Jeff Randall. (Courtesy photo)
The co-leader of K&L Gates’ intellectual property practice, Jeffrey Randall, has left the 1,850-lawyer firm.
Randall, who was located in Palo Alto, California, joined the firm just over a year ago in September 2015. He confirmed Thursday that he left K&L Gates earlier this month, but Randall said he has not yet committed to another firm.
“I’m weighing my options,” said Randall from Mexico, where he was on vacation. “Wherever I do go I’ll be trying a lot of cases.”
K&L Gates declined to comment about Randall’s departure.
Randall noted that he joined the firm when Peter Kalis was “firmly” in the chairman position. Kalis announced in September that he would not seek re-election, and his term ends in February. K&L Gates subsequently announced that partners Michael Caccese and James Segerdahl would succeed Kalis.
“The firm is moving in a new and different direction,” Randall said. “I think the new management is sound, I really do, but it’s not Pete Kalis.”
Randall has represented a number of technology industry leaders, including Apple Inc., AT&T Inc., Dell Technologies, IBM Corp., and Intel Corp., among many others, in patent and IP cases. He was seen as a major lateral recruit for K&L Gates when he was hired in 2015 from Paul Hastings, a firm he joined in another notable move six years earlier from Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom. He was expected to earn $5 million in his first year at K&L Gates, according to an April 2016 feature story by The American Lawyer.
Randall said Thursday that he encountered conflicts at K&L Gates, which made it difficult to try cases.
“Anytime you have a firm with close to 2,000 lawyers, lots of practice groups and lots of offices and an expansive IP practice … you just have a huge conflict landscape to navigate through,” he said. Randall declined to discuss any current cases he has pending.
K&L Gates has suffered several significant partner departures in the last year. In June 2016, the firm lost John Pierce, who had joined just a few months earlier. The Recorder, a sibling publication, reported last week on Pierce forming Los Angeles-based Pierce Sergenian with a former colleague from Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan.
A 32-lawyer consumer lending regulatory group also left K&L Gates’ office in Washington, D.C., for Mayer Brown in March 2016. In May of that year, Michael Missal, a member of the firm’s management committee, was confirmed as inspector general for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.
Joon Yoon, an IP litigation and licensing partner at K&L Gates in New York, where the Korean law expert joined the firm in 2015, left after a little more than a year for Jones Day. The departures came even as K&L Gates stood to reap a $210 million windfall from its role handling a massive patent infringement settlement.
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