Holland & Knight hires partners to boost Washington IP practice

Florida firm Holland & Knight is taking on a team of five intellectual property partners to boost its practice in Washington DC.

Three partners are joining with their associates from Boston-based firm Gadsby & Hannah, while two are moving from in-house positions at Tiffany & Co and Motorola.

The team from Gadsby & Hannah boasts partners Carol Matthews, Paul Kilmer and Thomas Brooke. The trio brings an impressive client list including sportswear giant LA Gear, publisher National Geographic, distillers William Grant & Sons and the Metropolitan Opera in New York.

Matthews specialises in prosecution of trademark, advice on copyright matters, licence agreements and technology transfer, domain name and internet issues.

Kilmer carries out all aspects of trademark, copyright and unfair competition work, particularly the international aspects of intellectual property protection, licensing, technology transfer and representation of emerging companies.

Brooke assists clients with international trademark protection, in particular unfair competition, trade secrets, counterfeiting and technology transfer.

Kilmer says: “With the type of work we do in the intellectual property area, getting involved in an IP practice which is really just coming together within the corporate business group is a great opportunity for us.”

With Deborah Kramm coming in from Tiffany & Co and Kevin Buford joining from Motorola, the intellectual property team in Washington has more than doubled in size to eight partners.

The office has 175 lawyers in total, and is now the biggest practice for the 1,100-lawyer firm, which is one of the top 10 in the US in terms of size.

Kilmer says Washington is the most obvious place to boost intellectual property. He says: “The intellectual property practice had been under the litigation group but they felt that expanding the practice might work better under the corporate business group, which is where we have moved to.

“Washington is where the patent trademark offices are located so it really makes sense to build the presence here. It is one of the fastest growing, if not the fastest growing, technology markets in the US.”

In April, the firm merged with a niche communications firm in Washington to boost the high technology practice. Merger partner Koteen & Naftalin added seven partners, expanding the Washington communications practice to 15 lawyers, with clients including NBC, The New York Times, Telephone and Data Systems and US Cellular Corporation.

The firm has 15 offices in the US, as well as five international offices in Mexico City, Tokyo, Buenos Aires, Caracas and Tel Aviv.