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Best Law Firms by Practice Area
These firms were voted strongest in each practice area by associates working in that area at peer firms. Vault's 2022 Rankings are derived from Vault's Annual Associate Survey conducted from March 2021 through May 2021.
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11 - 20
2022 Best Intellectual Property Boutique Law Firms
#1
Desmarais LLP
Just over a decade since its founding, Desmarais is an IP-focused trial firm with offices in New York; San Francisco; and Washington, DC. The firm represents technology powerhouses such as Apple, Cisco, and IBM, as well as major life sciences and medical-device clients such as Acelity, Boston Scientific, Enzo Biochem, and GSK. A popular aspect of working here is the lack of billable hours—instead, the firm uses tailored alternative fee arrangements.
32.03% of
2021 Ranking #1
Desmarais LLP
#2
McKool Smith
McKool Smith is a trial firm with a reputation for victory in the courtroom in “bet-the-company” cases and beyond. With seven offices coast-to-coast, the firm’s experienced trial attorneys represent both plaintiffs and defendants in commercial cases, intellectual property disputes, bankruptcy litigation, and white collar defense. McKool Smith takes diversity seriously, and since January 2020 has retained Coston Consulting, a Black-owned business advisory firm, to help further develop and implement diversity initiatives.
23.39% of
2021 Ranking #2
McKool Smith
#3
Durie Tangri LLP
Since opening its doors, Durie Tangri has had a hand in a number IP cases establishing new precedent and other high-profile cases beyond the IP world. At just under 40 lawyers, it represents some big names, including Google, LinkedIn, Twitter, Yelp, Fitbit, Zynga, Netflix, Microsoft, and Facebook. Durie Tangri is not only a top IP and litigation boutique, it’s also a firm where associates report a high satisfaction. They give the firm high marks in such discrete areas as associate/partner relations, technology, culture, training, and more.
23.29% of
2021 Ranking #3
Durie Tangri LLP
#4
Keker, Van Nest & Peters LLP
Keker, Van Nest & Peters is a midsize firm rooted in California. The firm's lawyers are skilled in everything from intellectual property disputes to white collar criminal defense to commercial litigation, but the firm is best known for its litigation and IP prowess. It is among the Top 5 firms in Vault’s Litigation Boutique Law Firm and Intellectual Boutique Law Firm rankings. The firm has also been recognized as a firm that committed to supporting a diverse workplace.
20.78% of
2021 Ranking #5
Keker, Van Nest & Peters LLP
#5
Banner Witcoff
Windy City-based Banner Witcoff is a top IP boutique that offers a friendly, open-door culture. It also boasts a strong pro bono practice, which has included work on numerous amicus briefs related to novel IP issues. With its reputation as a firm that has helped shaped IP law, including through work on groundbreaking Supreme Court cases, the Banner Witcoff name certainly carries a lot of weight in the IP world.
19.68% of
2021 Ranking #4
Banner Witcoff
#6
Wolf, Greenfield & Sacks, P.C.
With just under 100 attorneys, Wolf Greenfield has made a name for itself as an IP powerhouse. The firm is known for its work in patent litigation on technology matters and is no stranger to making history, having had had its hand in some of the most important IP developments over the years. In 1961, the firm successfully argued Aro Manufacturing Co. v. Convertible Top, now known as the seminal Supreme Court case covering the doctrine of permissible repair.
14.56% of
2021 Ranking #6
Wolf, Greenfield & Sacks, P.C.
#7
Oblon, McClelland, Maier & Neustadt, L.L.P.
Virginia-based IP boutique Oblon, McClelland, Maier & Neustadt, L.L.P. has one foot in the United States and one in Japan, and both are strategically placed. The firm’s U.S. office in Alexandria, Virginia is located next to the USPTO, and its Tokyo office places it in proximity to the booming Asian technology market. Multinational corporations, universities, and government agencies seek out Oblon's highly regarded trademark and patent prosecution practices and recurring record of filing the most patent applications per year.
9.34% of
2021 Ranking #7
Oblon, McClelland, Maier & Neustadt, L.L.P.
#8
Brinks Gilson Lione
*Effective July 2, 2021, Brinks Gilson Lione merged with Crowell & Moring. This profile is the legacy profile for Brinks Gilson Lione.
8.53% of
2021 Ranking #9
Brinks Gilson Lione
#9
Rothwell, Figg, Ernst & Manbeck, P.C.
Rothwell, Figg, Ernst & Manbeck, P.C. is an IP firm based in Washington, DC, with an additional office in Boston. With a staff of about 45 attorneys, the firm is small but mighty and is best known for its IP litigation work. Rothwell Figg focuses on all aspects of IP law—from patent, trademark, and copyright to unfair competition, trade secrets, and cybersecurity, any many more. Biotech and life sciences companies make up a fair portion of the firm’s clients, but clients also include media companies, pharmaceutical companies, and many other clients with sophisticated IP needs.
7.33% of
2021 Ranking #14
Rothwell, Figg, Ernst & Manbeck, P.C.
#10
McDonnell Boehnen Hulbert & Berghoff LLP
McDonnell Boehnen Hulbert & Berghoff is an intellectual property law firm with offices in Illinois and California. The firm's client list includes Fortune 100 companies, midsize companies, startups, and academic institutions. MBHB attorneys are experienced in the procurement, licensing, enforcement, and defense of patents, trademarks, copyrights, trade secrets, and unfair competition actions in a number of technological disciplines and product categories, including biotechnology, business methods, chemical, electrical, mechanical and materials, pharmaceuticals and diagnostics, software, and telecommunications.
7.23% of
2021 Ranking #10
McDonnell Boehnen Hulbert & Berghoff LLP
#11
Merchant & Gould P.C.
