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Spencer Fane Enters Nation’s Second Largest Legal Market with Patent Litigation Group

February 28, 2024

East Coast Expansion Continues Firm’s Dynamic Growth in IP Litigation Space

Spencer Fane LLP is pleased to announce the firm has established a presence in the Washington, D.C. market with the addition of three partners who specialize in high-stakes patent litigation and trade secrets matters, including Blair Jacobs, Christina Ondrick, and John Holley. The trio joins the firm’s growing Intellectual Property practice while also giving Spencer Fane a foothold in the second-largest legal market in the U.S. In total, the firm’s IP practice has added 12 attorneys to the group since the beginning of 2023 in markets such as Houston, Minneapolis, and now Washington, D.C., with more to come.

“Our firm has made a strategic decision to lean in when it comes to recruiting and empowering teams of professionals to collaborate in ways that draw on both the strengths of their experience and the strengths of our culture, and our intellectual property team is an excellent example of that intentionality in action,” Spencer Fane Chair Patrick J. Whalen said. “Blair, Christina, and John bring deep experience in representing high technology clients in the area of intellectual property with an approach that is humble, creative, and inclusive, all of which are central to our team approach to serving clients.”

The Washington, D.C. team has experience representing technology innovators in a range of capacities, including serving as strategists in intellectual property and trade secret matters and serving as trial counsel in numerous cases in district courts nationwide, at the International Trade Commission in Section 337 actions, and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. The group joins a Spencer Fane IP team that possesses both the technical knowledge and legal experience necessary to protect inventors, entrepreneurs, and businesses of all sizes.

“We were attracted to Spencer Fane for its unique ability to simultaneously nurture core values of intellectual humility with a fierce resolve to win on behalf of clients,” Jacobs said. “Our group connects with the firm’s culture in many of the same ways in that we are focused on winning but also recognize the value of team is found in diverse perspectives, comprehensive experiences, and a desire to apply both to present arguments that appeal both emotionally and intellectually to juries and judges. We are honored to collaborate with the Spencer Fane team as it continues to build out a world-class patent litigation group that honors diversity while focusing on working closely with clients to achieve successes on all fronts.”

Blair Jacobs, Partner, Intellectual Property – Representing high technology innovators both as plaintiffs and defendants, Jacobs is a nationally recognized first chair trial lawyer with extensive experience trying and winning bet-the-company patent litigation and trade secret cases in courts throughout the country. From his time in the U.S. Department of Justice forward, he has been sought out and has led teams as lead trial counsel in bet-the-company cases destined for trial from the outset. Jacobs has been selected as a fellow of the Litigation Counsel of America, an honor limited to less than one-half of one percent of North American attorneys. Beyond that, Jacobs is one of only a small handful of attorneys in the U.S. ranked at the highest levels by IAM for patent litigation regionally, as well as for nationally for International Trade Commission Section 337 Investigations and U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. He has handled cases involving a wide range of technologies and has cross-examined both technical experts and damages experts in virtually every major patent venue in the country. Jacobs has also served as lead appellate counsel on several well-known, precedential opinions shaping patent law. He earned his Juris Doctor from the University of Richmond School of Law and his bachelor’s degree from Wake Forest University.

Christina Ondrick, Partner, Intellectual Property – Ondrick is an accomplished trial lawyer who focuses on patent litigation in nearly every significant patent jurisdiction, including the International Trade Commission, U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware, U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, U.S. District Court Eastern District of Virginia, and U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. She has litigated patent cases for over 20 years, including as co-lead counsel in over ten lawsuits that went to trial. Ondrick specializes in complex infringement cases and has achieved numerous successes in a range of technical fields including telecommunications, semiconductors, consumer electronics, medical devices, metallurgy, robotics, power tools, and static displays. Ondrick earned her Juris Doctor, magna cum laude, from the University of Pittsburgh School of Law and her bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from West Virginia University.

John Holley, Partner, Intellectual Property – Holley is a trial lawyer who focuses on patent high-stakes infringement litigation in the federal district courts and the International Trade Commission.  Leveraging his background in electrical engineering, he distills the complicated technical issues in his cases into layman’s concepts that resonate with the fact finders. Holley has managed all aspects of patent litigation including pre-filing diligence, claim construction, fact and expert discovery, dispositive motions, and trial. He has handled cases in a wide array of technologies, including software, display devices, telecommunications, encryption, printer technologies, semiconductor devices, and medical devices. In addition, Law360 recognized him as a “Legal Lion” for his work related to smartphone patents. Holley earned his Juris Doctor from The University of Cincinnati College of Law and his bachelor’s degree from Purdue University School of Engineering and Technology.