The IP STARS research team keeps a close watch on lateral hires, departures and other developments in the market. Below is a roundup of some of the IP practitioners that recently left their firms.




Biden taps Kathi Vidal as next USPTO director

Winston & Strawn partner and longtime Patent star Kathi Vidal was recently announced as President Biden’s nominee to succeed Andrei Iancu as director of the USPTO. Vidal is current managing partner of her firm’s Silicon Valley office, and has significant experience in hi-tech patent litigation. She is also currently recognized by Managing IP as one of the Top 250 Women in IP.


Paul Hastings hires key IP talent from Keker Van Nest

Matthias Kamber, a well-known IP litigator based in California, recently joined Paul Hastings’ San Francisco office as a partner. He moved to the firm from litigation boutique Keker Van Nest & Peters.


Desmarais gains PTAB expertise with new hire in California

IP boutique Desmarais continues to build out its West Coast offering with the recent addition of Gabrielle Higgins, who joined the firm from Ropes & Gray. A well-known PTAB-focused practitioner, Higgins is currently ranked as a Patent Star.


Kirkland opens office in Austin with IP talent

International firm Kirkland & Ellis recently launched an Austin branch, spearheaded by IP partner Jeannie Heffernan, who moved from the firm’s New York location. The firm cited the boom in the Western District of Texas as an IP venue as one reason for the expansion.


Akin Gump adds IP litigator in California

Paul Tripodi, formerly a partner at Wilson Sonsini, joined Akin Gump’s Los Angeles office. Tripodi is currently ranked as a Patent Star and focuses his practice on patent litigation, IP counseling, licensing, and contract-related disputes.


Latham continues IP growth in New York office

Bolstering its patent litigation offering in New York, Latham & Watkins recently hired established attorney Anthony Sammi from Skadden. A current Patent Star, Sammi will serve as vice-chair of the firm’s IP litigation practice.


Winstead hires trio of IP litigators from Thompson & Knight in Texas

Texas-based firm Winstead recently brought on three IP litigators as partners in the it is Dallas office, including Phillip Philbin, Jamie McDole and Michael Karson. The three attorneys moved from Thompson & Knight, and previously worked at Haynes and Boone. Philbin is currently ranked as an IP Star.


Venable hires life sciences patent litigator in New York

IP litigator Benjamin Hsing joined Venable as a partner in the firm’s New York location, adding to the firm’s notable life sciences patent bench. Hsing moved to the firm from McGuire Woods.


Two Pillsbury partners move to Perkins Coie

Perkins Coie welcomed Ngai Zhang and Drew Schulte to its IP group recently, who joined from Pillsbury. Zhang will be based in the firm’s DC office, focusing on IP and tech counseling, portfolio management and transactions. Schulte joined the firm’s New York office, adding to the group’s patent prosecution expertise.


Loeb & Loeb adds new PTAB chair

Post-grant expert Brenton Babcock recently joined Loeb & Loeb’s Los Angeles office, taking on the role as chair of the firm’s PTAB practice group. Babcock was most recently a partner at Womble Bond Dickinson.


McKool’s IP bench grows in DC with new hire

McKool Smith recently brought on former Paul Hastings partner Christina Ondrick to practice out of the firm’s Washington, DC location. Ondrick focuses her practice on patent litigation.


IP boutique Osha Liang undergoes firm name change

Texas-based IP boutique Osha Liang recently announced it will conduct business as Osha Bergman Watanabe & Burton. The firm is currently recognized as a Highly Recommended firm in Texas for patent prosecution.


Barnes & Thornburg opens Boston office

Midwest-based Barnes & Thornsburg recently announced the opening of a six-partner office in Boston, which will include an offering of IP and life sciences-focused attorneys. The office will employ four recent additions from Nutter McClennen & Fish – Ronald Cahill, Heather Repicky, Rory Pheiffer, and Derek Roller – and two partners from within the firm, Robyn Maguire and Matthew Leno.


Cooley grows in Boston with IP hire

Life sciences-focused patent attorney Amy Baker Mandragouras recently joined Cooley’s Boston office from Nelson Mullins. She is currently ranked as a Patent Star, and focuses her practice portfolio management, prosecution and counseling.


Winston adds to IP bench with Fish & Richardson hire

Kelly Hunsaker recently joined Winston & Strawn’s Silicon Valley office, bringing 20 years of experience in patent litigation. She moved to the firm from Fish & Richardson.


Wilson Sonsini adds litigator in California

Amy Candido moved to Wilson Sonsini’s San Francisco office as a partner, where she will focus on IP litigation. She joined the firm from Quinn Emanuel.


Sheppard Mullin adds to DC office

Sheppard Mullin recently hired Martin Bruehs in the firm’s Washington, DC location. Hailing from Dentons, Bruehs will serve as head of the firm’s East Coast chemical patent group.




Bolet & Terreo hires group of IP attorneys in Venezuela

Bolet & Terreo recently added two partners, Luis Henriquez and Rafael Ortin, who were co-founders of MHOV Abogados. The partners have nearly 50 years of combined experience in law. The two are also joined by attorney Annette Angulo, who also moved from MHOV.


Iberbrand elevates attorney to partner in Mexico

Mexico City-based Iberbrand recently announced it has elevated Julian Vadillo to partner. He has 28 years of practice in law, and has experience handling matters related to patents, trademarks, copyrights and designs.




Lawson Lundell launches new IP group

Lawson Lundell recently announced the launch of a new intellectual property practice group, which will complement the firm’s already established IP litigation department. The new group adds several services, including IP strategy, portfolio management and protection. Paul Matthews and Richard Okimaw will serve as co-chairs of the group.


Cassels adds IP partner in Toronto

Cassels Brock & Blackwell recently announced Jennifer McKenzie joined as a partner in the firm’s Toronto location. McKenzie was previously a partner at Bereskin & Parr. She will focus her practice on trademark and advertising.


Dickinson Wright grows in Toronto

Sanjukta Tole recently joined Dickinson Wright’s Toronto office from Marks & Clerk. Her practice focuses on trademark and brand management.



More firm news and people moves

Read our previous coverage of Asia Pacific and Europe here.