WilmerHale poaches Gibson Dunn’s trade secrets practice leader

Signage is seen outside of the law firm WilmerHale in Washington, D.C., U.S. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly

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  • Lerner has been lead counsel for tech companies in litigation
  • He joins WilmerHale as a San Francisco-based partner

(Reuters) – Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr said Thursday the large law firm has added technology litigator Joshua Lerner in San Francisco from Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher.

Lerner, who was chair of Gibson Dunn’s trade secrets practice group, advises tech companies in trade secret, class action and commercial litigation, the 1,000-lawyer firm said.

He has also handled patent, trademark and founder disputes, WilmerHale said.

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Lerner joined Gibson Dunn in 2019 from California midsize law firm Durie Tangri, where he practiced after working in-house at biotechnology company Genentech Inc.

He has represented clients including Twitter Inc and Apple Inc, court records show.

A Gibson Dunn spokesperson didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment on his departure.

Washington, D.C.-based WilmerHale opened its San Francisco office in 2019, its third in California.

Law firms have flocked to Northern California in recent years, opening new offices with sights set on technology-related work.

In November, Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton lured WilmerHale antitrust lawyer Heather Nyong’o as part of its own Bay Area launch.

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Sara Merken

Thomson Reuters

Sara Merken reports on privacy and data security, as well as the business of law, including legal innovation and key players in the legal services industry. Reach her at sara.merken@thomsonreuters.com

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