Chambers & Partners has compiled their independent and objective list of America's Leading Lawyers for Business based on comments gathered from thousands of interviews with clients and lawyers from Maine to Hawaii. This guide -- which is designed to reflect market opinion -- contains a view of the firms and attorneys who are considered leaders in their field.
In Chambers' 2006 review of national legal talent in the area of "Intellectual Property," our Firm and our lawyers are listed among the best in the country.
Illinois Ranking: 1
The Firm: For many clients, this "first-rate litigation powerhouse" is the one to choose. Rapidly expanding, it has a significant national presence and a growing international reach. Its attorneys are well equipped to handle trademark, copyright, licensing work and trade secrets, but have carved an especially impressive reputation for litigation and patent infringement cases. Its "excellent in-house litigation training" has led to the development of a 200-strong group of "creative and gifted" IP experts, specializing in high-stakes IP litigation. The team achieved a total victory for ConocoPhillips this year in just such a case — a patent infringement bench trial — with an award of $9 million in price erosion and profit damages as well as an immediate injunction in its favor. Similar success was achieved for Amazon.com, obtaining summary judgment in a patent lawsuit, following a compressed 'rocket docket' discovery period, avoiding a $50 million damages pay-out.
The Lawyers: Armed with "strong strategic skills and excellent instincts," James Amend is quick to grasp facts, which makes him an engaging advocate. His long track record has furnished him with experience in many fields of technology including electronics, computers, chemistry, manufacturing and packaging. Clients highlighted his "practical perspective" and creative problem solving among his many attributes. William Streff is a client favorite because he is "personable, sincere and a great listener" as well as "committed to building a long-term trustworthy relationship." He clearly places clients at the top of the hierarchy, ensuring cases are staffed well and meticulously prepared. In court, however, the gloves come off to reveal an "outstanding dedicated and skilled patent litigator" committed to the cause.
Clients/Work Highlights: Hitachi; Konica Minolta; Amazon.com; Agere Systems; Jays Foods; Oxford Gene Technology; ConocoPhillips and Third Wave Technologies.
California Ranking: 2
The Firm: The presence of Apple and International Gaming Technology in this firm's client base gives some indication of the status of its IP practice. It is said to field "a superb cast of lawyers with formidable legal skills," who are experienced in handling a huge range of cases. The team of IP litigators is accustomed to both prosecuting and defending clients from various industries involved in such actions as licensing, marketing alliances and outsourcing arrangements. The outfit is also understood to be one of the most successful locally active offshoots from a firm that operates on a global scale.
The Lawyers: Sources consistently branded Bob Krupka a "tremendous success," and he is credited with a "highly client-oriented approach." He is renowned for having settled a patent infringement case on behalf of Dr. Gary Michelson for $1.35 billion, the fourth-largest verdict of its kind in the field of IP litigation. Krupka was repeatedly labeled as being among the best patent litigators in the USA, and he has a wealth of experience appearing in courts across the country, including the ITC and the Federal Court of Appeals. Rivals expect this first-rate attorney to taste success yet again as partner of choice for such clients as Apple, ConocoPhillips and Boston Scientific in a number of pending cases. John Desmarais commands respect in the courtroom as a "dogged cross-examiner," especially in patent infringement cases, and trademark and copyright disputes.
Clients/Work Highlights: Honeywell; Amgen; Motorola; Pioneer Electronics and Schering-Plough.
District of Columbia Ranking: 3
The Firm: The "depth of legal talent" offered by Kirkland & Ellis' 25-attorney IP team was what impressed clients most, and the outfit has won a respectable market profile for itself. Both litigation and transactional work is covered, with commentators generally agreeing that the firm is at its best when handling contentious matters, to which it can bring the full force of "its stellar bench of litigators." Clients also appreciate the flexibility of these "go-getters" when it comes to accommodating their needs. The team is particularly strong on the patents front, where it has successfully represented a number of medical device and generic and branded pharmaceutical firms. It also performs a large amount of work for the likes of Siemens.
The Lawyers: Combining "business acumen with a strong legal background," Daniel Attridge won praise from clients for doing an "exceptional job." His "strong understanding" of the federal court system has been put to good use in Ferring BV v Barr Laboratories Inc. The case began in 2002 and since then he has been representing Barr Laboratories in its Abbreviated New Drug Application (ANDA).
Clients/Work Highlights: Barr Laboratories; B. Braun Medical; Teva Pharmaceuticals USA; Honeywell; ACTV Inc; Siemens; BASF; Hershey Foods and Samsung.
Reprinted with permission from Chambers USA, America’s Leading Lawyers for Business 2006 - www.chambersandpartners.com.