209. Moving into Positions of Leadership at Large Law Firms

DATE: Friday, July 21, 2017      TIME: 10:30 AM - 11:30 AM
LOCATION: USPTO, 2nd floor, Alaska Room

This panel will discussion how these various law firm partners attained their different positions of leadership, the different types of positions that may be available at a law firm, how to navigate law firm politics, the benefits and costs of taking on such a position, and how such a position could increase one's ability to promote diversity and inclusion at the firm.

CLE accreditation pending. Click here to download CLE materials.


Hogene Choi

Partner, Baker Botts LLP

Hogene Choi works on a range of intellectual property matters, focusing primarily on patent prosecution, transactions, and counseling. Ms. Choi has patent prosecution experience covering technologies related to internet applications and server-side architecture, desktop applications and operating systems, EDA, graphics and audio/video as well as semiconductors, electronics, nanotechnology and the mechanical arts. Ms. Choi has worked on both U.S. and international patent prosecution, pre-acquisition due diligence, post-acquisition portfolio mining and pre-assertion due diligence.


Chris Kao

Co-Managing Partner, Vinson & Elkins LLP

Chris Kao is a Co-Managing Partner of the Firm’s Taiwan office, Managing Partner of the Palo Alto office, and also resident in the San Francisco office. Chris focuses on intellectual property litigation, including patent, copyright, trademark and trade secrets disputes, and other high-stakes commercial litigation. He has represented clients in the computer hardware and software, semiconductor, telecommunications, biotechnology, and consumer products industries in federal district courts throughout the country, the U.S. International Trade Commission, and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.

Chris also has experience litigating Covered Business Method and Inter Partes Review proceedings before the Patent Trial and Appeal Board of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

Chris has tried numerous cases to verdict as the first-chair trial lawyer in both bench and jury trials, including a large commercial contract case that resulted in a directed verdict in favor of his client, the defendant. He has also been designated a Certified Information Privacy Professional / US by the International Association of Privacy Professionals.

Sang Kim

Managing Partner, DLA Piper


Sang serves on DLA Piper's Global Board, US Executive Committee and National Diversity and Inclusion Executive Board. He is currently Chair of the Tax Practice in the US and Managing Partner of Northern California which includes Silicon Valley, San Francisco and Sacramento offices.

Sang Kim concentrates his practice in international tax and operational structuring, global transfer pricing strategy and documentation, cross-border mergers, acquisitions, dispositions and joint ventures, post-acquisition integration and international tax controversy.

Sang also frequently serves as the managing international legal counsel for multijurisdictional and multi-disciplined projects and matters implicating employment, IP, corporate formation, corporate governance, foreign exchange controls, transaction taxes such as VAT and GST, and import duties, among others.

Sang has led over two hundred international expansion and structuring projects for companies across a wide spectrum of industries and jurisdictions from emerging enterprises to Fortune 500 multinationals. Representative industries include high tech, consumer products, life sciences, energy, media, technology services, venture funds, manufacturing and distribution. Within these industries, he has extensive experience working with clients in the solar, semiconductor, software, consulting, data storage, data security, social/ecommerce, gaming, consumer electronics, medical devices and networking sectors. He has also worked closely with numerous clients doing business in China, India, Brazil, Russia and other emerging economies.

Catharina Min

Partner, Covington & Burling LLP

Catharina Min represents both U.S. and international clients in mergers and acquisitions, private financings, joint ventures, strategic alliances, corporate partnering, securities offerings, and other corporate transactions. She also represents emerging companies in general corporate matters and venture capital financings. In addition, Ms. Min has extensive experience representing Asian clients doing business in the United States.

Ms. Min is a frequent speaker at many organizations, including the Practising Law Institute, Association of Corporate Counsel, SV Forum, the Korean IT Network, and a number of Korean incubators covering topics related to cross-border transactions and venture capital financings. She also regularly shares her insights at events for California Women Lawyers, Asian Pacific American Bar Association, Asian Business League, and others on mentoring and advancement of women and minority lawyers.

Bijal Vakil

Partner, White & Case LLP

Bijal V. Vakil serves as the Executive Partner in charge of the Firm's Silicon Valley office. He is an intellectual property partner whose practice focuses on intellectual property litigation, strategic counseling, and technology licensing. He has represented clients in intellectual property cases in numerous district courts, the International Trade Commission and before the Federal Circuit. Mr. Vakil has litigated patent cases involving a wide spectrum of technologies, including plasma television, digital and analog integrated circuits, semiconductor manufacturing, software, computer systems, consumer electronics and telecommunications. Mr. Vakil handles significant matters for entities of all sizes ranging from Fortune 500 companies to Silicon Valley start-ups. He also represents clients in patent negotiations and licensing. Companies around the world frequently call upon Mr. Vakil to assist with overall intellectual property strategy and litigation.

Mr. Vakil has held leadership positions in several bar associations and non-profit organizations. He serves as a Mediator in the United States District Court, Northern District of California's Alternative Dispute Resolution Program. He also was selected by the judges of the United States District Court, Northern District of California as the co-chair of the Lawyer's Representative Committee (2013-2014).

Mr. Vakil has been recognized by the legal and business communities. He is the recipient of the 2010 "Best Lawyers Under 40" award from the National Asian Pacific Bar Association. He has also been named among the "40 Under 40 People to Watch in 2008" by the Silicon Valley/San Jose Business Journal. He also served on the State Bar Committee on Federal Courts (2005-2008). He frequently speaks on legal topics of interest to the community. Mr. Vakil has been recently quoted in various business and technology publications including: Forbes, The Wall Street Journal/WSJ.com, Los Angeles Times, CNN Money, San Jose/Silicon Valley Business Journal (various articles), CIO Magazine, The Recorder (various articles), InfoWorld, Corporate Counsel Magazine, Los Angeles Daily Journal (various articles), Fast Company, India Business Journal, PC Magazine, E-Commerce Times, All Things Digital, Low-Power Engineering, San Jose Mercury News, Law360 and Handelsblatt. He was also recently featured on the BBC and Craig Peterson's Tech Talk Radio Show. He also devotes his time to pro bono matters, and serves on the Firm's Diversity Committee.

Mr. Vakil served as a judicial extern to the Honorable Alex Kozinski of the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and to the Honorable James N. Barr of the US Bankruptcy Court for the Central District of California. Mr. Vakil is a member of the bar of the Supreme Court of the United States, the Supreme Court of the State of California, the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, the Eastern District of Texas and all of the US district courts in California. He previously served as a Judge Pro Tempore for the Santa Clara County Superior Court. Mr. Vakil was founder and former chair of the Taiwan Practice Group.