01 Dec 2022

Brown Rudnick adds Fieldfisher partner in London to lead UK and European IP team

David Knight’s hire comes just days after Brown Rudnick’s former UK/Europe IP lead departed with team to launch Morrison Foerster’s UK contentious IP practice

Image courtesy of Brown Rudnick

US law firm Brown Rudnick has added a partner from Fieldfisher in London to lead its UK and European intellectual property practice. 

David Knight has joined the firm just days after it emerged Brown Rudnick’s former lead partner for UK and European IP, Steven James, had left with three colleagues to build the UK contentious IP practice at US rival Morrison Foerster. 

Knight’s practice covers the full range of IP rights, with a particular focus on patents. He advises companies on both offensive and defensive patent litigation and on corporate matters, including structuring, transactions and licensing. 

“Amongst Brown Rudnick’s five key pillars are technology and life sciences, and David’s experience in these areas enhances our ability to provide top-notch client service across these industry sectors,” said Vince Guglielmotti, CEO and chairman of Brown Rudnick. “His stellar reputation for patent litigation in the UK, Europe and the US also complements our litigation practices on both sides of the Atlantic.”

Knight’s clients include companies across a range of tech and life science segments, including medical devices and scientific instrumentation, renewables and cleantech, aerospace, the blockchain, oil and gas, printing, computer games, household products and construction. Prior to joining Fieldfisher in 2004 as a partner he practised as an engineer for a number of years. 

He has joined Brown Rudnick as its only dedicated IP partner in London but will work closely with the firm's US IP team to serve clients on that side of the Atlantic and the wider corporate team, the firm said. 

Knight pointed to Brown Rudnick’s strengths in technology, life sciences and the energy transition as strong draws. 

“There is no doubt that London will continue to be an important hub for IP disputes and one of our key areas of focus will be advising our clients on both sides of the Atlantic on their IP litigation strategy once the Unified Patent Court opens its doors next year,” he added. 

Knight's departure leaves Fieldfisher with 32 IP lawyers in London including 11 partners, according to the firm’s website. He was a go-to lawyer in the firm's patents practice, key practitioners of which include director Tommy McKenna and senior associate Christopher Leung. Highlight work includes acting for Peloton Interactive in a patent infringement claim brought by a competitor and for international toy company MGA Entertainment in defence of a claim of unjustified threats of patent infringement and anti-competitive conduct. 

It emerged last month that Brown Rudnick, which is based in Boston, had closed its Paris office, leaving London as its only international location. At the time the firm said the London office, which has around 20 partners, was ‘thriving across our core areas, including crisis and global litigation, life sciences, technology and reputation management’.

Another US firm to boost its IP coverage in the UK recently is top 200 outfit Armstrong Teasdale, which followed up its 2021 London launch with the hire of a team of four partners from IP boutique Phillips & Leigh in August.

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