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K&L Gates Bolsters Corporate, IP Practices with Los Angeles Partner Additions

9 May 2023

Los Angeles – Global law firm K&L Gates LLP welcomes Naoki Kawada and Ryan Keech as partners, both in the firm’s Los Angeles office, in the Corporate and Intellectual Property (IP) practices, respectively. Kawada joins from Perkins Coie, where he was the firmwide chair of the Japan practice, and Keech arrives from Ellis George Cipollone O’Brien Annaguey LLP.

“We are pleased to have Naoki and Ryan join our team in Los Angeles,” said Christina Goodrich, managing partner of K&L Gates’ Los Angeles office. “Their additions and unique backgrounds greatly enhance our corporate and IP capabilities in Southern California.”

Kawada focuses his practice on cross-border corporate, commercial, technology, and intellectual property transactions, and regularly provides general labor and commercial transactional advice. He counsels clients in all stages of their corporate lives and has extensive experience in drafting and negotiating various agreements, including, but not limited to, mergers and acquisitions, joint venture, technology transfer, distribution of goods and services, foreign investment, franchise arrangement, employment, financing, and entertainment transactions. Kawada also has extensive experience in US-Japan trade issues, including defending antidumping and antitrust investigations with particular focus on the food, hospitality, and manufacturing industries.

“Naoki’s broad corporate experience adds significant value to our clients on the West Coast and around the world, especially with his strong connections in Japan,” said Rick Giovannelli, a leader of K&L Gates’ global Corporate practice. “We are thrilled to have him join our Corporate practice.”

Keech’s practice focuses on high-stakes entertainment, complex business, and non-patent intellectual property disputes. He has represented US and international clients in trial and appellate litigation and arbitration in a wide variety of industries, including feature and television production, general media and entertainment, toys and other consumer products, cosmetics, financial services, insurance, social media, and mobile technology. He has significant experience handling disputes involving copyright, trademark, trade dress, trade secrets, business torts, complex contract interpretation, unfair competition, false advertising, and FTC claims, as well as with collective bargaining, labor relations, and initial and residual compensation issues in the theatrical motion picture and television industry. Previously, Keech served as in-house counsel for the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers, where he represented the major studios, broadcast television networks, and certain basic cable and pay television services in labor negotiations and related matters in the United States and Canada.

Bob Barrett, a leader of K&L Gates’ Intellectual Property practice area, commented: “Ryan further deepens our bench of top-notch intellectual property litigators. His in-house and private sector experience with the entertainment industry complements the capabilities and industries our IP group services in the United States and around the globe.”

The arrival of Kawada and Keech follows the addition of more than 165 new partners and of counsel to K&L Gates globally since the beginning of 2020. More than a dozen of those additions have been within the firm’s California offices, including litigation partner Ronie Schmelz in Los Angeles in March.

K&L Gates’ Corporate practice is one of the most substantial in the legal industry, with more than 500 lawyers in offices on five continents assisting clients in the structuring, financing, and completion of domestic, international, and cross-border transactions. The group serves as counsel to a broad array of Global 500, Fortune 100, FTSE 100 corporations, privately held and venture-backed companies, partnerships, private equity firms, other investment funds, management groups, and entrepreneurs, helping to earn K&L Gates the distinction of Corporate “Law Firm of the Year” in U.S. News-Best Lawyers’ 2022 “Best Law Firms” report.

The firm’s IP practice has more than 250 lawyers and professionals – including more than 100 registered patent lawyers, agents, and technology specialists with technical or advanced science degrees, nearly 30 with doctorates – who devote their practices to helping clients establish, enforce, and leverage their intellectual property rights worldwide. As its IP practice continues to grow, K&L Gates remains the only globally financially integrated law firm able to offer clients IP services across four continents. Through its members across the United States, United Kingdom, Europe, Asia, and Australia, K&L Gates’ IP practice filed more than 4,750 patent applications and 2,350 trademarks worldwide in 2022.

K&L Gates is a fully integrated global law firm with lawyers located across five continents. The firm represents leading multinational corporations, growth and middle-market companies, capital markets participants and entrepreneurs in every major industry group as well as public sector entities, educational institutions, philanthropic organizations and individuals.

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