September 28, 2023


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IP law firm Finnegan shuffles top leadership with new managing partner

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Signage is seen outside of the law firm Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner in Washington, D.C., U.S. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly

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  • Erika Harmon Arner named managing partner, Anand Sharma as chair
  • Washington, D.C.-founded IP firm “periodically” switches leadership

(Reuters) – Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner has elected Erika Harmon Arner as managing partner effective July 1, the IP law firm said on Wednesday.

Arner will take over for Anand Sharma, who will become chair of the Washington, D.C.-founded firm. Sharma will succeed current chair Mark Sweet, Finnegan said.

Finnegan said that Arner, who first worked at the firm over 20 years ago as a summer associate, will oversee day-to-day management. Finnegan has 11 offices globally and opened an office in Munich, Germany earlier this year.

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Arner said she will serve in the role for a three-year term. The firm said it transitions firm leadership positions “periodically.” Sharma and Sweet assumed their current roles in July 2019.

Other management roles will also transition in July, including several practice group and section leaders, Arner said. The regular rotation allows lawyers to maintain their legal practices while holding leadership positions, she said.

Arner said she will focus on continuing to expand Finnegan’s IP capabilities and technical depth.

She said the firm, which has about 300 lawyers, has “hundreds” of scientists, many of whom practice patent law. Arner said the firm will also continue to push for diversity, as both law and science fields have a “leaky pipeline.”

Arner, based in the firm’s Reston, Virginia, office, most recently led Finnegan’s electrical and computer technology practice group.

She has represented patent owners and petitioners in more than 200 Patent Trial and Appeal Board trials, and has advised companies including Google LLC, NetApp Inc, Hewlett Packard Enterprise Co and SAP America Inc, according to her Finnegan bio.

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IP firm Finnegan launches in Munich with Baker McKenzie partner

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