David Gindler, an intellectual property litigator in Los Angeles who is well-known in the life sciences industry, has been named the next managing partner of Am Law 200 firm Irell & Manella.
In the New Year, Gindler will replace Ellisen Turner, who served in the managing partner role for a single year. Turner’s short tenure comes after the IP-focused firm’s previous managing partner, Andrei Iancu, served two three-year terms, which is the longest tenure the firm said it allows. (Iancu is now the director of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.)
In a release on Friday, Turner said his “professional and personal plans prevent me from continuing to serve in the role at this time.”
Gindler is no stranger to leadership positions at the firm, having served on its executive committee for the past six years. He is perhaps most well-known for a $302 million damages award he won on behalf of City of Hope National Medical Center, which the firm says is the largest jury verdict ever affirmed in a published California appellate decision.
“It is truly a privilege to be entrusted by my partners to lead one of the country’s most respected law firms,” Gindler said in a statement. He was not immediately available for comment.
Gindler also praised the outgoing managing partner, Turner, saying the firm had the most profitable year in its 77-year history under his leadership.
Still, the Los Angeles firm has suffered declining revenue and head count in recent years. The firm had 184 lawyers and $256 million in revenue in 2011. Last year, The American Lawyer reported Irell’s 106 lawyers brought in revenue of $178 million.
In October, prominent trial lawyer Robert “Bobby” Schwartz left Irell for Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, saying he was limited by Irell’s Southern California-focused platform.
Still, Irell’s IP litigation practice, of which new managing partner Gindler is a prominent member, remains a powerful force, having been named The American Lawyer’s IP Litigation Department of the Year in 2017. In 2015, the firm helped University of Wisconsin’s tech transfer arm win a $234 million patent infringement judgment against Apple.
As for Gindler, he is also known for his work outside the firm as chair of the Antaeus Theatre Company board of directors and board member for the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Los Angeles Master Chorale and Beth Morrison Projects.
“Irell has a long-standing culture of excellence, both in terms of the results we deliver for our clients and the collaborative environment that fosters our creativity and innovation,” Gindler said. “I look forward to working with Ellisen to continue building on our successes.”
Correction: A previous version of this article misstated the plaintiff Gindler represented in a case that resulted in a $302 million damages award. The plaintiff was City of Hope National Medical Center.