Thomas Duley, King & Spalding partner
Thomas Duley, King & Spalding partner (Jason Doiy / The Recorder)

SAN FRANCISCO — King & Spalding has poached a tech transaction attorney from DLA Piper’s San Francisco office.

Thomas Duley, who represents life sciences companies in licensing and research agreements and other commercial transactions, joined the Atlanta-based firm as a partner in its Palo Alto office on Tuesday. Prior to joining DLA Piper in 2010, Duley was of counsel at Morgan, Lewis & Bockius, and before that, senior corporate counsel at Nevada’s PDL BioPharma.

Andrew Bayman, cochairman of King & Spalding’s life sciences practice, said the industry is a “strategic area of focus for the firm.” Seven life sciences partners are based in the firm’s Northern California offices, including Laura Bushnell, who worked with Duley at Latham & Watkins from 2000 to 2006.

Since returning to Big Law, Duley said he has focused on “leveraging the operational knowledge” he acquired from being in-house. “I felt that [King & Spalding's] Silicon Valley office in particular was well positioned to support my practice and continue the growth arc representing primarily small and midsized companies,” he said.

Los Angeles-based legal recruiter Sandy Lechtick, who brokered the transaction, called King & Spalding a good fit for Duley’s focus on life sciences. Stephen Cowan, managing partner of DLA Piper’s San Francisco office, said he wishes Duley well.

Contact the reporter at npierrepont@alm.com.