Correction: A previous version of this story incorrectly stated that Sanjeet Dutta was a partner at Orrick when he left the firm. He was not. He was of counsel.
SAN FRANCISCO — King & Spalding hired intellectual property litigation partner Thomas Gray for its Palo Alto office, the firm announced Monday. Gray joins the firm from Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe, where he served as an attorney for almost 15 years. He is the second IP partner to join the office after two partners left to help launch a separate firm.
Gray said he was excited to join King & Spalding’s national practice, which includes more than 100 IP attorneys in the U.S.
“King & Spalding has a great IP group and I’m excited to help grow the practice in Silicon Valley as well as in California,” Gray said. Gray will be working closely with Palo Alto-based partners Michael Heafey and Emma Maconick, as well as San Francisco-based partner Kenneth Steinthal. Heafey joined the firm from Orrick last September.
Heafey and Gray worked together while at Orrick, and Gray said Heafey helped persuade him to move over. Gray has experience in patent litigation, Internet-related matters such as copyright and privacy, and trade secret litigation. No recruiter was involved, Gray said.
King & Spalding’s Palo Alto office managing partner Timothy Scott said Gray’s addition is part of the firm’s plan to build out its IP practice, which has had a difficult history.
“That’s a practice that frankly has had its fits and starts in this office,” Scott said. He said the office is built around the technology and life sciences industries, which requires strong practices in corporate, commercial litigation and IP.
“IP is the third leg of the milking stool,” Scott said.
King & Spalding’s IP practice has seen its members come and go in recent years. In July 2013, the office brought aboard former Bingham McCutchen partner William Abrams. Two years before, the firm took another Orrick IP attorney when it hired Sanjeet Dutta. But early this year, both Abrams and Dutta left King & Spalding to help launch the Palo Alto office for Washington, D.C.-based Steptoe & Johnson LLP. According to King & Spalding’s website, Heafey and Gray are the only IP partners in its Palo Alto office.
While at Orrick, Gray represented such companies as Facebook Inc., Applied Materials Inc., AT&T Corp. and eBay Inc. in several patent infringement and trade secret cases.
According to public documents, Gray has one open matter in federal district court, representing Facebook as a defendant in the Northern District of California in a breach-of-contract action brought by RootZoo Inc. Previously an online sports community, RootZoo stopped operating in 2011.
Orrick wished its former colleague well.
“We enjoyed having Tom as a colleague for nearly 15 years,” an Orrick representative said. “We wish him the best at his new firm.”
Contact the reporter at firstname.lastname@example.org.