Martini was formerly DLA Piper’s national hiring partner and worked at the global legal giant for more than 25 years, earning local recognition from Crain’s Chicago Business as one of the Windy City’s most influential minority lawyers.
Martini, who focuses her practice on copyright and trademark law, is now one of more than 20 former DLA Piper partners that have moved to McDermott so far this year, with a large group of those laterals moving between floors in a new office tower on the Chicago River.
The first DLA Piper partner to make the jump in Chicago was Michael Poulos, the former co-managing partner of the Americas at DLA Piper and a litigator who represents a number of accounting firms and other major clients.
Poulos has since been joined by Michael Sheehan, the former co-chairman of DLA Piper’s global employment practice; employment partners Rachel Cowen and Marilyn Pearson; litigation partner Lawrence Wojcik; and employment counsel P. Kevin Connelly. Those hires were announced in a McDermott memo penned by firm chairman Ira Coleman that said the firm expected to add $100 million in revenue from the roughly 50 former DLA Piper lawyers it had brought aboard.
Martini said she was lured to McDermott by a combination of the firm’s commitment to its IP practice; the fact that she knew a number of partners at the firm; and that she was impressed by Coleman’s recruitment efforts since he became chairman in September 2016.
On the IP front, McDermott has been bulking up its practice since Nicole Jantzi and two other partners joined the firm from Ropes & Gray in Washington, D.C. Jantzi now leads the practice that earlier this year brought on Kristina “Kris” Bieker-Brady from Boston-based IP boutique Clark & Elbing. Like Bieker-Brady, Martini has experience at the intersection between IP and life sciences.
“It’s an area that McDermott is committed to,” Martini said. “They have a terrific IP practice and are committed to continuing to grow the practice. One area I do a lot of work in is in the life sciences space, and obviously that plays into a sweet spot for McDermott.”
Lateral activity in the IP space has been robust in recent months, and McDermott has also seen its fair share of defections. Just last week, Barnes & Thornburg brought on three former IP partners—Peter Siavelis, Matthew Leno and Matthew Gryzlo—from McDermott in Chicago, where Jones Day recently welcomed aboard former McDermott IP litigation partner Rita Yoon. In December, Fabio Marino, the former leader of McDermott’s IP practice in Northern California, took a team of lawyers to Polsinelli in Silicon Valley.
Martini and her husband, David Susler, an associate general counsel at National Material LP and a board member for the Association of Corporate Counsel’s Chicago chapter, are well-known in the local legal community. They have co-authored a column in Chicago Lawyer magazine for more than seven years and also appear together on WGN Radio’s Legal Face-Off program.