Press Release

Kirkland Starts IP Litigation Practice in Austin

Kirkland & Ellis announced today that it is launching its intellectual property litigation practice in the Firm’s Austin office. IP litigation partner Jeannie Heffernan will relocate to Austin to launch the practice.

“While we’ve always had significant IP work in Texas, having a physical presence in Austin will allow us to serve IP and tech clients even more closely,” said IP litigation partner Gregg LoCascio, a member of Kirkland’s Executive Committee. “In light of the continued growth of high-tech clients in Texas, the booming docket in the Western District of Texas, and the strong talent pool in Austin and elsewhere in the state, this was a logical next step for our IP practice.”

Kirkland opened its Austin office in April in Frost Bank Tower, 401 Congress Ave. with partners Marc Browning, Stephen Butler, Kim Hicks, John Kaercher and Doug Tedeschi. The Firm opened its Houston office in April 2014 and its Dallas office in July 2018.

Originally based in New York, Ms. Heffernan is an experienced IP trial lawyer. She has been at Kirkland for 20 years and has won more than a dozen IP trials around the country in a wide range of industries, from personal electronics to telecommunications to medical devices. She has led a number of high-profile IP cases in Texas and has been described as having “as much experience in the Eastern District of Texas as any national litigator.”

“Many of our IP clients are based in Texas or have significant operations in the state, including a number with a strong presence in Austin,” Ms. Heffernan said. “In addition, over the last five years, hundreds of tech-focused companies have either relocated their headquarters or expanded operations in Austin, creating more demand for a local IP presence. Given that the majority of my practice over the past 15 years has been either in Texas federal district courts or for Texas clients, launching the IP litigation practice in Austin makes perfect sense.”

Kirkland plans to initially expand the IP litigation practice in Austin with a team of relocated Kirkland associates and lateral hires, including new associate David Dyer, who recently joined the Firm.

“We are excited to welcome Jeannie to Texas as her new home and think this is a great addition to our Texas client offerings,” said Andy Calder, a Houston energy partner and member of Kirkland’s Executive Committee. “Austin is known for its strong base of tech companies and this decision will help our clients with IP-related issues.”

With decades of experience, Kirkland’s IP litigation attorneys have achieved extraordinary results in patent, copyright, trademark, trade secret and advertising matters, and are often brought in to handle clients’ largest, bet-the-company IP disputes. The group has extensive experience in venues where IP cases are most often litigated, and tries cases before juries, judges and arbitrators nationwide, with additional unique expertise before the U.S. International Trade Commission, the Patent Trial and Appeal Board, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit and the U.S. Supreme Court.