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James Hurst Moves to Kirkland & Ellis from Winston & Strawn
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James Hurst, Kirkland & Ellis, Law Firm News

Summary: Kirkland & Ellis has announced that James Hurst has joined the law firm in Chicago from Winston & Strawn. 

Kirkland & Ellis has added the chair of Winston & Strawn’s litigation practice, James Hurst, according to Crain’s Chicago Business.

  
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Hurst will join the firm’s 15-person executive committee. Hurst was also a member of the executive committee at Winston. He will remain in Chicago despite the switch, which sees him leaving Winston after two decades with the firm.

Hurst will work in the litigation and intellectual property practices for Kirkland and the move takes effect next week.

To read more about Kirkland & Ellis, click here.

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John Smock is a partner from Smock Law Firm Consultants. He said, “The firm will bring in a lateral, and they’re sort of being tested. They’re not going to put them on the executive committee right away.”

Hurst becomes the second high-profile litigator to leave Winston in the past three weeks, but they are completely unrelated.



The decisions to leave “were completely unrelated and independent,” Hurst said. “One thing had nothing to do with the other.”

Thomas Fitzgerald, the managing partner at Winston, said that he felt Hurst has more opportunities to represent pharmaceutical companies at Kirkland.

“We are obviously disappointed to lose Jim, but we understand that he wanted to take advantage of what he considered his opportunities,” Fitzgerald said. “Much of the generic work that he did will remain at Winston & Strawn.”

To read more about Winston & Strawn, click here.

In 2011, Hurst won a jury verdict when he defended Abbott Laboratories against an antitrust lawsuit for $1.7 billion associated with the company’s increase in prices for a drug that treats HIV/AIDS. He has also argued cases in front of the United States Supreme Court.

Hurst is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania Law School and is a member of the American College of Trial Lawyers.

A member of the Kirkland executive committee and intellectual property partner, Greg Arovas, said, “Hurst’s strong background in intellectual property litigation for pharmaceutical, medical device and health care companies, combined with substantial experience litigating a wide variety of cases outside of IP, will be a huge benefit for our clients.”

Kent Zimmerman, a law firm management consultant, said that this is a major hire for Kirkland. He also said that firms are working to “cherry-pick top talent . . . to double down on the core strengths firms have chosen to focus on.”

“Today the news is Kirkland is the one that made the hire, and tomorrow Winston may be the one doing this,” he said.

Zimmerman said that Winston has a deep department of more than 500 litigation attorneys from which to choose a replacement for Hurst.

Dan Webb is going to serve as the interim chair of the litigation practice at Winston. He is a member of the firm’s executive committee and a former U.S. attorney in Chicago.

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Image credit: Kirkland & Ellis



 

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