In what has already been an active year on the lateral hiring front by DLA Piper, the global legal giant announced this week its addition of five new partners in three cities, the majority of whom will join its intellectual property and technology practice.
DLA Piper has welcomed back Clayton Thompson and Yakov “Jake” Zolotorev for its intellectual property and technology group in East Palo Alto. The latter two lawyers left DLA Piper in early 2011 to form Feinberg Day Alberti & Thompson, a Silicon Valley-based IP boutique that has renamed itself Feinberg Day Alberti Lim & Belloli following the departure of Thompson.
Also heading to DLA Piper as co-chairs of the firm’s national advertising team are former Jenner & Block partners Benjamin Mulcahy in Los Angeles and Gina Reif Ilardi in New York. Ilardi and Mulcahy, who advise clients in the sports, media and entertainment space, both joined Jenner & Block in 2016 after serving as co-leaders of the advertising industry group at Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton.
“The opportunity to represent the clients beyond New York and Los Angeles were the biggest benefits we have identified [in making the move to DLA Piper],” said Mulcahy, who served as co-chair of the trademark, advertising and unfair competition practice at Jenner & Block.
As clients start to reduce the number of outside firms they employ, Mulcahy said that DLA Piper’s domestic and international platform will complement his practice focused on the advertising and entertainment industries. Mulcahy’s clients include broadcast and cable television networks, as well as film studios.
Mulcahy added that he was drawn to DLA Piper because the firm’s partners are well-regarded in the Los Angeles market, where in January the firm picked up partners from Holland & Knight and Mitchell Silberberg & Knupp. DLA Piper’s Los Angeles office got a dramatic boost last summer after the firm absorbed 60-lawyer local shop Liner LLP.
“As we continue to strategically expand in Los Angeles, adding Ben will allow us to strengthen our practice offerings for new and existing clients here and across the country,” said a statement from DLA Piper’s Los Angeles co-managing partner Stuart Liner. “He and Gina complement our media and entertainment capabilities well, and their skill set will be immediately beneficial.”
The New York-based Ilardi, who focuses her practice on counseling advertising, marketing and public relations agencies, said she was attracted to DLA Piper because of the investments the firm has made in the sports, media and entertainment space. Only a month ago, DLA Piper made two Los Angeles-based additions to that group after hiring former Perkins Coie media and entertainment litigation chair Michael Garfinkel and ex-Kelley Drye & Warren entertainment partner Miles Cooley.
As for Silicon Valley, where DLA Piper’s Palo Alto office currently has about 170 lawyers, the firm has brought back Thompson and Zolotorev from Feinberg Day in Menlo Park. DLA Piper’s IP and technology practice has more than 200 lawyers in the United States, and the 3,616-lawyer firm has added 73 lawyers to its patent, trademark and copyright group within the last four years, according to data compiled by ALM Intelligence. Earlier this month, DLA Piper brought on Buckley Sandler IP and technology partner R. David Whitaker in Chicago.
DLA Piper has also been growing elsewhere, adding Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer real estate counsel Bruce Saber and partner Gerald Shepherd as a partner and counsel, respectively, this week in New York. Those hires come a few weeks after DLA Piper picked up Dentons litigation partners C. Michael Moore and Matthew Nickel in Dallas, where DLA Piper also recently raided Andrews Kurth Kenyon for employment partners Marc Katz and Isabel Crosby and litigation partner Rob Hoffman.
Internationally, DLA Piper has also been on an expansion spree, reeling in a three-partner tax team from Reed Smith in Paris and hiring three other corporate partners in Bogotá, Colombia. DLA Piper announced late Wednesday its acquisition of 60-lawyer Chilean shop Noguera, Larraín & Dulanto. That deal, which will go live on April 1, will see the combined firm operate in the South American country as DLA Piper BAZ NLD.