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Law Practice Management

Sudden Defection of Senior IP Partner Sparks Storm at Sonnenschein

Posted Dec 22, 2009 3:32 PM CDT
By Martha Neil

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After a senior intellectual property partner at Sonnenschein Nath & Rosenthal announced yesterday that he is leaving the firm immediately to join McDermott Will & Emery, fireworks reportedly erupted.

A war of words ensued between the departing lawyer, Palo Alto, Calif., office co-managing partner Yar Chaikovsky, and other senior attorneys that created "quite a big disturbance," an unidentified attorney tells the Recorder in an article reprinted in New York Lawyer (reg. req.).

Then, shortly after McDermott issued a press release announcing Chaikovsky's move to its Menlo Park, Calif., office, his now-former firm put him on a "leave of absence" according to his e-mail out-of-office response and what apparently is a new voice mail greeting not recorded in Chaikovsky's voice.

Chaikovsky built Sonnenschein's Silicon Valley office up from a tiny outpost to its current 20 or so lawyers, recruiting a number of McDermott attorneys to Sonnenschein in order to do so, the article notes.

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