Perkins Coie got off to a good start: founded
in 1912, the Seattle-based firm's earliest clients included one
William E. Boeing Sr., founder of the eponymous aeronautics
company. The relationship with Boeing contributed to Perkins Coie's
reputation for representing high-tech and cutting-edge ventures in
what has become one of the nation's technology hotspots. The firm's
intellectual property practice-including patent prosecution, patent
litigation, and trademark and copyright protection and
litigation-now includes nearly 225 attorneys.
While Perkins Coie represents clients in the
usual big sectors, the firm has also built up some interesting
niches, including wineries and vineyards, senior living centers,
and airport concessions. Its list of clients includes household
names like Microsoft, craigslist, Starbucks, Expedia, Google, UPS,
Although the firm has stayed true to its
Seattle roots with the largest office still in Seattle, the firm
has expanded to include sixteen domestic offices, including four
offices and more than 150 attorneys in California, as well as large
offices with more than 100 attorneys each in the Chicago and
Washington, DC offices.
Perkins Coie entered the national spotlight
following its 2006 victory before the U.S. Supreme Court in
Hamdan v. Rumsfeld, in which the Court ruled that the Bush
Administration's use of military commissions to try terrorism
suspects was unconstitutional. The case landed in the firm's lap
when erstwhile Georgetown Law Professor (and later Acting Solicitor
General) Neal Katyal and JAG Lawyer and Navy Lt. Commander Charles
Swift-working on behalf of Guantanamo detainee Salim Ahmed
Hamdan-settled on Seattle as their venue of choice to file a
lawsuit against the government. One of Katyal's former students
happened to work in Perkins Coie's Seattle office, and this
connection led to Perkins Coie taking the detainee's case pro bono.
The case served as a dramatic rebuke to executive overreaching and
stands as one of Perkins Coie's most notable victories.
More recently, the firm has represented
President Barack Obama in his personal matters and
federally-required financial disclosure reports. When Obama's
attorney Robert Bauer left the firm to become White House counsel,
partner Judith Corley took over as Obama's rep at the firm's DC
office. She's the one who contacted Hawaii's health department in
April 2011 to request the president's long-form birth certificate,
which he released in an effort to squelch chatter about his
In addition to domestic offices across the
United States, Perkins Coie has offices in Beijing and Shanghai in
Lujiazui Finance and Trade Zone-Shanghai's central financial and
trade district. The Chinese offices focus primarily on intellectual
property, business and personal planning matters for domestic and
international clients (heavily from the technology and
pharmaceutical sector). The Beijing location serves multinational
clients, advising on investment and trade matters, as well as
interpretation of China's business laws and regulations. Although
the offices in China did not open until the early 2000s, the firm
had been active in the country for several decades before that.
The Perkins Coie office in Taipei, Taiwan was
opened to expand the firm's Asia practice and to better serve its
Taiwan-based clients, particularly in patent litigation and other
intellectual property matters in the United States. The office is
located in the Taipei 101 Tower, an international landmark and one
of the world's tallest buildings. Attorneys at Perkins Coie have
been actively representing Taiwanese companies for more than a
decade in many high profile patent cases. The firm recently secured
an important patent litigation victory for HTC before the U.S.
International Trade Commission in a case filed against it and
others by FlashPoint Technologies.
Perkins Coie represented Molson Coors Brewing Company in two
significant matters. First, the firm represented the company
in its public offering of $2.5 billion of shares of its Class B
Common Stock. Perkins also won dismissal of a suit alleging
that MillerCoors misled consumers by using packaging and
advertising to suggest that its Blue Moon beer is a small
independent microbrew or "craft" beer.
Perkins Coie represented Virginia voters in securing a unanimous
victory in the U.S. Supreme Court in a key voters' rights
case. The Supreme Court's ruling let stand a lower court
decision that reconfigured some of Virginia's congressional
districts to remedy unlawful racial gerrymandering. The Court's
decision marks the end of litigation that resulted in two separate
lower court opinions in favor of Perkins Coie's clients and two
trips up to the Supreme Court.
Perkins Coie represented Magic Leap, Inc., a developer of a
computing platform that enables users to seamlessly combine and
experience their digital and physical lives, in securing $793.5
million in new funding.
Perkins Coie helped secure Securities and Exchange Commission
approval allowing Overstock.com to become the first company to
solicit qualified institutional buyers through a digital corporate
bond that will trade using the same technology that underlies
cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin.
Kind of a Big Deal
As reported in the Crain's Chicago Business article, "Biggest
Chicago Real Estate Deals of 2015," Perkins Coie's
nationally-ranked Hotels & Leisure industry group represented
the buyers of Chicago's Waldorf Astoria hotel in one of Chicago's
largest real estate deals. The 189-room Waldorf-Astoria in
Chicago's famed "Gold Coast" was sold to an investment group for
$111.9 million, or $592,000 a room, a record for the city.