United States: WilmerHale Welcomes Market-Leading Intellectual Property and Litigation Partners, Continues Expansion into Rocky Mountain Region
Last Updated: April 13 2015

WilmerHale is pleased to announce the arrival of Partners Natalie Hanlon Leh, Mary (Mindy) V. Sooter and Benjamin S. Fernandez to the firm's Denver office as members of the Litigation/Controversy and Intellectual Property Departments. Their arrival continues the firm's expansion in the region, which began early in 2014 with the establishment of the firm's Denver office, led by former US Secretary of the Interior, US Senator and Colorado Attorney General Ken Salazar; and former Chief of Staff and Assistant Secretary for Fish and Wildlife and Parks for the US Department of the Interior and US Attorney for the District of Colorado Thomas Strickland. WilmerHale is a premier law firm with 14 offices across the globe that boasts renowned IP, litigation and controversy, securities, regulatory and government affairs, and transactional practices, with unique strengths in growing sectors such as energy, privacy and cybersecurity, education and technology.

"We are very proud to have Natalie, Mindy and Ben joining the firm, and are excited to expand our preeminent IP litigation and IP practices into the vibrant Rocky Mountain region," said Robert Novick, co-managing partner of WilmerHale. "Their addition is another significant step in the growth of WilmerHale's Denver office and its leading practices."

"Mindy, Ben and I have worked together for approximately the past decade and we greatly look forward to being a part of WilmerHale's esteemed IP and IP litigation practices," said Ms. Hanlon Leh. "We've joined at an exciting time as WilmerHale continues to extend its reach into this region that we know so well and where we have built our practices."

"In creating its Denver office, WilmerHale has taken a major step in expanding its IP practice into the interior of the country, which is a growing IP center for the nation," said Mr. Salazar. "While our firm has a global presence, we are rooted in our communities and this step demonstrates our commitment to Colorado."

Ms. Hanlon Leh, Ms. Sooter and Mr. Fernandez bring with them nearly 50 years of combined experience working on IP matters, including prosecution and litigation, for clients in industries ranging from energy and natural resources to healthcare, life sciences, computer science, manufacturing and industrials, and telecommunications.

WilmerHale's top-notch IP and IP litigation practices feature the academic and industry experience of more than 140 lawyers and technology specialists with scientific or technical degrees. The firm's lawyers have tried major cases in US federal district courts from coast-to-coast, the US International Trade Commission, Germany and the United Kingdom; and regularly represent clients in patent appeals before the US Supreme Court and the Federal Circuit. The firm consistently receives recognitions for its excellence in IP and IP litigation, having been honored in 2014 as The American Lawyer's IP Litigation Department of the Year, and among Law360's IP Practices of the Year.

Biographical Information About Ms. Hanlon Leh, Ms. Sooter and Mr. Fernandez

Ms. Hanlon Leh is a first-chair trial lawyer with substantial experience leading complex patent cases across a broad array of technologies. She also has significant background with trademark, copyright, trade dress and trade secret litigation. Ms. Hanlon Leh is consistently recognized as a leader in her field, and has earned recognition as a top-ranked practitioner by Chambers USA; as the Colorado Outstanding IP Litigator of the Year by Managing Intellectual Property; as the Power Book-Law Winner by the Denver Business Journal; and is among the top lawyers as listed by Colorado Super Lawyers, among others. She received her JD, cum laude, from Harvard Law School and her BS, cum laude, from the University of Colorado, Boulder.

Ms. Sooter is a seasoned patent litigator with experience in electrical engineering, telecommunications and computer science. She has litigated in courts throughout the United States, and at the US International Trade Commission. Ms. Sooter has received accolades from many outlets, including Intellectual Asset Management and ColoradoSuper Lawyers. She earned her JD from the University of Colorado Law School, Order of the Coif; her ME in telecommunications from the University of Colorado, Boulder; and her BS in electrical engineering, magna cum laude, from Texas A&M University.

Mr. Fernandez's practice is a combination of patent prosecution and portfolio management; due diligence, licenses, and freedom-to-operate advice; as well as patent litigation support. His work focuses on medical devices and consumer products, and on the mechanical, electrical, communications and software industries. Mr. Fernandez has practiced before the US Patent and Trademark Office for more than 10 years. He has been recognized as a leading practitioner by Intellectual Asset Management and Colorado Super Lawyers. Mr. Fernandez received his JD from the University of Colorado Law School and his BS in mechanical engineering, cum laude, from Colorado State University.

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