Desmarais LLP at a Glance


  • “Partners are highly intelligent but also approachable and kind”
  • “Compensation”
  • “Lots of good experience early on”


  • “Not much formal structure for support and mentoring”
  • “High stress”
  • “Too much work to do”

About Desmarais LLP

In 2010, John Desmarais left a successful patent litigation practice with Kirkland & Ellis to hang his own shingle, Desmarais LLP, with some of his former Kirkland colleagues. The result is a successful and expanding mid-sized law firm focused primarily on trial and appellate level patent litigation.  Desmarais LLP 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

Attorneys from Desmarais LLP have chalked up 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.

On behalf of Boston Scientific, the firm won summary judgment of willful infringement as well as a jury trial damages award and enhanced damages totaling more than $42 million against defendant Cordis Corporation regarding its drug-eluting coronary stents.  Representing Nokia before the International Trade Commission, the firm won an initial determination that HTC infringed two of Nokia's patents and secured a recommended limited exclusion order barring HTC's smartphones from entering the country.  The firm also won a complete defense judgment on behalf of IBM in litigation against TecSec in the Eastern District of Virginia regarding sophisticated encryption technology.  Desmarais LLP recently notched yet another trial victory on behalf of Intellectual Ventures, securing a jury verdict that two of Intellectual Ventures' patents were valid and infringed by Canon's digital cameras.  Never afraid of a challenge, the firm has also represented patentee plaintiffs in lawsuits against big names such as Dell, Lenovo, Acer, Oracle, Roche, Toshiba and Amazon.

No Billable Hours!

To better serve its clients, Desmarais LLP has 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 contingent-fee arrangement. Clients are also free to propose a hybrid fee arrangement incorporating a flat fee combined with bonuses for reaching litigation goals. From the attorneys' perspective, forgoing the billable hour encourages partners and associates alike to focus on winning cases in an efficient manner.

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Desmarais LLP

230 Park Avenue
New York, NY 10169
Phone: (212) 351-3400
Fax: (212) 351-3401


  • Employer Type: Private
  • Founding Partner: John Desmarais
  • Total No. Attorneys 2015: 36

  • Employment Contact

    Catherine Herrick 
    Director of Attorney Recruiting & Development
    (212) 351-4908

  • Base Salary

    Desmarais pays each associate $20,000 above the New York market. First-year salaries start at $180,000, second year salaries start at $190,000 etc. 

  • Summer Associate Offers
    10 out of 10 (2015)

  • Major Departments & Practices
    General Intellectual Property Litigation
    Patent Infringement
    Unfair Competition
    Trade Secrets
    Contract Claims
    Trademark Infringement
    Trade Dress
    Counterfeit Goods

Major Office Locations

  • New York, NY

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