Last month, we checked in with several firms that had recently opened offices in Silicon Valley.
We did not mention Dallas-based Haynes & Boone, which arrived in the Valley in February not by opening an office, but through a merger, so we decided to check in with Ed Kwok, an IP partner at the firm’s Silicon Valley office, to see how things are going.
Haynes & Boone absorbed MacPherson Kwok Chen & Heid, an IP boutique that had 21 lawyers spread between San Jose and Irvine.
Combined, the firms count several high-tech heavyweights among their clients: Samsung, Boeing, Lattice Semiconductor, Taiwan Semiconductor, AT&T and Agilent.
“Geographically, MacPherson Kwok had more Silicon Valley clients and East Asian clients,” Kwok said. “We have some advantages in understanding the Asian way of doing business.”
Although the firm already had several California clients and had been in California’s courts for a number of matters, it did not have a California office until the merger.
Kwok said his firm brought to Haynes & Boone a slightly different set of clients and way of doing business. “In Silicon Valley, half the time someone walks in your office, they have a background that’s in Asia, Southeast Asia, the Middle East or Europe.”
The 460-lawyer Haynes & Boone jumped back into the AmLaw 100 this year after a couple years’ hiatus.
It hopes to expand its IP practice in the Valley by adding biotechnology capability and getting corporate and labor and employment practices in place. They are also looking for opportunities to expand into securities and venture financing.
Kwok said they don’t have a set number of lawyers they’re aiming to hire, but they’re being especially careful right now.
“Once the business climate becomes a little better, people will have a better sense of how they’re doing, and things will become more fluid,” Kwok said.
Since February, the office has brought on one partner
, Gary Edwards from Finnegan, and one of counsel, Nicolas Gikkas, formerly general counsel with Sirf Technology. It lost one partner associate, who left to form her own firm.
— Amanda Royal
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