Latham Goes Full Spectrum With Six Honors in Tech-Focused California Legal Awards

September 13, 2023
The Recorder
Only law firm named a finalist for top technology transactional and litigation teams, and also shortlisted for two innovative financial and diversity programs, with two partners winning individual Women Leaders in Tech Law honors.

Latham & Watkins has been recognized in six categories of the technology sector-focused California Legal Awards, with the firm named a finalist in four categories and partners Jennifer Barry and Melanie Blunschi selected as Women Leaders in Tech Law.

Latham is the only law firm named a finalist in both categories that honor the top transactional and litigation teams advising technology clients, respectively, the Tech Industry Advisory Team of the Year and the Tech Industry Litigation Department of the Year.

The Advisory Team selection is based on transactional work such as representing healthcare digital information systems provider Cerner Corporation in its US$28.3 billion acquisition by Oracle, advising semiconductor industry leader AMD in its US$35 billion acquisition of Xilinx, and counseling global satellite operator and service provider Viasat Inc. in its US$7.3 billion acquisition of its UK-based rival Inmarsat.

The successes behind the Tech Litigation of the Year recognition include the successful defense of Oracle’s Larry Ellison and Safra Catz in one of the largest acquisitions to face a stockholder challenge through trial, victories for Peloton in a series of business-critical disputes, and defeat of a novel privacy claim against Otonomo, a leading platform and marketplace for vehicle data, that set precedent under the California Invasion of Privacy Act.

Also, two Litigation & Trial partners have been named Women Leaders in Tech Law for 2023, which spotlights “the women lawyers handling game-changing, law-shaping, market moving work in and around the tech sector”: San Diego-based Jennifer Barry, Global Chair of the Intellectual Property Litigation Practice, was selected for guiding top technology clients through complex IP laws and ever-evolving internet policies, and managing the global trademark portfolios of market-leading technology brands; and Melanie Blunschi, Co-Chair of the Litigation Department in Latham’s Bay Area offices, was recognized for her deep track record of success defending technology clients in business-critical disputes, with a focus on securities litigation as well as privacy and consumer class actions.

Additionally, the firm was also named a finalist for:

  • The Vanguard Award, which honors efforts “to stay one step ahead of the current and future forces shaping the legal industry,” for an innovative initiative of the firm’s Women Enriching Business Committee, the WEB Financial Analysis Program, which delivers an exclusive multi-day educational experience designed to provide foundational accounting and financial knowledge for in-house lawyers.
  • The Innovation in Diversity and Inclusion Award, which recognizes “successful partnerships between legal industry players that advance women attorneys, lawyers of color and other underrepresented groups,” for Latham’s sponsorship of the UCLA School of Law’s Williams Institute Moot Court Competition — the only national moot court competition dedicated exclusively to sexual orientation and gender identity law.

The California Legal Awards will be presented at a ceremony in San Francisco on November 2.