Trade secrets (litigation and non-contentious matters) in United States

Kirkland & Ellis LLP

Kirkland & Ellis LLP's sizable IP team is regularly involved in trade secret disputes. New York- based Dale Cendali leads the team and alongside Joshua Simmons represented IBM in a dispute against Teraproc, which is run by former IBM employees, alleging that the start-up used source code owned by the client for its workload management platform. Also in the New York office, Claudia Ray and Joseph Loy acted for Dollar Shave Club against Edgewell Personal Care Company, which allegedly used an unlawful non-compete agreement for a senior employee who now works for the client. Los Angeles-based Diana Torres defended EVelozcity and two of its executives in trade secret litigation brought by Faraday Future involving AI electric vehicle technology. From the DC office, Christopher Mizzo represented The Chamberlain Group in litigation against a number of competitors alleging trade secret misappropriation in relation to garage door openers. Another contact in DC is Craig Primis, who represented Boeing in a dispute against its former subcontractor, which alleged that a misappropriation of confidential information arose from the US Air Force’s award of a contract to the client. San Francisco-based Adam Alper and Michael De Vries from the Los Angeles office acted for Motorola against Hytera Communications, which allegedly stole thousands of the client's documents.

Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP

Netflix, Wells Fargo and Fitbit are some of the the big names that turn to Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP. New York-based James McQuade co-heads the practice and defended Microsoft in trade secret litigation brought by IBM, whose global head of diversity left to join the client. Michael Weil  is based in San Francisco  and has 'extensive trade secrets experience' and is 'a strong litigator'. He acted for Crate & Barrel and its former CEO in a trade secret misappropriation case brought by Restoration Hardware after employees from the company left to join the client. Also recommended are West Coast-based Denise Mingrone and Cathy Lui .

Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP

Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP is a key player in the trade secrets space, with a client roster that includes Google and Mattel. New York-based Robert Raskopf focuses on sports, media and entertainment related matters. Also working from New York is Rick Werder,  defended IBM against allegations of trade secret misappropriation brought by BMC Software. San Francisco-based Charles Verhoeven advised Waymo in taking action against Uber alleging trade secret misappropriation in relation to the client's self-driving technology. Claude Stern represented four Silicon Valley engineers who left their employers to begin their own self-driving car start-up and faced legal action from their former employers.  Also recommended is Debbie Shon, who is highly skilled in cross-border work, and Rachel Herrick Kassabian, whose work has a strong emphasis on online technology.

Seyfarth Shaw LLP

The 'client-focused' and 'pragmatic' Seyfarth Shaw LLP is well known for its work in trade secret disputes. Los Angeles-based Robert Milligan jointly leads the team and is highly skilled in handling trade secret misappropriation disputes. He represented US Foods in obtaining permanent injunctions against two former employees who breached restrictive covenants and misappropriated trade secrets. Also leading the team is Chicago-based Michael Wexler, who has extensive experience in trade secret and restrictive covenant law. He acted for Stryker Corporation in a lawsuit against a former employee who had misappropriated trade secrets. Other key figures include Atlanta-based Daniel Hart, Chicago-based Scott Humphrey and Erik Weibust, who works in the Boston office.

Jenner & Block LLP

Jenner & Block LLP regularly works on high-profile trade secret disputes. Practice co-head Rick Richmond is based in Los Angeles and acted for healthcare software company Epic Systems in a $940m corporate espionage case against India-based Tata Consultancy Services. Also leading the team is Chicago-based Debbie Berman, who represented Methode Electronics in a trade secret theft case against a former vice president of one of its subsidiaries. Litigator Richard Stone is also recommended.

Jones Day

Jones Day has a strong track record in trade secret disputes. Practice head Randall Kay is based in California and acted for Qualcomm in a trade secret and confidential information misuse case against Apple concerning technology used in iPhones and iPads. He also represented Micron Technology in a case against Taiwan-based UMC, which had obtained trade secrets form the client concerning microchip technology.

