Winston & Strawn LLP is pleased to announce that prominent technology patent litigator, Kathi Vidal, will join the firm as managing partner of its Silicon Valley office and will be proposed as a member of its firmwide Executive Committee.
“Attracting Kathi, one of the most well-regarded technology trial lawyers in the country, not only deepens the firm’s bench strength within the tech industry, but also provides an opportunity to build our Silicon Valley office around a dynamic leader with a strong local client base and reputation for embracing and cultivating diverse talent,” said Tom Fitzgerald, chairman of Winston & Strawn. “We value Kathi’s client-forward thinking and are giving her the full support and backing to advance our joint vision for the office and the Valley.”
“Beyond her litigation prowess, Kathi is a recognized leader in diversity and women’s issues. We anticipate that her move to a more multi-faceted platform will only expand her influence in these areas that are critical to the legal profession, technology industry, and U.S. business generally,” added Dan Webb, co-executive chairman of Winston. “Kathi is truly the Silicon Valley leader that Winston has been seeking since we opened the office.”
Ms. Vidal’s leadership experience includes serving on the management committee of an Am Law 100 firm for four years (2007-2011) and leading its 270-lawyer litigation group across 11 international offices as the first woman to do so.
In her practice, Ms. Vidal leads and tries high-profile, high-stakes, and high-tech patent litigation involving numerous technologies, including semiconductors, telecommunications, circuits and systems, computers, software, and Internet applications. She advises clients ranging from Fortune 100 companies to start-ups on their portfolios, patent protection, patent enforcement, patent defensive efforts, patent prosecution, and other intellectual property matters. Ms. Vidal started her career as an electrical engineer, working as a systems and software design engineer with General Electric and graduated from its Edison Engineering Program. She designed one of the first leading-edge expert systems (neural networks, fuzzy logic) for an aircraft and is deeply familiar with source code, schematics, and technical materials, enabling her to explain these complex concepts clearly to courts and juries.
Beyond her practice, Ms. Vidal is one of only four law firm advisory board members for ChIPs, a non-profit advancing women at the intersection of law, technology, and regulatory policy.
“Since we started ChIPs over 12 years ago, Kathi has been a fundamental part of the organization,” said Mallun Yen, co-founder, board director & CEO, ChIPs and EVP of RPX Corporation. “Beyond being a talented attorney, she has always led by example — showing us all how to be better leaders and better give back and support others.”
Ms. Vidal is also the originator and served as lead on the NextGenLawyers.com website, a joint initiative between ChIPs, the Federal Circuit Bar Association, and her former firm. The effort aims to ensure courtroom opportunities for up-and-coming litigators and to help increase diversity and inclusion in the profession. Ms. Vidal will continue in her leadership roles with ChIPs and NextGenLawyers.com at Winston.
Throughout her career, Ms. Vidal has received numerous accolades for her work, including being listed in the 2017 edition of The Best Lawyers in America©; named to the Who’s Who Legal list for Patents in 2016; named to the IAM Patent 1000: The World’s Leading Patent Professionals list in 2016; and inducted as a 2012 Fellow by Litigation Counsel of America, a trial lawyer honorary society recognizing the top less than half percent of trial lawyers nationwide. She has also spoken and written extensively on technology law topics and is involved in and sits on the board of a variety of professional organizations, many aimed at empowering women lawyers and women in general.
Ms. Vidal received her J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania Law School, where she was editor-in-chief of the University of Pennsylvania Law Review. She earned an M.S. in Electrical Engineering from Syracuse University and a B.S. from Binghamton University.
Ms. Vidal’s practice will complement an already premier and successful patent litigation team that was one of two international firms to try the most patent cases over the last three years in U.S. district court. Ms. Vidal’s move to lead the Silicon Valley office follows on the heels of Winston’s significant opening in Dallas with a nationally known trial team led by Tom Melsheimer, a group with whom she has collaborated previously.