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Keker & Van Nest IP Group Defects To Start New Firm

Publication Date: 
February 02, 2009
The American Lawyer
Alison Frankel

Professor Mark A. Lemley is quoted in The American Lawyer announcing his own six-lawyer firm, Durie Tangri Lemley Roberts & Kent:

The core of its IP group, including star partner Daralyn Durie and academic bigwig Mark Lemley, announced that they are breaking off to start up their own six-lawyer firm, Durie Tangri Lemley Roberts & Kent.

Lemley told us there are no hard feelings between the new firm and Keker & Van Nest. "We were interested in doing something entrepreneurial, working with a smaller group, possibly figuring out alternative ways to practice high-end litigation and make it more efficient," he said. "This may seem like a crazy time to start a new business, but it also may be the right time for a business that highlights efficiency."


Durie said that she and Lemley have been good friends since they were freshmen debate partners at Stanford; they became friendly with Ragesh Tangri in law school at Boalt Hall. They'd always had the idea of practicing together, she told us, and, in January, decided the time was right. "This was literally a dinner-table conversation," she said. "It's fun to have your own thing. It feels different to have your name on the door."

Lemley said the new firm's lawyers have already received assurances of continuing work from such clients as Google, Genentech, Comcast, and Ticketmaster, "although they'll continue sending work to Keker as well," he said. Kearney confirmed that Keker & Van Nest IP clients, including Google and Intel, have said they will still use his firm.

Of Durie Tangri's six lawyers, five are partners. Both Lemley and Durie said the new firm intends to hire a couple more associates but plans to maintain low leverage. "If you hire us," Durie said, "you know we're going to be the ones doing the work."