Keker, Van Nest & Peters LLP

Keker, Van Nest & Peters LLP's team is well versed in disputes pertaining to trade secret theft and employee mobility. San Francisco-based Rachael Meny leads the practice and has acted in trade secret disputes involving companies, venture funds, partnerships and individuals. She is supported by Brian Ferrall and John Keker.

Latham & Watkins LLP

Latham & Watkins LLP acts on the defendant and plaintiff sides of trade secret disputes and has a notable focus on the technology sector. Los Angeles -based Daniel Schecter and D.C based  Kathryn Ruemmler acted for the UAE bank ENBD in a dispute in which stored value cards provider InfoSpan claimed that the client misappropriated its trade secret for the development of its payment system SpanCash. Perry Viscounty works from the San Francisco office and represented supplement-maker Metagenics in a trade secrets dispute in which a former employee allegedly used confidential information to set up a rival business.

McDermott Will & Emery LLP

McDermott Will & Emery LLP's IP team in Silicon Valley regularly acts in trade secret disputes and advisory matters, with Daniel AlbertiFabio Marino and Judy Mohr the key names. Washington DC-based Natalie Bennett  is also recommended. Former practice head Eric Hagen joined DLA Piper LLP (US).

Morrison & Foerster LLP

Morrison & Foerster LLP has a strong background in litigation as well as pre-emptive measures, such as employment and proprietary information agreements. Litigators Kenneth Kuwayti, who is based in Palo Alto, and Michael Jacobs, who is based in San Francisco, are both key figures, and are both highly skilled in the technology and life sciences sectors.

O'Melveny & Myers LLP

O'Melveny & Myers LLP's work in this space emanates from its IP and employment practices. IP specialist Brett Williamson acted for Par Pharmaceutical in a trade secret misappropriation case in which its competitor QuVa Pharma allegedly used the client's former employees to develop a similar drug to one of the client's. Also working from the IP team is Darin Snyder, who represented 24/7 Customer in a $100m misappropriation case brought by LivePerson involving customer support software. Meanwhile, employment expert Eric Amdursky defended Oasis West Realty against trade secret misappropriation claims brought by Belvedere, a restaurant at the Peninsula Beverly Hills Hotel. All lawyers are based in California.

Paul Hastings LLP

Paul Hastings LLP has a prominent trade secrets team, handling both litigation and advisory matters, with a  strong emphasis on the financial services and technology sectors. The employee mobility and trade secrets practice is headed by Palo Alto's Bradford Newman, who recently represented Opus Bank in a trade secrets case against five former employees who left to found their own healthcare lending practice. Based is the firm's Los Angeles office, a team including Elena Baca and Jennifer Baldocchi acted for Fiber Systems International in a matter against a former executive, wherein the team obtained a permanent injunction in Texas against the former executive following his breach of strategic and budgetary trade secrets; the team went on to successfully litigate a claim in the California courts, which sought to invalidate numerous non-compete agreements. The trade secrets group also benefits from a strong specialty litigation team including Jeff Pade in Washington DC, Mark Pollack in Chicago. Victoria Cundiff chairs the global trade secrets practice from the New York office.

Proskauer Rose LLP

Proskauer Rose LLP has 'a deep understanding of how to navigate difficult waters' in trade secrets and provides 'business-oriented advice to achieve the desired outcomes while mitigating risk'. Practice head Anthony Oncidi is based in Los Angeles and acted for Creative Artists Agency (CAA) in a claim against United Talent Agency and former CAA employees who joined the company. Another name of note is new York-based  John Barry, who 'is good at getting to the facts of the situation' and 'applying them to achieve the desired results'. He worked alongside Guy Brenner for Fresenius Kabi in its acquisition of a restraining order against a former senior employee who joined a competitor.

Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP

Leading the team at Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP are employment litigator Jeffrey Klein and commercial litigator Gary Friedman, both based in NewYork. Klein acted for the financial services company Perella Weinberg Partners in litigation against three former partners who sought to recruit the firm's entire restructuring team. Friedman worked with Magellan Health in a lawsuit against a former employee who threatened to release confidential information about the company. Further, the team was involved in a trade secret misappropriation case for semiconductor manufacturing company Applied Materials. Christopher Cox joined Hogan Lovells US LLP in 2019.

