Steven Spears has joined Baker & Hostetler as a partner in Houston, adding an intellectual property litigation practice to the office.

Spears, who had been with McDermott, Will & Emery for the better part of a decade and was head of its Houston office, said he was attracted to Baker & Hostetler’s large, well-established office in Houston and the firm’s IP practice.

“That presents a world of opportunity,” he said.

Baker & Hostetler has more than 60 lawyers on its patent litigation team, but Spears is the first in Houston, where the firm has 83 lawyers. Mark Tidman, chairman of Baker & Hostetler’s IP group, said in a statement that Spears is an outstanding addition to the IP practice, and he has experience in biotechnology, chemistry and other technology areas.

Steven Spears

Courtesy photo

Spears, who joined Baker & Hostetler on July 3, said he brought clients, including Monsanto Co. and Ericsson. While he does a lot of patent, trade secret and technology litigation, Spears also does IP counseling for companies in the biotech, chemical, telecommunications and oil field services industries.

McDermott opened its Houston office in 2008. This January, the office lost a four-lawyer patent group to Vorys, Sater, Seymour and Pease in Houston. With Spears’ departure, the Houston office is now staffed by only three lawyers. In a statement, the firm said it has no plans to close the Houston office.

“As part of a focused strategy, the firm will maintain the resources required to support key clients in the Houston area while continuing to grow our Dallas capabilities to ensure strong coverage across the Texas market,” the statement said.

McDermott has 27 lawyers in Dallas.

Also in the statement, McDermott wished Spears well.

“We wish Steve the very best and look forward to a continued close relationship as he becomes a valued member of McDermott’s alumni network,” the firm said.