Kenyon & Kenyon
|Headquarters||New York City|
|No. of offices||3|
|No. of attorneys||220 in 2006; 96 at end of 2015|
|Major practice areas||Intellectual property|
|Key people||Edward T. Colbert, Managing Partner|
|Founder||William H. Kenyon|
|Company type||Limited liability partnership|
|Dissolved||2016; 55 attorneys hired by Andrews Kurth Kenyon LLP|
Kenyon & Kenyon LLP was a law firm specializing in intellectual property law. It competed with other IP specialty firms, as well as with most general practice firms that have IP practices. The firm had offices in New York, Washington DC, and Silicon Valley. It provided its global clientele with litigation, prosecution, licensing and counseling services. The firm was particularly known for litigating high-stakes patent cases. In 2016, Kenyon dissolved and 55 of its attorneys were hired by Andrews Kurth, which then renamed itself to Andrews Kurth Kenyon LLP to reflect the firm's expanded expertise in intellectual property and technology.
In January 1879, the firm was founded in New York City as Browne & Witter through the partnership of Causten Browne and William C. Witter. Soon thereafter, the firm was renamed Browne, Witter and Kenyon after William H. Kenyon joined the partnership. In 1899, Kenyon became one of the first law firms to hire a female attorney. By the 1960s, the firm had become Kenyon, Kenyon, Reilly, Carr and Chapin, which was later simplified to Kenyon & Kenyon, following the trend to simplify law firm names in the 1990s. In its early history, the firm litigated cases involving patents held by Thomas Edison, Nicola Tesla, and Charles Brush, which would later become known as the famous "Edison Light Bulb" patent cases. At the turn of the 20th century, when the automotive industry was beginning to take shape, the firm was also invited by Ford Motor Co. to defend it in a patent case involving the Selden patent, which threatened to stop production of Ford's new "Model T." Since its founding over 130 years ago, Kenyon was at the forefront of litigation involving pioneer patents which have helped shape industries.
Kenyon was routinely ranked as one of the most elite intellectual property law firms in the world. The firm was named the "Best Intellectual Property Firm in the US" by World Finance. In 2012, several Fortune 500 companies named Kenyon a "Go-To Law Firm" (American Lawyer) for intellectual property law. Legal referral guides such as Benchmark, Chambers Global, Chambers USA, Legal 500, Managing Intellectual Property, PLC Which Lawyer, and US News – Best Lawyers regularly named Kenyon as one of the top intellectual property law firms in the US.
In 2012, Kenyon ranked second on a list of the Top 100 Law Firms for Diversity published by MultiCultural Law Magazine. The firm was recognized as having a high percentage of minority attorneys, particularly in partnership positions, by ALM publications which included The American Lawyer, The National Law Journal and The Minority Law Journal. Kenyon was also a multi-year recipient of Managing Intellectual Property's Strength in Diversity Award, which is awarded each year to one law firm that demonstrates an exceptional commitment to diversity. In addition, The American Lawyer identified Kenyon in its "Women Partner Watch" study as a firm that promoted women to partnership at a rate that well exceeded the 30 percent average determined for the legal industry. Similarly, Law360 has ranked Kenyon among the large law firms with the highest percentage of female partners.
Kenyon offered each attorney up to 80 hours per year to use towards pro bono matters. In a July 2011 article by The American Lawyer, Kenyon was identified as one of the few law firms that actually increased its pro bono work at a time when many other firms cut their average pro bono hours. The primary source of Kenyon's pro bono work was the Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts (generally known as VLA), an organization dedicated to offering free legal representation, advice and education to artists and arts organizations in all creative disciplines who are otherwise unable to afford legal assistance. Kenyon also had a long-standing relationship with the Special Olympics, Inc. Since 1990, the firm had provided the organization with pro bono legal representation in connection with maintenance and management of its worldwide trademark and licensing rights portfolio.
As a general rule, Kenyon required that incoming associates have a technical background, in either the sciences or engineering. Most attorneys had either advanced degrees in their field, or significant work experience before entering law school. Entry to the law firm was extremely selective. Like most prestigious law firms, Kenyon filled its ranks by hiring summer associates, which are top law students between their second and third years of law school. These "summers," as they are called, work for the firm during their last summer of law school and then, if they receive an offer for full-time employment, begin working as an associate after they graduate law school and are admitted to the bar.
Notable lawyers and alumni
- Edward T. Colbert, brother of comedian Stephen Colbert, recently appeared on The Colbert Report to discuss the Shepard Fairey case.
- Jonathan Reichman, partner at Kenyon & Kenyon LLP, regularly appears as a guest on NPR's "Soundcheck" program.
- John Flock, partner at Kenyon & Kenyon LLP, has appeared as a legal expert on Entertainment Tonight.