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  1. Trade secrets (litigation and non-contentious matters)
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Kirkland & Ellis LLP’s group maintains a steady stream of plaintiff as well as defendant work, in sectors ranging from real estate and construction to life sciences, technology and manufacturing. Financial sector clients also form a substantial part of its client roster, which is dominated by large corporates such as Honeywell International, The Boeing Company and Virgin Cruises. New York-based Dale Cendali is leading a team representing Apollo Aviation Group, AAG Capital Markets and Apollo Aviation Management in a trade secret and copyright claim against 100X and its executive. Craig Primis in Washington DC is acting for The Boeing Company in a data misappropriation dispute filed by its former subcontractor and pertaining to the multi-year contract with the US Air Force. Chicago-based Reed Oslan and Daniel Bress in Washington DC are also recommended, as are Diana Torres in Los Angeles and Joshua Simmons in New York. Katharine Burke joined Baker Botts L.L.P..

Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP’s team boasts a comprehensive offering and guides clients from the pre-litigation stage to full-blown trials. Whether in the biotech, technology, financial services or manufacturing sectors, the group manages work across the country. San Francisco-based duo Robert Shwarts and Catherine Lui is defending Dr Yuan against trade secrets misappropriation claims filed by his former employer, CP Kelco. Glenn Dassoff in Orange County is acting for the plaintiff in BBB Industries, LLC v Cardone Industries, Inc, a case involving estimated damages in excess of $20m. Meanwhile, Michael Weil in San Francisco is handling the longstanding trade secrets dispute with Jawbone for Fitbit. Silicon Valley-based Denise Mingrone ‘drives strong results’. James McQuade in New York is also recommended.

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IP specialist Finnegan detail how their collaborative approach makes for a unique culture which is designed to allow them to work with clients in a way which is cognizant of the challenges facing all companies today.

Paul Hastings LLP houses ‘strong leaders’, who provide ‘timely, proactive, business-oriented, pragmatic’ assistance to employees as well as employers, particularly in contentious matters. The team manages high-risk matters in addition to handling the enforcement of non-compete agreements and contractual disputes. Its client base includes hedge funds, international technology companies and private equity firms. Litigator Victoria Cundiff in New York and Palo Alto-based Bradford Newman head the practice. Mark Pollack in Chicago and Carson Sullivan are defending Harvest Power in a trade secrets misappropriation claim against former employees. Los Angeles-based Jennifer Baldocchi is also recommended. Attorneys are based in Washington DC unless otherwise stated.

Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP’s team focuses exclusively on highly complex disputes, which attracts mandates on the most high-profile cases across the country. Co-head Charles Verhoeven in San Francisco is leading a team representing Waymo in a trade secrets misappropriation and patent infringement case against Uber and Ottomotto, concerning driverless car technology, while co-head Claude Stern in Silicon Valley handled claims for breach of fiduciary duty and trade secrets theft on behalf of Virgin Galactic against its former vice president. Debbie Shon in Washington DC is handling anticompetitive behavior challenges for US Steel Corporation. Edward DeFranco co-heads the practice from New York. Silicon Valley-based Diane Doolittle and Rachel Herrick Kassabian are recommended, as is New York-based duo Robert Raskopf and Michael Carlinsky. Paul Brinkman joined Kirkland & Ellis LLP.

Seyfarth Shaw LLP’s team maintains a steady stream of contentious work, and counts US Foods, Allstate Insurance Company, 7-Eleven and Kia Motors America among its clients. Chicago-based practice co-head Michael Wexler obtained a favorable jury verdict for Stryker Corporation in a fraud case involving trade secrets theft and data misappropriation filed against the client’s agency. Co-head Robert Milligan in Los Angeles secured a victory for Survey Sampling in a claim against its former vice president of sales regarding the breach of a non-compete clause. Daniel Hart in Atlanta, Chicago-based Scott Humphrey and Boston-based Erik Weibust are also noted.

Jenner & Block LLP’s ‘excellent’ team houses ‘great strategists’, who ‘efficiently manage complex multi-jurisdictional litigation’, and counts Jupiter Telecommunications, Wolters Kluwer and Fox Broadcasting Company among its clients. Rick Richmond in Los Angeles led a team which secured a $420m jury verdict for Epic Systems Corporation in a corporate espionage case against Tata Consultancy Services. Debbie Berman (‘ultra-responsive, always on top of the detail, pleasure to work with’) in Chicago is handling several data misappropriation claims for Methode Electronics and its subsidiary. Washington DC-based Brent Caslin and Richard Stone are also noted.

