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Kirkland & Ellis LLP

Kate Withers

Work +1 415-439-4355
Kirkland & Ellis LLP


Kate H. Withers is a technology lawyer who advises clients of all sizes in connection with strategic corporate transactions, including mergers and acquisitions, technology-focused joint ventures, private equity and complex licensing transactions. Kate works across industries, and has extensive experience advising clients in the financial services, internet, social media, gaming, life sciences, software and media industries. She focuses her practice on complex corporate transactions that involve the license, sale and acquisition of innovative technologies and high value intellectual property assets, including artificial intelligence and blockchain technology, data, trademarks, patents and other technology assets. Kate has served as outside general counsel to a fintech company developing a mortgage technology platform and provides practice advice grounded in a deep understanding of, and passion for, data, software and technology businesses. In recent years her clients have included Facebook, Tencent, Bonobos, The National Geographic Society, Aptiv, BBVA and numerous Fortune 100 technology and consumer products companies.

United States: Intellectual property

Patents: licensing

Within: Patents: licensing

At Kirkland & Ellis LLP, the arrival of Adam Petravicius from Jenner & Block LLP and of Kate Withers from Fenwick & West LLP bolstered the group's already strong technology transactions practice. The team stands out for its broad sector spread, with recent instructions ranging from the pharmaceutical and technology sectors to the electronics and insurance sectors. In addition to advising Abbott Laboratories on the licensing terms for the settlement of a patent dispute, the practice also assisted BioIVT with the licensing agreements for its acquisition of Ascendance. In addition, Boeing relied on the group for the patent license agreements necessary for its joint venture with Safran aimed at jointly designing and building auxiliary powers units. Other clients include EUSA Pharma, Open Invention Network and Tigen Pharma. Chicago trio Neil Hirshman, Seth Traxler and Russell Levine direct the practice group.

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United States: Media, technology and telecoms


Within: Outsourcing

Kirkland & Ellis LLP has expertise in the negotiation of intellectual property and technology-related outsourcing deals, and is regularly instructed by clients in the healthcare, software, fintech and chemicals sectors. The firm is advising Revlon on its negotiation of IT services, software and support agreements, which includes the negotiation of a cloud services agreement for the transfer of financial information. Other significant clients include the chemical company Tronox, Kellogg and General Growth Properties. Neil S. Hirshman and Gregg Kirchhoefer, who are both based in Chicago, jointly head the practice. Chicago-based Aaron H. Lorber and associate Todd Herst, also in Chicago, are other key contacts. Adam Petravicius joined the Chicago office from Jenner & Block LLP in January 2018, and Kate H. Withers joined in San Francisco from Fenwick & West LLP in September 2018.

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Technology transactions

Within: Technology transactions

Kirkland & Ellis LLP has expertise in IT outsourcing, technology licensing agreements and patent transactions in the context of M&A deals. Jointly headed by Neil Hirshman and Chicago-based Seth Traxler, the team advised The Boeing Company on a joint venture and IP licensing agreement with Safran for the design and manufacture of aircraft auxiliary power unit systems. Further, Vladimir Khodosh assisted Accenture Digital in the licensing of satellite imagery and an internet of things development platform. The department has also seen a number of new joiners in 2018-2019: Adam Petravicius joined the team from Jenner & Block LLP, Kate Withers joined from Fenwick & West LLP, and Shellie Freedman joined the New York office from Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP. Additionally, Matthew Colman was promoted to partner in October 2018. Edward Sadtler joined Schulte Roth & Zabel LLP in April 2019. Named lawyers are based in Chicago unless stated otherwise.

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