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Desmarais LLP

At a Glance


“No billable hours, great substantive responsibility, good comp.”

“High-quality work. Compensation.”


“Sometimes long hours, technology.”

“Lack of transparency regarding the review process.”

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 midsize law firm focused primarily on trial and appellate-level patent litigation. The firm represents a wide array of clients as both plaintiffs and defendants, including tech giants such as Apple, Cisco, Google, IBM, Samsung, and Intel, and major life sciences and pharmaceutical companies such as GlaxoSmithKline and Johnson & Johnson. The firm also represents smaller entities—including individuals—who seek to enforce exclusive rights to their inventions or technology.

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. 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. Recently, the firm achieved a high-profile, $272.5 million victory for client Ravgen, which was later enhanced by another $100 million. 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.

News & Awards

  • Leading Firm—New York Intellectual Property: Patent Litigation, 2023—Chambers USA
  • Leading Lawyers—New York Intellectual Property: Patent Litigation, 2023—Chambers USA
  • Global Leaders, 2023—IAM
  • Top 250 Women in IP, 2020-2023—Managing Intellectual Property
  • Best Intellectual Property Specialty Law Firms, 2020-2024—Vault
Desmarais LLP

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

Firm Stats

Hiring Partner: Justin Wilcox
Total No. Attorneys (2024):
50 - 100
No. of Partners Named 2023:

No. of U.S. Offices: 3

No. of International Offices: 0

Major Office Locations

New York, NY
San Francisco, CA
Washington, DC