Beck Reed Riden LLP

Beck Reed Riden LLP 'provides extremely knowledgeable counsel', who deliver 'practical, real-world experience' and 'efficient solutions'. Massachusetts-based  Russell Beck leads the practice and is 'thorough', 'organized', 'responsive' and 'efficient'. He recently advised Blue-Grace in its action against a former employee who was simultaneously working for a competitor. Novartis and Staples are other key clients.

Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner LLP

Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner LLP is particularly prominent in technology-related trade secret cases. Washington DC-based John Williamson jointly leads the team and is highly experienced in cases relating to technology, telecoms and pharmaceuticals. Fellow practice head Robert McCauley III is based in Palo Alto and regularly handles cases involving pharmaceuticals and medical devices. Also recommended is Ming-Tao Yang, who is notably skilled in cases involving software and electronics. Notable clients of the firm include AbbVie Inc, Eastman Chemical Company, RichWave Technology Corp. and Nestec, Ltd.

Greenberg Traurig, LLP

Greenberg Traurig, LLP is highly skilled in investigating and litigating trade secret cases. Atlanta-based David Long-Daniels advised Agilysys on a misappropriation of trade secrets action against a former senior employee. Dwayne Mason , who works in the Texas office, defended BioTras against trade secret misappropriation claims brought by a competitor in relation to spinal training models. Other key names in the team are Ian Ballon, Richard McCrea, Jr., Robert Bernstein and Todd Wozniak.

Nixon Peabody LLP

At Nixon Peabody LLP, Boston-based Matthew McLaughlin specialises in commercial disputes and acted for office products provider W.B. Mason in a dispute brought by three of its competitors who are alleging that the client attained trade secrets from their former employees. W.B. Mason also engaged the New York-based commercial litigator Vernon Johnson in a similar but separate case in which other competitors have alleged trade secret misappropriation. In the Los Angeles office, Robert Weikert represented Gameloft in a claim brought by Glass Egg Digital Media alleging that the client misappropriated trade secrets in order to develop digital cars in its video game. IP expert Shawn Hensen is also recommended.

Steptoe & Johnson LLP

Steptoe & Johnson LLP has been building a reputation for cross-border trade secret disputes. Practice head Michael Allan is based in DC and acted for Huawei Technologies in litigation brought by T-Mobile alleging that the client engaged in trade secrets misappropriation; T-Mobile sought $600m in damages. He also defended Hytera against Motorola, which claimed that several of the client's employees had misappropriated 20,000 trade secrets and copied copyrighted source code.

Baker & Hostetler LLP

Baker & Hostetler LLP handles trade secrets cases arising from employee moves as well as the acquisition and sale of businesses. Orlando-based Joyce Ackerbaum Cox co-heads the practice and is particularly strong in employee movement issues. Also leading the team is Houston-based Edward Friedman, who is skilled in prosecuting non-compete covenants and unfair competition claims. Patrick Muldowney  also works from the Orlando office and advised the homecare agency Almost Family on an issue surrounding a former employee who violated a non-compete clause by working for a competition. In New York, John Siegal acted for FTI Consulting in litigation against Berkeley Research Group alleging trade secrets theft and contractual violations. Houston based Drew Tipton is also recommended.

Baker Botts L.L.P.

The IP team at Baker Botts L.L.P. is led by Bart Showalter, Kevin Meek, Chris Ryan, who are all based in Texas and experienced in trade secret litigation. Highlights included David Wille's advice to Manitowoc Cranes in a trade secrets misappropriation lawsuit against the Chinese company Sany Heavy Industry. Elsewhere, Paul Reilly and Robert Maier defended PepsiCo against ScentSational Technologies in a trade secret misappropriation case involving a scent used for its drinks packaging. Meanwhile, Tim Durst acted for Samsung Electronics in a claim brought by ZeniMax, which alleged that the client obtained trade secrets from the ZeniMax for its virtual reality technology via its partnership with Oculus and Facebook. Katharine Burke is also highly recommended.

