HOUSTON (December 11, 2008) — McDermott Will & Emery is pleased to announce that Susan K. Knoll and Steven G. Spears have joined the Firm’s Houston office as partners in the Intellectual Property, Media & Technology Department. They join the Firm’s highly ranked, global IP department with more than 200 lawyers practicing worldwide.
"The arrival of Susan and Steven is an important step in enhancing our Houston and national capabilities in one of our most strategic practice areas," said Fay Morisseau, head of McDermott's Houston office. "The two will also further strengthen our patent-litigation focus within the Texas district courts."
Head of McDermott's global Intellectual Property, Media & Technology Department, concurred. "Susan and Steven exemplify the superior talent that we seek to recruit to the Firm in order to continue to provide our clients with top-quality service. They are leaders in the Texas patent litigation bar as well as top-tier patent litigators nationally."
Ms. Knoll will lead McDermott’s Houston intellectual property team. As lead and co-counsel in jury and bench trials involving patent infringement and trade secret misappropriation nationwide, she has accrued an enviable record of success. She litigates matters in a wide range of technologies including chemistry, biotechnology, semiconductor, computer and oilfield industries.
Ms. Knoll’s skills and experience are recognized by both peers and clients alike. According to Chambers USA 2008, "Respondents cannot heap enough praise on the 'incredibly incisive and bright' Susan Knoll, whose 'tremendous grasp of the law and of science' makes her 'an awesome trial lawyer - absolutely the best.'"
Mr. Spears also brings an extensive background in intellectual property litigation to the Houston office. He focuses his practice on patent and trade secret litigation, concentrating on matters involving the chemical, biotechnology and petrochemical industries. He has participated in all aspects of patent litigation, including numerous jury trials and appeals before the Federal Circuit. Mr. Spears also counsels clients on intellectual property enforcement, freedom to operate and licensing issues. He has represented clients in AAA arbitration proceedings and has been consulted on patent-related actions brought in Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Australia and the European Patent Office.
"Helping McDermott launch its IP practice in Texas is a great opportunity for us," said Ms. Knoll. Added Mr. Spears, "We were both impressed by McDermott's full service platform, enabling us to serve clients locally and throughout the Firm’s global IP practice."
Prior to McDermott, Ms. Knoll and Mr. Spears were partners at Howrey LLP. Ms. Knoll earned her J.D. from South Texas College of Law and her B.A. from the University of Kentucky. She is a member of the Houston Intellectual Property Law Association, the Federal Circuit Bar Association, the American Intellectual Property Law Association and the American Bar Association.
Mr. Spears earned his J.D., cum laude, from the University of Texas School of Law and his B.A. in chemistry, cum laude, from Rice University. He is also a member of the Houston Intellectual Property Law Association, the Houston Bar Association, the Federal Circuit Bar Association, the American Intellectual Property Law Association and the American Bar Association. Mr. Spears serves on the board of directors for the Houston Eye Associates Foundation.
McDermott's Intellectual Property, Media & Technology Department is recognized for its trial and appellate experience. The practice is ranked as one of the strongest IP litigation firms for both plaintiffs and defendants, and its lawyers are regularly listed as among the top practitioners in the U.S. and abroad. The Firm is also noted for the breadth and depth of its procurement and licensing work in the patent, trademark and copyright arenas. Rounding out its intellectual property, media and technology services, the team provides client counseling and advice regarding trade secret, unfair competition, advertising, entertainment and computer law. The department also works closely with McDermott's transactional and tax lawyers at the intersection of IP and corporate issues.