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Hennigan Dorman Joins McKool Smith

September 1, 2011

McKool Smith and Los Angeles-based trial firm Hennigan Dorman are pleased to announce that they will join effective September 12, 2011. The combination solidifies a national litigation powerhouse with over 165 trial lawyers in seven offices nationwide. The combined firm, McKool Smith, will conduct business as McKool Smith Hennigan in California.

The joining of Hennigan Dorman will add 35 talented trial attorneys to McKool Smith’s elite group of courtroom lawyers.

“This is a very exciting moment for both firms,” said Mike McKool, co-founder and Chairman of McKool Smith. “To best serve our clients, it’s important that we continue to expand our roster of top-notch trial lawyers and strengthen our national footprint. Hennigan Dorman has a fantastic reputation and a track record of success in complex litigation.”

Hennigan Dorman specializes in the trial and litigation of business matters and patent and technology disputes.  The firm’s attorneys have secured over $10 billion in complex commercial litigation matters and intellectual property disputes. The firm is led by founding partner J. Michael Hennigan, an esteemed trial lawyer who has been lead counsel in more than 45 major jury trials in state and federal court. He is consistently recognized for excellence by legal publications such as Chambers USA, where he is ranked as one of the top trial lawyers in the country (Band 1).

“We are thrilled to join one of the country’s leading trial firms,” said Mr. Hennigan. “Our business models, cultures, and commitment to clients and their businesses could not be more alike.  I am confident that our clients will benefit greatly from this union.”

McKool Smith and Hennigan Dorman share an impressive track record of victories in high-stakes disputes.  In just the first six months of 2011, McKool Smith secured more than $1 billion in courtroom verdicts, judgments, and settlements. The firm won a $345 million verdict for Versata Software Inc. in a patent infringement trial against SAP America Inc. and its parent company SAP AG. McKool Smith also was named one of the top patent litigation firms in the country by Managing IP and received the publication's 2011 Patent Case of the Year honor for securing a $290 million judgment for i4i Inc. against Microsoft. The judgment was unanimously affirmed by the U.S. Supreme Court on June 9, 2011. In addition, the firm was named Lennox International’sLaw Firm of the Year for successfully defending the company in a national consumer class action.

Similarly, Hennigan Dorman has recovered more than $850 million from Wall Street for its client, Orange County, California, in the largest municipal bankruptcy in history.  The firm recently persuaded a San Diego jury to validate a $6.6 billion energy contract for utility client Sempra Generation, and to find that Sempra did not owe the State of California $2 billion for breach of that same contract.  Hennigan Dorman also successfully defended the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles and favorably resolved over 700 claims while successfully persuading insurers and other third parties to pay the majority of settlements.

The joining of Hennigan Dorman in California further establishes McKool Smith’s national reach.  The firm was founded in Dallas in 1991 by Mike McKool and Phil Smith. In 1996, the firm expanded into Marshall, in the Eastern District of Texas, which would soon establish a reputation as a rocket docket for patent infringement cases. McKool Smith prepared for the patent litigation boom by opening an office in Austin in 2000 and launching an intellectual property (IP) litigation practice. The firm enhanced its IP litigation practice with the addition of an International Trade Commission (ITC) litigation practice and a new Washington, DC office in 2007. This same year, the firm opened an office in New York and added a white collar defense practice. In 2009, McKool Smith expanded into bankruptcy litigation with the opening of its Houston office. 

McKool Smith now has more than 165 litigators across offices in New York, Washington, DC, Texas, and California.  The firm has won more National Law Journal and VerdictSearch “Top 100 Verdicts” over the last five years than any other law firm. McKool Smith represents leading clients across a broad range of practice areas, including complex commercial litigation, intellectual property, bankruptcy, and white collar defense.