Choate, Hall & Stewart

Particularly experienced in the technology and life sciences sectors, Choate, Hall & Stewart's trade secrets team is led by Boston-based Michael Bunis and Paul Popeo. Bunis works primarily on contentious matters; in a recent matter he represented Brooks Automation in a claim against PTB Sales, which allegedly misappropriated the client’s trade secrets. Popeo is experienced in both litigation and pre-litigation work; he acted for Alnylam Pharmaceuticals in a claim against Dicerna alleging that the defendant misappropriated the client's trade secrets. Counsel Anita Spieth is also recommended.

Cooley LLP

Cooley LLP is highly skilled in non-competition agreements as well as trade secrets litigation. Key figure Ian Shapiro defended Sotera in litigation brought by Masimo, which claimed that its former employees who now work for Sotera had misappropriated trade secrets. Meanwhile, Michael Sheetz defended Rubrik employees who allegedly stole Dell EMC's trade secrets. Elsewhere, Jonathan Bach defended Thermo Fisher Scientific against allegations of trade secret misappropriation involving DNA analysis techniques. The firm also advised the dating app Bumble against claims of trade secret violation brought by the founders' former employer Match, which operates dating apps such as Tinder, OkCupid and Plenty of Fish. All lawyers are based in New York except Sheetz who is based in Boston.


Dentons' IP teams across its broad network are often involved in trade secret disputes. Washington DC-based Mark Hogge is a key figure and very experienced in the technology sector. Lora Brzezynski joined Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP.

DLA Piper LLP (US)

DLA Piper LLP (US)'s trade secrets team was significantly strengthened by the addition of Eric  Hagen, who joined from McDermott Will & Emery LLP. Recent mandates of his included acting for Seagate Technology, which was accused of misappropriating over 50 trade secrets relating to disk drive technology. Elsewhere, Rajiv Dharnidharka defended BuildingConnected in a trade secret misappropriation lawsuit brought by its competitor JB Knowledge Technologies. Litigator Paul Steadman is also highly recommended. All lawyers are based in California except Steadman who is based in Chicago.

Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP

Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP's trade secrets team is led by D.C- based Lora Brzezynski - a recent recruit from Dentons - who is 'able to put things in non-legal terms to ensure clients fully grasp the legal concepts'. She litigates in trade secret misappropriation cases and also advises on trade secret company policies.

Mayer Brown

The trade secrets team at Mayer Brown is led by New York-based John Mancini, who is heavily involved in trade secrets disputes. He acted for Swoogo in a dispute concerning alleged trade secret and unfair competition brought against former employees. Dale Giali is a noteworthy name form the Los Angeles office and focuses on the food and beverage sector.

Ropes & Gray LLP

Ropes & Gray LLP regularly handles trade secrets misappropriation cases, particularly in the technology sector. Washington D.C-based Peter Brody is the key point of contact and is very strong in trade secret litigation. Recent mandates of his include acting for semiconductor company IQE in a trade secret misappropriation claim brought by Solar Junction Corporation in which the client allegedly took trade secrets for a patent application which were disclosed in a supply agreement between the two parties.

Schiff Hardin LLP

Schiff Hardin LLP 'operates in a collaborative manner that is efficient and leads to excellent counsel'. Chicago-based Matthew Prewitt leads the team and has extensive experience in handling trade secret theft and restrictive covenants. Recent mandates of his include acting for Bunnett & Company in a $30m case involving its general manager and suppliers misappropriating its trade secrets. He also acted for Bell Flavors in litigation brought by Gold Medal, which claimed that its former flavorist, who currently works for the client, used trade secrets to develop its caramel popcorn flavour.

Winston & Strawn LLP

Winston & Strawn LLP's team is 'experienced', 'transparent' and 'hardworking'. John Keville works form the Houston office and has a strong background in mechanical engineering, while Steven Grimes operates out of Chicago and is strong in cross-border matters. Keville recently acted for M-I in a trade secret misappropriation case against two former employees and its competitor Q’Max concerning oil and gas exploration technology.