Paul Hastings advises as Zynga sues former manager

Paul Hastings is advising US social gaming company Zynga on a lawsuit that sees the company allege that one of its former managers took trade secrets to a rival company.

In the filing Zynga alleges that Alan Patmore, the former head of Zynga’s CityVille games, copied 760 company files into his DropBox storage account with the intention of stealing Zynga data before he left for competitor Kixeye.

The company claims that the data Patmore “unlawfully stole” contains some of Zynga’s “most valuable and confidential information” including more than 10 unreleased game design documents that describe material features and game play as well as conceptual renderings of characters and scenes.

The complaint was filed with the Superior Court in San Francisco last Friday, with the company turning to longstanding legal adviser Paul Hastings for advice. Palo Alto-based employment partner Bradford Newman is understood to be lead counsel on the case, advising alongside litigation partner Peter Meier and employment associates Stephen Yang and Kyle Reykalin.

This is not the first time Zynga, which has experienced a number of senior departures this year, has filed a lawsuit involving a former employee. In 2009 the social gaming company claimed a former member of staff stole its Playbook idea before joining rival game start-up Playdom. The suit was reportedly settled.

Paul Hastings was not available for comment at the time of writing.