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The head of Greenberg Traurig’s intellectual property practice has flown the coop he helped build. Wayne Jones joined Greenberg’s Silicon Valley office in 2004, the same year the firm opened the office. He entered the firm as a partner and as head of the office’s IP practice. Squire, Sanders & Dempsey approved his hiring Friday in a firmwide equity partner vote. He left Greenberg early last week. “[Working at Greenberg] was a good experience, there were a lot of people I like there, it was a hospitable environment and I worked real hard,” he said. However, he felt there were only a handful of attorneys in the intellectual property practice that he could count on. “Other than them, I really had to fly solo,” he said. “With the way my practice had grown or evolved, it made sense for me to consider different types of environments.” Culture was one of the major factors driving his search. He was looking for “the types of personalities � that you want to be in the foxhole with.” “I spent my years [in-house] picking and choosing which lawyers I would use � and now I’m just as picky,” he said. Jones, who said his practice grew to $4 million last year, left a long-standing in-house career when he joined Greenberg. He began his career in the early ’80s as a litigator with New York’s Kenyon & Kenyon. He soon went in house, and eventually worked as chief IP counsel for SAP, Alcatel and Occidental Chemical Corp. San Francisco recruiter Avis Caravello said Jones’ in-house experience and the speed with which he built his Greenberg practice led her to introduce him to Squire, Sanders. Nathan Lane III, practice group leader of Squire’s intellectual property practice, agreed with Caravello.

Read our latest coverage of patent law and intellectual property issues, from Silicon Valley to the U.S. Supreme Court.

“Wayne is one of the unique individuals who not only combines solid litigation background with a solid grounding in patent law, but also significant experience at high in-house levels with a variety of technology companies,” Lane said. “And we’re absolutely delighted to be able to have him join us.” Jones received his J.D. from the Duke University School of Law in 1981. He is also fluent in Indonesian, which he learned as a Mormon missionary in the early ’70s. Jones said he is looking forward to spreading his wings with Squire. “I feel they have a lot of space for me to try and work with them and to add things to the environment of the firm,” he said.

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