Committed to its review of the legal market, the IP STARS research team closely monitors lateral hires and firm news across the globe. Below is a roundup of notable partner hires and moves from the past month in the Americas.



Three Lathrop GPM attorneys leave to start IP boutique

A group of three Kansas City partners from Lathrop GPM – Hissan Anis, Justin Poplin and Anna Quinn – left the firm to found Avant Law Group, a boutique offering patent, trademark and copyright services. The group in particular shares notable experience in PTAB proceedings.


Two New York IP partners make leap to Haug Partners

This month Brian Slater and Gregory Sephton joined boutique Haug Partners in New York, bolstering the firm’s strength in life sciences patent disputes. The two practitioners left recently-founded trial firm Pierce Bainbridge Beck Price & Hecht. Prior to 2016, the Slater and Sephton were longtime partners at Fitzpatrick Cella Harper & Scinto.


Former IP partner returns to Allen & Overy in New York

Paul Keller, a former IP partner at Allen & Overy who left the firm in 2015 for Norton Rose Fulbright, re-joined the firm in March as one of the UK-based firm’s latest lateral hires. Keller’s background focuses on patent and trade secrets litigation, primarily in the automotive and fintech industries.


Panitch Schwarze makes sweep of attorney hires in Pennsylvania

Philadelphia-based IP boutique Panitch Schwarze Belisario & Nadel recently had three notable life sciences attorneys join from Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney. Travis Bliss, Erin Dunston and Philip Hirschhorn were welcomed to the firm as partners, bringing extensive experience in patent prosecution and litigation.


Latham & Watkins adds another partner in Washington, DC

Nicholas Boyle is the latest lateral to join Latham & Watkins’s DC litigation bench. Hailing from Williams & Connolly, Boyle’s diverse practice includes copyright and trade secrets litigation. This hire comes a few months after Latham hired ex-Williams & Connolly patent litigator Adam Perlman.


Christensen O’Connor makes noteworthy trademark hire in Seattle

Experienced trademark practitioner Frances Jagla joined Seattle IP boutique Christensen O’Connor Johnson Kindness from Lane Powell in March. Joining as chair of the firm’s trademark group, Jagla focuses her practice on trademark prosecution, enforcement and copyright issues.


Wilson Sonsini attorney crosses coasts to join DLA Piper

Bay Area IP attorney Marius Domokos recently left Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati and the West Coast to join DLA Piper in its Washington, DC office. The tech-focused attorney has experience in numerous industry areas, including blockchain, software and semiconductors.


Ice Miller adds PhD partner to firm’s Philadelphia office

Midwest-based Ice Miller recently boosted its IP practice with the hiring of life sciences-focused partner Weihong Hsing in Philadelphia from Panitch Schwarze Belisario & Nadel. Hsing holds a PhD in microbiology, and focuses her patent practice on prosecution and portfolio management for clients in the life sciences industry.


Burr & Forman strengthens South Carolina office with recent hire

Southeast firm Burr & Forman recently added William “Corky” Klett to its Columbia location from Nexsen Pruet. Klett is experienced in a number of IP areas, including litigation, transactions and portfolio development.


Willkie Farr opens Chicago office with notable IP hire

Sarah Tonnies Horton joined Willkie Farr & Gallagher from Jenner & Block in March as a founding partner in the firm’s new Chicago office. She focuses her practice on patent litigation and post-grant proceedings. Horton was hired along with five ex-Jenner attorneys specializing in other areas.



Gowlings adds two more IP partners in Toronto

Jennifer Jannuska and Omar Nassif recently joined Gowling WLG as partners in the firm’s Toronto location. Jannuska, hailing from Deeth Williams Wall, focuses her practice on patent prosecution and enforcement, and Nassif, who joins from Gilbert’s, focuses on patent prosecution often for life sciences clients. These laterals mark the latest additions to Gowling’s IP group, preceded by Ron Dimock’s notable hiring in January.


Smart & Biggar hires group from Vancouver boutique Cameron IP

Smart & Biggar expanded its offering in Vancouver with the hiring of a group of practitioners from local boutique Cameron IP, including its founder Norman Cameron. Joining as a partner, Cameron boasts more than four decades of experience in patent, trademark and transactional matters.


Lawson Lundell adds IP partner to its Kelowna office

Richard Okimaw joined Lawson Lundell’s Kelowna office in March, boosting the firm’s patent and trademark capabilities. Practicing for more than 15 years, Okimaw was previously name partner and founder of boutique Okimaw Law.


More firm news and people moves

Read our coverage of the recent moves in the Asia-Pacific region.