Skip to Main Content
Go to Why Work Here page
Desmarais LLP logo

Desmarais LLP

At a Glance


“Early and substantive responsibility”

“Compensation is amazing”

“The focus on doing good work and winning the case—not on tracking time and churning work”


“Long hours”

“Lack of commitment to diversity and pro bono”

“Training doesn't match what associates actually have to do day-to-day”

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 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 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 and eliminates any over-billing pressure.

Why Work Here

We believe that Desmarais LLP is the best place to practice high-stakes, technology-related litigation. Whether you are a law student, a recent graduate, or an experienced attorney, our unique combination of small-firm culture and big-firm work provides a terrific environment to learn and grow your practice.  In addition, our unparalleled practice and training programs offer the opportunity for each lawyer to accelerate his or her professional development.

Firm Culture:  Desmarais LLP is a collegial workplace where all employees are treated with respect. We offer an informal, relaxed atmosphere which includes having lunch together every Friday. 

Desmarais LLP

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

Firm Stats

Recruiting Chairs: Paul Bondor, Ameet Modi, Justin Wilcox, Laurie Stempler

Base Salary

1st year: $210,000
2nd year: $220,000
3rd year: $240,000
4th year: $275,000
5th year: $300,000
6th year: $325,000
7th year: $345,000
8th year: $360,000
Summer associate: $4,038/week

Summer Program

Summer Associate Offers:
8 out of 8 (2Ls) (2017)

Employment Contact

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

Major Office Locations

New York, NY
San Francisco, CA

Major Departments

General Intellectual Property Litigation
Patent Infringement
Unfair Competition
Trade Secrets
Contract Claims
Trademark Infringement
Trade Dress
Counterfeit Goods