Headquartered in the Twin Cities with six offices nationwide, IP boutique Merchant & Gould covers clients on the East Coast in New York and Washington, DC, as far south as Tennessee and Georgia, and into the mountain states with an office in Colorado. The firm's wide national reach has served to provide the firm with access to big-name clients like Microsoft, Polaris, Cristal, and Radisson.
6.93% of
2021 Ranking #10
Merchant & Gould P.C.
#12
Fross Zelnick Lehrman & Zissu, P.C.
Fross Zelnick is a leading IP boutique with just shy of 50 attorneys in New York and Washington, DC, focused solely on intellectual property and related disputes. Today, the firm handles intellectual property transactions and disputes globally, including in China, Latin America, Eastern Europe, and the Middle East. Through the years, the firm has represented companies like PepsiCo, LEGO, Movado, The Gap, Chanel, DC Comics, Tiffany & Co., and New York Life Insurance Company, just to name a few, as well as a list of celebrities.
6.73% of
2021 Ranking #12
Fross Zelnick Lehrman & Zissu, P.C.
#13
Sughrue Mion PLLC
Intellectual property boutique firm Sughrue Mion has obtained more U.S. patents than any other firm. With a top-notch litigation practice; one of the largest full-service trademark practices in the country; and wide-ranging expertise in patent counseling, prosecution, and review, Sughrue handles all manner of IP issues for clients around the world. Sughrue’s main practice groups are in patent counseling, patent post-grant review and patent prosecution, trademark, copyright, and litigation.
6.33% of
2021 Ranking #8
Sughrue Mion PLLC
#14
McAndrews, Held & Malloy, Ltd
McAndrews, Held & Malloy is an IP boutique in the Windy City, with a team of attorneys, patent agents, and technology experts who handle high-stakes, complex IP litigation and billions of dollars of IP transactions. McAndrews takes pride in its ability to not just hire great attorneys, but also to keep them. More than 70 percent of the firm’s attorneys have spent their entire legal career at the firm, and this includes some who have been with the firm since its inception in 1988.
5.42% of
2021 Ranking #13
McAndrews, Held & Malloy, Ltd
#15
Schwegman Lundberg & Woessner, P.A.
Schwegman Lundberg & Woessner is an IP boutique with Midwest roots. With offices in Minneapolis, Silicon Valley, Austin, and the U.K., the firm focuses on patent portfolio planning and management, infringement, validity and clearance investigations, opinions, and IP prosecution. Schwegman Lundberg & Woessner represents multinational corporations, middle-market businesses, universities, startups, and individuals across industries like chemical & materials science, clean technology, electrical & computers, life sciences, mechanical & electromechanical, medical devices, and software & e-commerce. The firm offers the full swath of IP work, from due diligence and opinions to trademarks and licensing to patent prosecution and post-grant proceedings.
5.32% of
2021 Ranking #16
Schwegman Lundberg & Woessner, P.A.
#16
Patterson + Sheridan LLP
Patterson + Sheridan is an IP Boutique with seven offices nationwide—three in Texas, it’s home state; two in California; and one each in North Carolina and New Jersey. At about 80 attorneys strong, many with technical and scientific backgrounds, the firm serves the IP needs of clients across a broad range of industries. The firm’s experience and breadth attracts big-name clients like Weatherford, Fox Racing, Olympia Tools, Prysm, Wild Well Control, and VMware, to name a few examples.
4.52% of
2021 Ranking #19
Patterson + Sheridan LLP
#17
Marshall, Gerstein & Borun LLP
Premier Chicago intellectual property firm Marshall, Gerstein & Borun advises a diverse client roster made up of Fortune 500 corporations, startups, small to mid-sized companies, nonprofits, universities, research institutions, and independent inventors in its specialty areas of patent, trademark, and copyright protection and litigation. Located in Chicago’s Willis Tower, the firm is an enduring part of both Chicago’s skyline and the IP legal landscape.
4.32% of
2021 Ranking #15
Marshall, Gerstein & Borun LLP
#18
Leydig Voit & Mayer, Ltd
As a firm that has been at the forefront of intellectual property law for more than a century, Leydig, Voit & Mayer has helped shape the IP landscape. With clients in fields ranging from pharmaceuticals and biotechnology to consumer household goods and financial services, the firm specializes in patent, trademark and copyright litigation, registration and prosecution, unfair competition, and franchising and licensing.
3.72% of
2021 Ranking #17
Leydig Voit & Mayer, Ltd
#18
Tensegrity Law Group LLP
Tensegrity Law Group is a firm that has remained small because it has proven to be successful. It’s even in its name: “Tensegrity” refers to a small number of elements that create a structure of simplicity, balance, and strength with efficiency and economy. Located in Redwood Shores, California, the firm was founded in 2011, but it has grown to become a reputable patent litigation boutique known to secure “eve of trial” resolutions for its clients. In fact, the firm has earned its clients more than $1 billion in patent licenses and settlements, and the firm’s quick success has earned it a spot in Vault’s Best IP Boutique Law Firms ranking.
3.72% of
2021 Ranking #Not Ranked
Tensegrity Law Group LLP
#20
Klarquist Sparkman, LLP
Oregon firm Klarquist Sparkman is one of the oldest and largest IP boutique firms in the Pacific Northwest. The firm handles IP matters for individual investors, mid-size companies, and some of the world’s largest industry leaders, such as Amazon, Microsoft, Netflix, Nike, Hewlett-Packard, General Electric, eBay, SAP, and ConAgra. The firm’s clients also include prominent federal agencies like the National Institutes of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as well as many prestigious universities.
3.31% of
2021 Ranking #18
Klarquist Sparkman, LLP