Hugh Marbury Hugh Marbury

After more than two decades at DLA Piper, and despite a multigeneration family connection to one of DLA Piper’s predecessor firms, intellectual property litigator Hugh Marbury is making the move to Cozen O’Connor, where he will help lead the IP practice in Washington, D.C.

Marbury will be a lead trial lawyer, heading up IP and commercial litigation matters in Washington, Cozen O’Connor announced.

Marbury’s connection to DLA Piper goes back further than his own career, and includes a number of mergers and name changes. His great-grandfather, who graduated from law school in the 1880s, founded his own firm, which Marbury’s grandfather, William Marbury Jr., joined in the early 1900s. In the 1950s, William Marbury Jr. merged Marbury, Miller & Evans with Piper, Watkins, Avirett & Egerton, forming Baltimore’s Piper & Marbury.

Piper & Marbury merged with Chicago-based Rudnick & Wolfe in 1999, creating Piper Marbury Rudnick & Wolfe, which later shortened its name to Piper Rudnick. Piper Rudnick merged with DLA LLP in 2005.

“That firm has changed and grown in a direction that doesn’t match what my clients are asking me for,” Marbury said this week, specifically pointing to flexibility in staffing and rates. His clients range from startups to large, publicly traded companies.

Marbury said he was connected with Cozen O’Connor through a recruiter, and was interested in the firm’s focus on IP, as well as the Washington, Delaware and New York markets, where he focuses most of his time.

Earlier this year, Cozen O’Connor hired two patent litigators from Norton Rose Fulbright, adding to its Minneapolis office. The firm also acquired Miami-based IP boutique Feldman Gale in 2016.

After the Norton Rose hires, Cozen O’Connor IP co-chair Kerry McTigue noted that strengthening IP was especially important after the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in TC Heartland v. Kraft Foods Group Brands. Marbury said his experience in Delaware is especially valuable following that decision, as it makes Delaware the busiest jurisdiction for patent cases.

“Hugh is an ideal fit because he combines business acumen with a thorough understanding of the ever-shifting legal and technological IP landscape,” said Barry Boss, Cozen O’Connor’s Washington office managing partner and commercial litigation department vice chair, in a statement. “Hugh has a proven track record of successfully leading many complex IP matters, and he’s an active participant in the IP bar, so he’s aware of legal developments as soon as they happen.”

According to Cozen O’Connor, Marbury has represented clients in cases with a combined $4 billion at stake.

“I was lucky as a young lawyer to get involved in some very large disputes as an early age,” he said. “That’s 20-plus years of trials and arbitrations ranging from tens of millions to hundreds of millions of dollars” in value.

Marbury’s practice focuses on patent, trademark, copyright and trade secret litigation in various industries, including IP-related disputes that arise after merger closings.

IP is one of several practice areas Cozen O’Connor has focused on growing this year, with an eye on increasing head count to as many as 1,000 lawyers. Other practices of interest to the firm have been institutional response to sexual misconduct, a new group this year, and labor and employment.

DLA Piper did not respond to a request for comment on Marbury’s departure.