McDermott raids California rivals to boost IP practice

Chicago firm McDermott Will & Emery is expanding its Silicon Valley practice by hiring two partners from rival firms.

It is the firm’s second round of partner recruitment this year. In January, the firm hired the highly-rated head of intellectual property (IP) Terry McMahon from Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe in the Valley (The Lawyer, 29 January).

He is now being joined by former colleague Robert Blanch from Orrick, and David Larson from top Valley firm Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati.

Both focus on contentious IP work, namely patent litigation, copyright, trademark infringement, trade secrets and anti-trust law.

McDermott’s Valley office now boasts 20 lawyers, most of whom handle IP work. Six partners from rival firms joined the West Coast practice this year.

Head of IP Ray Lupo, who is based in Washington DC, says: “McDermott Will & Emery has put a major emphasis on IP, and Silicon Valley is an essential part of the present and future growth of the IP group because so much technology is centred there.”

IP clients in the Silicon Valley office include Logitech and Seagate Technology.

McMahon brought in a raft of clients when he joined, having worked in the past for groups such as EMC Corporation, Pacific Bell and Advanced Micro Devices.

Lupo says: “We’ve had a significant client base in Silicon Valley for years. We only opened there three and a half years ago, and since then it’s been a process of trying to build it.

“I think the growth is unlimited – we’d love to see an office of 70 or more attorneys out there.”