Five attorneys will service existing clients, strengthen California presence
By Ameera Butt
Daily Journal Staff Writer
Virginia-based LeClairRyan has added five attorneys to its Los Angeles office to bolster its intellectual property practice.
James C. Hildebrand, Brian C. Vanderhoof and Courtney E. Curtis joined from Ropers Majeski Kohn Bentley PC on Monday. James C. Potepan and Thomas M. O’Leary joined the firm on Friday, according to the firm.
Recruiter Richard Kolodny of The Portfolio Group Inc. brokered the team’s move to the new firm.
The addition is the first to the IP team in Los Angeles, said David C. Freinberg, chief executive officer of LeClairRyan who’s based in the firm’s Newark, N.J. office.
The firm offers nationwide patent prosecution, litigation, trademark registration and licensing services in the IP area.
Potepan is head of the IP litigation group, while O’Leary, Hildebrand, Curtis and Vanderhoof joined as partners in the Los Angeles office.
All will be part of the IP practice group, according to Potepan. They will focus on litigation work in the areas of copyright, trademark, trade secrets, unfair competition, right of publicity and patent work, he said.
Potepan said it was a chance to move to a firm with a larger IP practice group.
“I think there’s a great opportunity to work with a firm that’s larger and has a nationwide platform and offices in a number of different cities and the opportunity to service clients in connection with that,” he explained.
The firm established its California presence in Los Angeles and San Francisco in 2008 when it merged with Wright Robinson Osthimer & Tatum. Firmwide, with the team’s addition, there are more than 50 attorneys who work in the IP arena, Freinberg said.
“We see the addition of this team in Los Angeles as not only adding to that capability on the litigation side but also strengthening our team in California,” Freinberg said.
The firm decided to expand its IP practice group in L.A. because it is following opportunities created by its current roster of clients, according to Freinberg. “We see the opportunity not only to be able to provide additionalservicesto existing clients, but offering opportunities to the clientsthatJimand Tomand their group bring with them, as well asstrengthening or providing other opportunities in California,” he said.
Sandford “Sandy” Lechtick, founder of California-based legal search firm Esquire Inc., said the group will fit well in the firm’s IP practice, which is Los Angeles-centric, in servicing clients here as opposed to clients in China.
“It’s a well-managed, somewhat counterintuitive firm that’s growing,” Lechtick said. “They’re looking to play to their strengths, and they’ll continue to grow in the IP arena and in complex business litigation products.
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