Morrison Foerster Boosts Intellectual Property Capability in London with Team Hire Led by Partner Steven James

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Team addition brings new contentious intellectual property capability in London; further strengthens firm’s premier global IP offering following recent announcement of California-based litigation boutique Durie Tangri joining Morrison Foerster.

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Morrison Foerster, a leading global law firm, is pleased to announce the addition of a four-strong Intellectual Property (IP) team led by Steven James, who joins as a partner in the Litigation Department, based in London. The team’s arrival significantly bolsters Morrison Foerster’s IP offering in the UK and Europe, adds new contentious IP capabilities in London, and further cements the firm’s reputation as a global IP and patent powerhouse following the recent announcement of litigation boutique firm Durie Tangri joining Morrison Foerster effective January 1, 2023.

The team, which in addition to James includes of counsel Ruth Arkley and senior associate Hattie Chessher, joins from an international law firm, where James was lead partner for UK and European IP. They bring extensive contentious and non-contentious experience across the full spectrum of IP rights, including trade secrets, patents, trademarks, passing-off, copyright, designs, confidential information, and domain names. They also have broad experience in handling a wide range of disputes and commercial matters, and manage worldwide trademark, design and patent portfolios.

James has over 15 years of experience advising clients on complex contentious and non-contentious IP, technology, and commercial law mandates, with a focus on new technologies and innovation. He predominantly advises clients in the technology, financial services, life sciences, retail and luxury goods, food and beverage, and media sectors. He has a broad practice, from leading on trade secret, patent, passing off, copyright, and trademark disputes to counseling clients on the development of IP and branding strategies, and on approaches for licensing and the enforcement of IP rights. Further, James has experience advising on defamation, and on the IP, technology, and data protection aspects of a wide range of commercial, corporate, and M&A transactions. James has conducted matters before the UK Intellectual Property Office, the European Union Intellectual Property Office, the Intellectual Property Enterprise Court of England and Wales, the High Court and Court of Appeal of England and Wales, and the Court of Justice of the European Union.

“IP is a core strength of Morrison Foerster globally,” said Paul Friedman, Morrison Foerster’s Managing Partner for Europe. “Further strengthening and deepening our IP practice in London has long been a strategic priority, and we have been looking for the right, high-caliber team. Steven and the team will be terrific additions to the London office and our powerhouse global IP Litigation Group. Steven’s experience and established client base strongly align with our sector focus across tech and life sciences, making him the perfect choice to lead our new London contentious IP practice.”

“IP is one of the pillars of our firm,” said Eric McCrath, Chair of Morrison Foerster. “Welcoming Steven and his team shortly after announcing our combination with Durie Tangri on the West Coast is another significant step in doubling down on our core IP capabilities and further evidence of our commitment to serving clients at the cutting-edge of technology and life sciences across the globe. We are thrilled to welcome them to MoFo.”

Arkley joins the firm as of counsel, bringing over eight years of IP, technology, and commercial law experience, with a particular focus on innovative technologies and data protection. Chessher joins as an associate; she has over eight years of experience advising on IP and commercial law, including trademark, passing off and copyright disputes, trademark portfolio management and transactional matters.

“Morrison Foerster’s renowned global IP Litigation practice and its dynamic, growing London office were major draws for me,” said James. “The firm’s incredible depth and quality of IP lawyers and litigators globally, combined with its best-in-class reputation across technology, life sciences, and other innovative industries, made it a compelling proposition for me and the team. We are excited to collaborate with colleagues across MoFo’s global platform to advise clients on their most challenging matters and contribute to the growth of the firm’s IP practice on the ground in London. It is a huge privilege to be here, and the team and I are thrilled to be given the opportunity to build out the IP group’s capabilities in London at such an exciting time in the firm’s history.”

The addition of an IP team in London closely follows the announcement that Durie Tangri, a California-based litigation boutique with significant IP, complex civil litigation, and trial capabilities, will join Morrison Foerster effective January 1, 2023. Thirty-six Durie Tangri lawyers are anticipated to join the firm, including 12 partners. In 2019, Morrison Foerster opened an office in Boston, significantly strengthening its IP capabilities on the East Coast. Earlier this year, the firm opened an office in Austin with an initial focus on advising companies, including emerging growth companies, and investors in the technology, life sciences, and healthcare sectors, on IP litigation and transactional matters. As part of the opening, leading IP practitioners Brian C. Nash and Aaron G. Fountain joined the firm’s IP Litigation Group.

Morrison Foerster lawyers have litigated more than 300 patent disputes in the most active district courts in the United States. Further, the firm’s more than 115 patent attorneys and patent agent/scientific analysts offer clients around the world unrivaled industry and technical experience.

James holds undergraduate and master’s degrees from University College London and a postgraduate Diploma in Intellectual Property Law from the University of Oxford. He is qualified to practice in England & Wales and is a Solicitor Advocate (Higher Courts Civil Proceedings).

Arkley holds a B.A. in Law from Clare College, University of Cambridge, and a postgraduate Diploma in Intellectual Property Law from the University of Oxford. Chessher holds an LL.B. in Law from the University of Southampton, a postgraduate Diploma in Intellectual Property Law from the University of Oxford, and a Certificate in Intellectual Property Law & Transactions from University College London. They are both admitted to practice in England & Wales.

ABOUT MORRISON FOERSTER

Morrison Foerster is a leading global law firm that transforms complexity into advantage for its clients. Our clients include some of the largest financial institutions, banks, consulting and accounting firms, and Fortune 100, technology, and life sciences companies. Highlighting the firm’s commitment to client service, leadership in market-changing deals and impact litigation, and values-based culture, Morrison Foerster was recognized as one of the top 10 firms on The American Lawyer’s 2021 and 2022 A-List. Year after year, the firm receives significant recognition from Chambers and The Legal 500 across their various guides, including Global, USA, Asia Pacific, Europe, UK, Latin America, and FinTech Legal. Our lawyers passionately care about delivering legal excellence while living our values. Morrison Foerster has a long-standing commitment to creating a culture that respects and celebrates differences, while providing an inclusive environment. The firm has achieved Mansfield Certification Plus since 2018 as a result of successfully reaching at least 30 percent women, communities of color, and LGBTQ+ lawyer representation in a notable number of current leadership roles and committees. The firm also has a long history of commitment to the community and society through providing pro bono legal services, including litigating for civil rights and civil liberties, improving public education and fostering the wellbeing of children, advocating for veterans, promoting international human rights, enforcing the right to asylum, and safeguarding the environment.

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Alexander Smith
Morrison Foerster
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