Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals Reverses Lower Court Ruling That Had Dismissed SCO’s Claims (Sept 2009)

Gave interview for IP Law & Business article re: The American Law Institute’s New Principles of the Law of Software Contracts (October 23, 2009)

Courts, UCC Tackle Shrink-Wrap Licenses, N.Y. Law Journal (October 14, 1997, at S6)

Progress on Room 5: A Testbed for Public Interactive Semi-Formal Legal Argumentation, 1997 Proceedings Of The Sixth International Conference On Artificial Intelligence And Law 207

Rationales and Argument Moves, 3 Artificial Intelligence And Law 159 (1995)

Computing Specificity, 93-03 Washington University Computer Science Technical Report (1993)

A Design for Reasoning with Policies, Precedents, and Rationales, 1993 Proceedings Of The Fourth International Conference On Artificial Intelligence And Law 202

Comment, The Seventh Circuit Allows Bankrupt Debtors a Fresh Start with their Former Spouse’s Property – In re Sanderfoot, 889 F.2d 598 (7th Cir. 1990), 69 Wash. U.L.Q. 645 (1991)


Speaker and Organizer, Open Source Strategies and Issues in Litigation, Kirkland & Ellis LLP Open Source Law Seminar (January 2012)

Panelist, Open Source Policies: Traps and Trends, Open Source Business Conference (May 2012)

Speaker, Monetary Damages for Open Source Violations: A Practical Framework, Open Source Business Conference (May 2011)

Speaker, Intellectual Property Issues, PLI Acquiring or Selling the Privately Held Company (June 2005, June 2006, June 2007, May 2008, May 2009, May 2010, May 2011)

Speaker, Open Source Update, Kirkland & Ellis LLP Technology & Law Seminar (June 2010)

Speaker, Managing the Enterprise’s Open Source Contributions, Open Source Business Conference (March 2010)

Speaker, Acquiring and Licensing IP in Bankruptcy, IPLAF Acquiring Licenses in Bankruptcy (January 2010)

Panelist, M&A Transactions: Capitalizing on Intellectual Property Assets, Structuring Deals to Leverage IP Value and Minimize Legal Risk, Strafford Publications, Inc. (September 2009)

Panelist and Organizer, ISACA Information Security Breaches: Detection, Response and Management (June 2009)

Speaker and Organizer, Kirkland & Ellis LLP Open Source Law Seminar (April 2009)

Speaker, Shims and Shams: Firewalling Proprietary Code in a Copyleft Context, InfoWorld Open Source Business Conference (March 2009)

Speaker, Patent Licensing, PLI Handling IP Issues in Corporate Transactions (February 2009)

Speaker, Licensing Your Patents, PLI Handling IP Issues in Business Transactions (January 2009)

Speaker, Kirkland & Ellis LLP Biotechnology & Pharmaceutical Law Seminar (September 2008)

Speaker and Organizer, Kirkland & Ellis LLP Technology & Law Seminar (1999 - 2008)

Chair and Speaker, Patent Licensing, PLI Handling IP Issues in Business Transactions (April 2008)

Chair and Speaker, Joint Ventures and Strategic Alliances, PLI Handling IP Issues in Business Transactions (April 2008)

Speaker, A Practical Guide to License Conflicts, Open Source Business Conference (March 2008)

Co-Chair, Navigating the Global Business Landscape: Best Practices for International Software Licensing and Dealmaking, Advanced Software Law and Practice Forum (June 2006)

Memberships & Affiliations

Member of the Intellectual Property Law, Science and Technology, and Antitrust Sections of the American Bar Association

Member of the Electronic Commerce Division of the Science and Technology Section of the American Bar Association


Admissions & Qualifications

  • 1992Illinois


  • Washington University in St. Louis, School of LawJ.D.1992

    Order of the Coif

    Dean's Honor Scholar Award

    Law Review Associate Editor, Washington University Law Quarterly

  • Washington University in St. LouisA.B., Political Science1989

    Upper-level coursework in computer science, engineering and physics