Press Release

Kirkland Adds IP Litigation Partner Kat Li

Kirkland & Ellis is excited to announce that Kat Li has joined the Firm as a partner in the Intellectual Property Litigation Practice Group. She is based in the Firm’s Austin office.

“Kat is one of the leading IP trial lawyers in Texas and her experience representing a wide array of technology clients will be a major asset to our recently launched IP litigation practice in Texas, and our top-tier Firmwide IP litigation group,” said Jon A. Ballis, Chairman of Kirkland’s Executive Committee. 

Ms. Li focuses on patent and technology litigation, and she has represented Fortune 500 companies in U.S. District Court, the International Trade Commission, the Patent Trial and Appeal Board and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. She helps clients manage their global patent strategy and maximize the value of their patent portfolios. She is experienced in matters involving a variety of technologies, including mobile devices, semiconductors, oil and gas and telecommunications.

“With major tech-focused companies entering or expanding into Austin, we need exceptional talent like Kat to help guide clients as they grapple with complex IP-related issues,” said Austin-based IP litigation partner Jeannie Heffernan. “Kat is a wonderful addition to the team and will help grow our practice in Texas.”

Kirkland launched its Austin IP litigation practice in July 2021 to more effectively serve existing and potential clients in the region. Today, the Firm has seven Texas-based IP litigators, with plans for continued growth.

Ms. Li joins Kirkland from the Austin office of McKool Smith, where she was a principal and firmwide hiring principal. Prior to that, she clerked for Judge Arthur Gajarsa of the Federal Circuit and Judge Leonard Davis of the Eastern District of Texas. She currently serves as Judge Alan Albright’s teaching assistant for a course on patent advocacy at the University of Texas School of Law. 

“I am thrilled to join Kirkland and work with the team to build the IP litigation practice in Texas,” Ms. Li said. “Kirkland’s full-service platform is unparalleled and I look forward to bringing my experience to our clients and working with our talented attorneys across all practice groups.” 

Ms. Li is a fellow of the Leadership Counsel on Legal Diversity and was included in Best Lawyers in America’s “Ones to Watch for Intellectual Property and Patent.” She has been recognized by the State Bar of Texas Asian Pacific Interest Section as “Best Under 40” and “Nation’s Best” by Lawyers of Color. 

“Advancing diversity, equity and inclusion in our profession is important to me,” Ms. Li said. “I am excited to continue that work at Kirkland, which has made supporting diverse attorneys an integral part of its mission.”

Ms. Li earned her law degree from the University of Texas School of Law and her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in material science and engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.