Hogan Lovells is expanding its intellectual property practice, adding four partners in Silicon Valley and one in San Francisco.
The firm announced Monday that Edward Kwok, Jennifer Lantz, Steven Levitan and Clark Stone have joined from Haynes and Boone in San Jose and are based in Silicon Valley. Solo practitioner Christian Mammen is working in the firm's San Francisco office.
Building the firm's IP practice has been a top priority ever since Washington, D.C.-based Hogan & Hartson merged with London-based Lovells in a 2009 deal that created one of the world's largest law firms, said Eric Lobenfeld, a New York-based partner who is the co-head of Hogan's IP practice. In 2011 the firm hired a five-partner group in San Francisco from the now-defunct Howrey, including rainmaker K.T. "Sunny" Cherian, now co-head of the IP practice.
"That was a terrific group, but it wasn't enough," Lobenfeld said. "This really gives us a strong and credible group in both offices."
All the partners will focus on IP litigation for the firm's West Coast and Asia-based tech clients, Lobenfeld said. And the new partners said Hogan's global platform and the chance to work on more cross-border matters was a big reason why they decided to join the firm. Levitan and Stone said they already have several clients based in Asia and now they have additional support in Asia.
"IP disputes are increasingly cross-border," Levitan said. "And Hogan has one of the largest platforms in Asia, so we're looking forward to getting to know that group."
Mammen said he doesn't have any clients in Asia yet, but is looking forward to building a global practice. And the move made sense because his solo practice had become increasingly busy, and he was also trying to juggle teaching classes on patent law at UC-Hastings law school. Mammen had been an attorney at Day Casebeer Madrid & Batchelder before going solo and was one of six Day Casebeer lawyers sanctioned in 2009 in a discovery scandal for then-client Qualcomm Inc. A judge lifted those sanctions in 2010.
"I was going to have to grow my practice one way or another and this was just a fantastic opportunity," Mammen said.
No recruiters were involved in the deal, attorneys said.
Hogan is hiring more than IP litigators in the Bay Area, though. In September, the firm also hired partners Mark Goodman and Ethan Miller in San Francisco in the litigation, arbitration and employment practice.