Jones Day’s team handles high-stakes disputes for plaintiffs as well as defendants, and assists corporates with the implementation of trade secret protection strategies. Co-chair Randy Kay in San Diego is representing the plaintiff in Micron Technology, Inc. v United Microelectronics Corporation, et al, brought under federal and California state legislation, and pertaining to trade secrets theft in DRAM technology. Dallas-based practice co-chair Robert Kantner, Steven Zadravecz in Irvine and Robert Ducatman in Cleveland are also recommended.

Rachael Meny at San Francisco-based Keker, Van Nest & Peters LLP manages a range of trade secrets and employee mobility disputes for employers. Meny defended Instacart against a putative class action pertaining to issues arising from the ‘sharing economy’, while Jeffrey Chanin represented SanDisk in a confidential data misappropriation and corporate espionage case against SK Hynix. Brian Ferrall and John Keker are also noted.

Latham & Watkins LLP’s group boasts an enviable client roaster, including American Airlines, Goop, Pandora and Lyft. Following a bench trial in the California Superior Court, Santa Clara County, Silicon Valley-based duo Douglas Lumish and Matthew Rawlinson successfully defended Arista Networks in a trade secrets and licensing dispute against OptumSoft. Jennifer Barry in San Diego led a team acting for Lyft in a breach of contract, solicitation and data misappropriation claim against its former COO. Perry Viscounty in Orange County heads the group. Kevin Wheeler joined the Washington DC office from Fish & Richardson P.C..

At McDermott Will & Emery LLP, Silicon Valley-based Daniel Alberti continues to handle litigation alleging trade secrets theft and patent infringement for Seagate Technology. Washington DC-based Natalie Bennett is part of a team representing Lupin Pharmaceuticals in a trade secrets dispute which emerged from the client’s acquisition of a third party. In the Federal Circuit, Silicon Valley-based Fabio Marino led a team arguing for Diablo Technologies as a respondent in longstanding litigation involving claims of trade secret misappropriation, breach of contract and patent infringement filed by Netlist. Judy Mohr in Silicon Valley is also noted. In July 2018, former practice head Eric Hagen, joined DLA Piper LLP (US).

Bryan Wilson in Palo Alto and Eric Tate in San Francisco lead Morrison & Foerster LLP’s interdisciplinary group, which not only assists clients with a broad range of trade secrets and employee mobility matters but also handles the related privacy and data security aspects. The team is defending Uber against Waymo’s claims of trade secrets misappropriation pertaining to driverless car technology. Mark Zebrowski in San Diego is acting for Obalon Therapeutics in a data theft and breach of non-compete clause dispute with a former employee. Kenneth Kuwayti in Palo Alto and San Francisco-based Michael Jacobs are also recommended. Meridian BioScience is also a client.

O'Melveny & Myers LLP’s group handles work ranging from breaches of non-compete clauses and restrictive covenants to implementing non-solicitation policies and advising on the relevant aspects of corporate transactions. Eric Amdursky in Silicon Valley and San Francisco-based Darin Snyder successfully represented Zynga in an unfair competition dispute involving trade secrets misappropriation and employee poaching claims against Zynga’s former employees. Los Angeles-based Ryan Yagura chairs the practice. David Almeling in San Francisco and Mark Miller, who splits his time between San Francisco and New York, are also noted.

Proskauer Rose LLP’s group counts high-profile names in entertainment, sports, life sciences and the arts among its clients. The team is also active in financial services, handling matters ranging from restrictive covenants to unfair competition claims for companies such as MetLife and Citizens Financial Group. It continues to assist Creative Artists Agency with claims of tortious interference, unfair competition and breach of contract against its former employees hired by United Talent Agency; Anthony Oncidi in Los Angeles and Guy Brenner in Washington DC are leading the advice. The American Diabetes Association is also a client. Joseph Baumgarten and Elise Bloom head the department from New York, where John Barry, Gregory Rasin and Steven Kayman are also noted.

Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP’s team handles a wide range of contentious as well as non-contentious matters, and boasts expertise across a range of sectors and on a nationwide scale. The group is favored by technology clients for restrictive covenants disputes as well as internal investigations and pre-litigation counseling. Jeffrey Klein and Nicholas Pappas are defending WoodSpring Hotels against allegations of misappropriation of trade secrets and confidential information filed by Extended Stay America. Meanwhile, Gary Friedman is acting for Kroll in a breach of restrictive covenant and non-solicitation clause claim against one of its former managing directors, who joined BRG. In Silicon Valley, Christopher Cox maintains a steady workload of employee mobility disputes and trade secrets theft cases. Attorneys are based in New York unless otherwise stated.

