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Jeffrey Randall, the chair of Cooley Godward’s intellectual property practice group, is jumping to Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, along with fellow Cooley partners Chuck Ebertin and Allan Soobert. Randall and Ebertin will join the firm’s Palo Alto office, while Soobert, who is based in Cooley’s Reston, Va. outpost, will move to Skadden’s Washington, D.C. office. The three informed Cooley partners of their decision on Friday. A departure date has not yet been decided. Randall said that throughout the year several firms had made inquiries to see if he would be interested in moving. “Skadden is so far ahead of all the other firms out there,” Randall said. “It has unparalleled depth and breadth and quality in its practice groups.” Randall joined Cooley in 1995 from Phoenix-based Brown & Bain, which has since closed its Silicon Valley office. Prior to that he was a deputy district attorney in San Jose. Ebertin also joined Cooley from Brown & Bain, where he was a litigation associate. Soobert was an electrical engineer before going to law school. Prior to joining Cooley, he was an associate at Burns, Doane, Swecker & Mathis. As head of Cooley’s IP group, Randall has overseen the firm’s patent, copyright, trademark and trade secret litigation. His clients have included Sun Microsystems Inc., eBay Corp., Qualcomm Inc. and Applied Materials Inc. Cooley Chairman Stephen Neal said the departures would not have a significant impact on the firm. “It’s the nature of firms, including Cooley, that when you get to be the size we are, people leave” and others join, Neal said. He added that the firm has 200 attorneys in its litigation practice and 65 attorneys in its IP practice. Skadden has become a powerful competitor in snagging corporate clients since setting up shop in Silicon Valley in 1998. The firm is now looking to extend its reach into the IP arena with the Cooley team. “This is an opportunity to build a first-class patent litigation practice of global prominence and stature,” said Kenton King, the head of Skadden’s Palo Alto and San Francisco offices. He added that the Cooley hires are a significant move for the firm since it has not traditionally picked up large groups of lateral partners. Skadden’s IP practice consists of 60 lawyers and nine partners nationwide. Its San Francisco and Palo Alto offices have a total of 65 lawyers, five focused on IP. Cooley has lost three other partners in the past six months. Daniel Mummery, who headed up Cooley’s outsourcing practice, and technology transactions partner Glen Nash defected to Latham & Watkins, while veteran litigator Karen Kubin joined the San Francisco office of Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld. Randall said the departures were standard for Silicon Valley, particularly over the last five years. “I don’t think the turnover rate is anything significant,” he said.

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