Debevoise hires former Skadden IP litigation practice co-chair in San Francisco

John Neukom is Wall Street firm's second senior Bay Area hire this month as it builds on 2021 office launch
The Golden Gate Bridge with San Francisco in the background

By kropic1; Shutterstock

Debevoise & Plimpton has hired veteran trial lawyer John (Jay) Neukom from Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom to bolster the IP litigation group in its recently launched San Francisco office.

Neukom is the second senior Debevoise hire in San Francisco this month, the firm having also recruited partner Kristin Snyder from the US Securities and Exchange Commission in March.

Neukom joins as a partner in the office, which opened in September last year when four partners and a team of corporate and litigation specialists relocated from its existing US bases in New York and Washington DC.

He brings with him extensive experience advising Bay Area companies on business and IP disputes, including trade secret theft and other IP infringement matters. He has litigated more than 100 IP disputes in jury and bench trials in state and federal courts across the US and represented clients including Cisco, Google, Philips and Fortinet.

David Bernstein, chair of the Debevoise’s IP litigation group, said: “Jay possesses an incredible breadth of intellectual property litigation experience with extensive subject matter expertise in the technology sector, particularly in areas of semiconductors, network security and software.”

Neukom joins Debevoise after spending just over four years at Skadden in Palo Alto, where he was co-head of its IP litigation practice. Prior to that, Neukom was a partner at Quinn Emanuel in San Francisco, where he spent six years, according to his LinkedIn profile.

David Sarratt, co-managing partner of Debevoise’s San Francisco office, said: “Jay is a leader in the Bay Area legal community and we’re excited to have him join our team here. His broad knowledge and deep ties to the local tech and business communities will be a tremendous addition to our IP practice in the region and nationally.”

Debevoise’s presiding partner Michael Blair said the firm continues to prioritise growth in Northern California.

Neukam said: “I have long been an admirer of Debevoise and its collaborative culture, and the dynamic and outstanding reputation of its IP litigation practice, which has represented some of the most well-known brands in the world.”

A host of top firms have have been opening in California and building up their presence in recent months, attracted by the region's booming technology sector.

Earlier this month, Goodwin Procter hired Baker Botts’ California litigation chair Jonathan Shapiro in San Francisco while in February, Davis Polk & Wardwell hired Ropes & Gray’s global M&A head Paul Scrivano to join its deals team in Menlo Park.

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