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Top Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe litigator Barbara Caulfield has jumped to the Santa Clara, Calif., biotech company Affymetrix Inc. as executive vice president and general counsel. Caulfield is the second key litigator that San Francisco-based Orrick has lost this year. In January, Terrence McMahon, who chaired Orrick’s intellectual property practice group, defected to Chicago’s McDermott, Will & Emery to head the firm’s West Coast IP practice. Caulfield, 53, said she jumped when Affymetrix asked if she would join the company as general counsel. “When you go in-house you are involved in a broader range of legal actions,” she said. “I like the people at the company very much and what it does — making gene chips.” She joined the Santa Clara company two weeks ago. Caulfield had won a major patent infringement suit for Affymetrix. Oxford Gene Technology of Oxford, England, had claimed the company’s Gene Chip product infringed its patent for testing how genes hybridize. “I became very interested in biotechnology and the opportunity to learn more and be on the ground in [the field of] bioinformatics,” Caulfield said. One of the San Francisco Bay Area’s most renowned litigators, Caulfield has had a varied career. She joined Orrick in 1997 after a four-year stint at Latham & Watkins’ San Francisco office. Prior to that she served two years as a federal judge for the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. Before her judgeship, she was chief litigation counsel for Pacific Bell Telephone Co. and was a partner at Brobeck, Phleger & Harrison. She also served as a professor at University of California, Hastings College of the Law in San Francisco and the University of Oregon Law School. Caulfield obtained a law degree from Northwestern University in 1972. During her tenure at Orrick, Caulfield also argued an appeal for Microsoft Corp. in its litigation with Sun Microsystems. Among other cases, Caulfield represented Pillsbury Winthrop — then Pillsbury Madison & Sutro — in an age discrimination suit that settled in 1997. Orrick’s loss of two key litigators has raised some eyebrows in the legal community. “It’s a blow they’ve lost their two marquee litigators,” said a prominent San Francisco litigation partner at a competing firm who spoke on condition of anonymity. “It’s not clear who is left in the stable.” Orrick, however, downplayed Caulfield’s departure. “It’s not unusual to have a senior partner move from a firm to a client,” said Charles Gerdts, head of Orrick’s advocacy practices, which include IP, litigation and employment. “In some respects it’s an affirmation that the client values your advice.” Gerdts added that Orrick recently recruited William Coats, a leading attorney in the copyright and new media field, from Howrey Simon Arnold & White. Firmwide, Orrick has 160 litigators, including IP attorneys, and roughly 70 are based in the Bay Area. In her new post Caulfield will handle issues relating to manufacturing, IP, employment and litigation for Affymetrix. Commenting on her varied career, she said, “The more jobs you’ve had or points of view you’ve had in the legal system, the better judgment you can bring to companies trying to make strategic decisions involving legal issues.”

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