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 career with Kirkland & Ellis LLP to hang his own shingle, Desmarais LLP, with some of his former Kirkland colleagues. The result is a successful and expanding boutique law firm focused on trial and appellate level intellectual property litigation. Pioneering in the representation of patent-holding plaintiffs, known as non-practicing entities, the firm also represents a diverse body of plaintiff and defense clients including large corporate clients seeking to protect their business interests and individuals wishing to enforce their rights to their inventions and technology. The firm intentionally represents select corporate clients to establish an in-depth relationship with the client as well as to avoid conflicts so the firm can vigorously pursue both plaintiffs' and defendants' work.

Client-Focused Fees

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 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. This flexible approach to fee arrangements may be why technology powerhouses such as Cisco, IBM and Boston Scientific are among the firm's clients.

Small Firm, Big Results

Ready to make a new name for themselves within the patent bar, attorneys from Desmarais LLP dove head first into numerous patent trials on behalf of the firm's clients, chalking up multiple high-profile victories. Since 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 Plaintiff VirnetX's previous victories against Apple and Microsoft totaling hundreds of millions of dollars, the talented litigators at Desmarais argued successfully that Cisco did not infringe the patents, and the jury wholly rejected Plaintiff VirnetX's $258 million claim for damages and injunctive relief. On behalf of firm client 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 Corp. regarding its drug-eluting coronary Cypher® stents. Representing firm client 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 infringing HTC smartphones from entering the country. The firm also won a complete defense judgment on behalf of firm client IBM in litigation against TecSec in the Eastern District of Virginia regarding sophisticated encryption technology, and recently notched a yet another trial victory against Canon on behalf of Intellectual Ventures, earning a jury verdict that two of Intellectual Ventures' patents were valid and infringed by Canon's digital cameras.

Never afraid to back down from a challenge, the firm has also settled suits against big names such as Dell\Lenovo, Oracle, Macy's and others.

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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 2014: 36

  • Employment Contact

    Catherine Herrick 
    Director of Attorney Recruiting & Development
    Phone: (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
    7 out of 7 (2014)

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

Major Office Locations

  • New York, NY

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