UPDATED: Three patent litigation partners have jumped from Sonnenschein Nath & Rosenthal to Morrison & Foerster.
Alexander Hadjis was a partner in Sonnenschein’s D.C. office and firmwide chair of the patent litigation group. Kristin Yohannan was also a partner in Washington. Both now practice in Morrison’s D.C. office. Partner Rudy Kim resided in Sonnenchein’s Silicon Valley office and now works out of Morrison’s Palo Alto locale.
Sonnenschein spokeswoman Linda Butler says two of the three partners (she wouldn’t name which ones) were asked to leave Sonnenschein when the firm laid off 37 lawyers and 87 staff last month. Nonetheless, Butler says her firm is committed to building its patent litigation practice.
Hadjis says the trio made the decision to leave Sonnenschein “independent of, and before the layoffs.” He says that they had offers to join several top firms, but Morrison presented “the strongest and best opportunity” for them and their clients. The firm’s “collegial” culture was also a selling point, he says.
According to Sonnenschein’s Web site, 44 lawyers remain in its patent litigation group. Thirteen of those attorneys are in the Washington office. But there are already rumblings that many of the remaining lawyers across Sonnenschein’s firmwide patent litigation group will soon follow to Morrison. Hadjis would say only that he “would certainly be interested” in having others join him from Sonnenschein and that he suspects “that there would be some interest on their part.” He says he will be able to comment further “as those interests manifest themselves and play themselves out.”