A ‘highly sought-after gem of a firm’, Beck Reed Riden LLP in Boston is renowned for its restrictive covenants expertise and ‘does not shy away from a court fight in order to enforce clients’ rights’. ‘Terrific’ practice head and ‘top-notch strategist’ Russell Beck (who is also ‘extremely effective and incredibly professional, with deep substantive knowledge’) led a team, which included Shannon Lynch, representing Nuvectra Corporation against unfair competition and trade secrets misappropriation claims filed by Boston Scientific.

At Dentons, Mark Hogge led a team representing Flextronics International in a patent and trade secrets misappropriation action filed by Jawbone and BodyMedia before the International Trade Commission, while Lora Brzezynski defended Shane Boone and Bridge Diagnostics against allegations of trade secrets misappropriation, conversion and unfair competition. Both attorneys are based in Washington DC; the team also operates from Chicago, Boston and Atlanta.

Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner LLP’s attorneys handle matters ranging from state and federal court litigation and investigations to strategic reviews of data protection and non-disclosure agreements. Eric Fues led a team representing Flexsys America and Solutia in a trade secrets misappropriation claim against Process Engineering Associates; the case settled. Other highlights included defending Hytera against trade secret misappropriation claims filed by Motorola. John Williamson is another name to note. All attorneys mentioned are based in Washington DC, although the group also includes Erik Puknys, who is based in Palo Alto.

Kurt Kappes in Sacramento and Atlanta-based David Long-Daniels and Natasha Wilson lead Greenberg Traurig LLP’s team, which handles investigations and disputes arising from trade secrets misappropriation as well as advising clients on preventative strategy. Todd Wozniak in Atlanta assisted Sprayberry Dental Associates with a non-solicitation clause and data theft lawsuit against its former employees. Highlights also included representing Agilysys with a trade secret misappropriation claim against a former salesperson. Richard McCrea in Tampa is also noted, as is Ian Ballon, who splits his time between Silicon Valley and Los Angeles.

In addition to defending clients in litigation stemming from employee mobility, Baker & Hostetler LLP’s group manages trade secrets issues arising from corporate transactions such as acquisitions. Houston-based Edward Friedman continues to represent M-I SWACO in a challenge to its non-compete agreement with a high-level product development manager and a related counterclaim for breach of contract and trade secret misappropriation. Employment experts Joyce Ackerbaum Cox in Orlando and Drew Tipton in Houston are also noted.

At Boston-based Choate, Hall & Stewart, Paul Popeo and Michael Bunis are defending Saphena Medical against several claims, including confidential data misappropriation, filed by Getinge Group and pertaining to endoscopic vessel harvesting technology. The duo is also assisting Dell EMC with a trade secrets misappropriation dispute with Pure Storage. Anita Spieth is also noted.

From trial through to appellate work, the Mayer Brown team’s comprehensive contentious expertise attracts clients such as Integra Connect, Hypertec and Gemalto. Highlights included obtaining summary judgment in a federal trade secrets misappropriation claim for Frank Russell Company, thus rebutting the plaintiff’s $60m damages claim. New York-based John Mancini and Reginald Goeke head the group, while Dale Giali in Los Angeles is recommended.

Robert Weikert, who splits his time between Los Angeles and San Francisco, heads Nixon Peabody LLP’s ‘nimble’ practice. Weikert, supported by Los Angeles-based Shawn Hansen, represented Karl Heinz Priewasser in a trade secrets misappropriation case against Lintec Corporation which pertained to the manufacturing of semiconductors. Gameloft and WB Mason are also clients.

Schiff Hardin LLP’s Chicago-based group advises clients on a range of matters involving trade secrets protection, such as drafting non-compete agreements and filing for emergency injunctions. Trial attorney Matthew Prewitt manages litigation arising from trade secrets misappropriation, data theft, misuse of confidential information, breaches of restrictive covenants and non-disclosure agreements.

Steptoe & Johnson LLP’s department is led from Washington DC by John Caracappa and Harold Fox. The group is representing E&J Gallo Winery in a case involving claims of trade secrets misappropriation, unfair competition and breach of contract filed against a number of Belgian companies, and is defending Huawei in a trade secrets dispute brought by Quintel. William Abrams Foster Pepper.

John Keville heads Winston & Strawn LLP’s group from Houston, where Sheryl Falk is also noted. The team assists clients such as Walmart, Yahoo! and Logitech with contentious matters involving breaches of restrictive covenants, unfair competition and data theft. Dallas-based Thomas Melsheimer, who joined the firm from Fish & Richardson P.C., led a team which obtained a favorable judgment for the defendants in a billion-dollar jury trial in Tech Pharmacy Services, LLC v Alixa Rx LLC, et al.

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