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Desmarais LLP

At a Glance


“The people at the firm are great.”


“No billable hours.”


“Sure is a lot of time in the shop.”

“Uneven work distribution.”

“Lack of transparency in path to partner.”

About Desmarais LLP

In 2010, John Desmarais left a successful patent litigation practice with Kirkland & Ellis to hang his own shingle with some of his former Kirkland colleagues. The result was Desmarais LLP, now a successful and expanding mid-sized law firm focused primarily on trial and appellate-level patent litigation. The firm represents technology powerhouses such as Apple, Cisco, and IBM, as well as major life sciences and medical-device clients such as Acelity, Boston Scientific, Enzo Biochem, and GSK. The firm prefers in-depth relationships with a limited set of clients, which permits both a robust plaintiffs' practice as well as a top-notch defense practice. 

Small Firm, Big Results

At its core, Desmarais is a trial firm, adept at handling all stages of litigation. The firm’s bread and butter is its Life Sciences and Medical Device practice. The firm handles both patent infringement matters and other disputes relating to intellectual property. Among the sectors it works in are biotechnology, chemicals, consumer electronics, medical devices, pharmaceuticals, semiconductors, software, telecommunications, and transportation. 

The firm’s experience is not limited to patent work. In the IP space, the firm handles matters relating to counterfeiting, trademark, and trade dress. And the firm assists clients in everything from antitrust to contract issues to fraud, as well. Clients range from Fortune 100 companies to individuals

Attorneys from Desmarais LLP have achieved multiple high-profile victories on behalf of the firm's clients. Shortly after opening its doors, the firm won a knockout complete defense jury verdict of non-infringement on behalf of defendant Cisco Systems, Inc. in VirnetX, Inc. et al. v. Cisco Systems, Inc. Despite the plaintiff's previous victories against Apple and Microsoft totaling hundreds of millions of dollars, the litigators at Desmarais argued successfully that Cisco did not infringe the patents, and the jury wholly rejected VirnetX's $258 million claim for damages and injunctive relief. Over the years, the firm has also represented patentee plaintiffs in lawsuits against big names such as Dell, Lenovo, Acer, Oracle, Roche, Toshiba, and Amazon.

Kissing Billables Goodbye

To better serve its clients, Desmarais LLP has completely forgone the use of the billable hour commonly used at large firms with IP practices. Clients work closely with attorneys at Desmarais LLP to choose a fee arrangement that best fits each client's needs. Clients seeking predictability may negotiate a flat fee for specific work at the beginning of their relationship with the firm. Clients willing to share the risk of litigation with the firm may negotiate a contingency-fee arrangement. Clients are also free to propose a hybrid fee arrangement incorporating a flat fee combined with bonuses for reaching litigation goals. From attorneys' perspectives, foregoing the billable hour encourages partners and associates alike to focus on winning cases in an efficient manner and eliminates any over-billing pressure.

Desmarais LLP

230 Park Avenue
New York, NY 10169
Phone: (212) 351-3400

Firm Stats

Recruiting Chairs: Paul Bondor, Justin Wilcox, Ameet Modi, Peter Magic, Leslie Spencer, Lindsey Miller
Total No. Attorneys (2021):
50 - 100
No. of Partners Named 2022:

Base Salary

1st year: $215,000
Summer Associate: $4,038/week

Employment Contact

Michelle Soto
Director of Legal Recruitment & Professional Development
(212) 351-3400
General Recruiting Email:

No. of U.S. Offices: 3

No. of International Offices: 0

Major Office Locations

New York, NY
San Francisco, CA
Washington, DC

Major Departments

General Intellectual Property Litigation
Patent Infringement
Unfair Competition
Trade Secrets
Contract Claims
Trademark Infringement
Trade Dress
Counterfeit Goods
*See firm website for complete list of practice areas and industries.