KWM exodus continues with IP practice
Two IP heavyweights are the latest high-profile partners to exit King & Wood Mallesons, joining Minter Ellison along with their 13-strong team.
Wayne McMaster (pictured right), a KWM partner for more than 10 years and immediate past head of the firm’s national IP practice, has moved to Minters’ Melbourne office along with fellow IP partner Robert Cooper (pictured below).
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McMaster started the new role on 1 January, while Cooper only joined the firm last week (1 February).
The pair has brought with them a special counsel, three senior associates, four lawyers and a number of paralegals and support staff.
In a deal agreed to by KWM, McMaster and Cooper will transfer their combined portfolio of work to Minters.
A 30-year veteran of IP law, McMaster conducted the first court cases in Australia dealing specifically with patentability of medical methods and business methods. His expertise lies in drafting and negotiating commercial technology agreements for the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries.
Cooper has been an intellectual property lawyer for 20 years and is also a registered trade mark attorney. He has handled numerous patent disputes in areas such as pharmaceutical compounds and processes, mobile telecommunications and financial services.
KWM is also preparing for the departure of financial services partner Michelle Levy and three other lawyers who are leaving the firm in March or April to join Allens, Lawyers Weekly exclusively revealed last week.
The firm has also lost energy & resources partner Daniel Kirk, who joined Lavan Legal’s corporate services practice in Perth last month, and dispute resolution managing partner Beau Deleuil, who left the firm in December to join Quinn Emanuel.
In November, King & Wood Mallesons merged with SJ Berwin, a move that was questioned by sections of the firm’s partnership.