Minter Ellison has appointed David Morfesi, an intellectual property and international trade specialist, as a special counsel.
Morfesi joins the firm in South Australia and the Northern Territory.
The new recruit was born and educated in the US and over the past 10 years has worked for the US government as a senior intellectual property advisor and negotiator.
He served as a negotiator for the intellectual property aspects of 15 bilateral and plurilateral free trade agreement negotiations. This included the Australia - US FTA, an agreement where Morfesi was also involved with implementation in both the US and Australia.
Prior to joining Minter Ellison, Morfesi held the position of senior director for Intellectual Property and Innovation with the Office of the United States Trade Representative in the Executive Office of the President in Washington, DC. The United States Trade Representative serves as America's chief trade negotiator and principal advisor to the President.
Morfesi was an attorney-advisor with the United States Patent and Trademark Office from 2002 to 2009. During this time he was also seconded as the Intellectual Property Attache to the US Mission to the World Trade Organization (WTO) in Geneva. He has consulted with governments and industry from around the world and trained officials from more than 120 countries.
Practice leader Josh Simons, head of the competition law, intellectual property and technology group in the Adelaide office, said Morfesi brings a unique skills set to the team.
"There aren't many lawyers in this country who have worked in senior policy development roles with organisations such as the WTO, the World Health Organization and World Intellectual Property Organization. Someone with that type of experience does not come around often and we're excited about the insight and expertise David will help us to deliver to our clients."
Morfesi's practice will focus on assisting the firm's government clients and clients with cross-jurisdictional business operations in relation to intellectual property and international trade issues.