Award Chambers & Partners

America's Leading Lawyers for Business 2010: Intellectual Property

Chambers & Partners has compiled its 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' 2010 review of national legal talent in the area of "Intellectual Property," our Firm and our lawyers are listed among the best in the country.

Chambers' comments:

Nationwide Ranking: Tier 1

The Firm: This firm has long been a national force in the patent litigation space, but its acquisition of several copyright and trademark experts from O'Melveny & Myers in 2009 has greatly enhanced its reputation on the soft IP side. Prominent in New York, California, Illinois and Washington, DC, a cross-office team successfully represented a consortium of cable modem vendors in an IP and antitrust action against Rembrandt Technologies.

Sources Say: "A dynamic and exciting team who love what they do and do it incredibly well."

Key Individuals: Chicago-based William Streff is a key contact for the firm's IP practice. Dale Cendali, operating out of New York, is respected for her trademark & copyright expertise.

Illinois Ranking: Tier 1

The Firm: Kirkland & Ellis is one of the largest and most respected firms in Chicago. Its IP department is equally esteemed, and frequently handles the largest and most complex cases in the market. The group engages in high-profile pharmaceutical and biotech patent cases and is renowned for its trial work. Its international reach is praised by clients, particularly those with a global presence.

Sources Say: "The firm to choose for the biggest cases. These fantastic lawyers are always impressive."

Key Individuals: William Streff handles IP litigation, transactions and counseling for technology companies, including those involved in the manufacturing of computer hardware and semiconductor technology. Patent litigator Russell Levine focuses his trial practice on patent infringement matters.

New York Ranking: Tier 1
Trade Mark & Copyright
New York Ranking: Tier 2

The Firm: Kirkland & Ellis is preeminent in the IP arena both in New York and nationally, thanks to its leading attorneys in both the soft and hard IP fields. Its exceptional expertise in IP litigation makes it the first-choice destination for industry heavyweights in a range of fields, from pharmaceutical, medical device and financial services to media and entertainment. On the patent litigation side, the firm has undertaken work for American Express, GlaxoSmithKline and Cisco Systems; the trademark and copyright team represents the likes of JK Rowling and Apple.

Sources Say: "Phenomenal litigators who act on groundbreaking cases across the country."

"They really set the standard in IP litigation, providing first-rate service and delivering the results when it's make or break."

Key Individuals: Patent specialist Gerald Flattmann is experienced in litigation, prosecution and counseling work for clients in the pharmaceutical and biotech fields. He is praised as a "talented, determined younger partner, who is coming up fast and will make a splash." Another attorney considered to belong to "Kirkland's next generation of superstar IP litigators" is Gregory Arovas. He devotes much of his practice to patent disputes relating to the electrical engineering, computer chips, software and telecom sectors. Dale Cendali and Claudia Ray fly the firm's flag on the copyright and trademark side. They work closely together, recently representing the Associated Press in a declaratory judgment suit brought by Shepard Fairey, arising out of Mr. Fairey's use of the client's photo of President Barack Obama to create the iconic Obama 'HOPE' poster and related commercial merchandise. Cendali is revered as an "exceptionally gifted litigator; she's tenacious, hard-hitting and really cares about her clients." The talented Ray is regarded as especially strong in alternative dispute resolution and licensing matters.

California Ranking: Tier 2

The Firm: The California IP practice is integral to Kirkland & Ellis's wider reputation as one of the dominant forces in the national IP arena. The Los Angeles, San Francisco and Palo Alto offices are home to attorneys with expertise in both soft and hard IP, although the firm's performance in high-profile patent litigation most frequently steals the limelight. The group has broad and extensive expertise, ranging from medical device, Internet and telecom work to matters arising in the aerospace and gaming sectors.

Sources Say: "They are aggressive, tough and creative and always keep us fully informed of the progress and details of our case."

Key Individuals: Robert Krupka is proclaimed "one of the deans of the trial Bar here. He's got a huge reputation and it's well deserved." Patent litigation is at the heart of his practice and recently he obtained two victories for Limelight Networks, eliminating the threats of an injunction and a claim for $100 million in past damages. Alex MacKinnon was instrumental in this case and enters the rankings this year amid praise for his "superb cross-examination skills" and "approachable and responsive manner." Patent disputes specialist Adam Alper wins praise for his responsiveness and commitment: "He never takes short cuts."

District of Columbia Ranking: Tier 3

The Firm: The Washington, DC group focuses exclusively on IP litigation, as do all of the IP teams at this nationally renowned IP practice. Its eminence in patent infringement cases is evident and the firm's footprint of offices and depth of practice enables the team to handle big-ticket litigation all over the country. For example, alongside colleagues from the New York office, the group is representing SAMSUNG in cases against Spansion in district courts and the ITC. 

Sources Say: "They are prepared, thorough and have their finger on the pulse of the most current case law."

Key Individuals: Edward Donovan is noted for "being both strategic and creative." He and Daniel Attridge led the team that won a motion to dismiss in a patent infringement suit in federal court in the Southern District of California, on behalf of B. Braun Medical. Attridge handles both IP and commercial litigation. In the IP space, he is noted for his strength in patent litigation cases relating to life sciences technology. "Superstar in the making" Gregg LoCascio has enviable first-chair trial experience. In a recent highlight, he led the team that successfully defended Boeing against allegations of trade secret misappropriation and tortious interference relating to work performed for the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency.

Reprinted with permission from Chambers USA, America's Leading Lawyers for Business 2010 —