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Paul Hastings Launches ‘Internet of Things’ Practice Group

Feb. 5, 2016, 10:21 PM

By Stephen Joyce, Bloomberg BNA

Paul Hastings announced this week it has created an interdisciplinary practice group of several dozen lawyers from its offices around the world to focus on the growing legal issues connected to the ‘Internet of Things.’

The Internet of Things, or IoT, refers to everyday objects, from thermostats to cameras, that have network connectivity and can send and receive data.

The Paul Hastings’ group will provide legal counsel around a wide array of issues — licensing, intellectual property, regulation, data security, litigation and anti-trust issues. It has already advised clients such as Samsung Electronic Co. Ltd. regarding its mobile payment system and legal issues affecting online gaming company Zynga Inc. The core team of about 40 people is mostly lawyers from different practices although non-lawyers such as data scientists or eDiscovery specialists will be tapped as needed, according to Sherrese Smith, a Paul Hastings partner in Washington, D.C.

“The Internet of Things is becoming the new mainstream in a way,” said Sean Unger, a partner in San Francisco who belongs to the group.

He predicted that technology-affiliated practices that combine various legal specialties, including transactional work will become more common.

Said Unger, “If all we were doing was offering a litigation-based Internet of Things practice, it would be a failure. And so our goal is not be siloed by [a] practice group but to bring the entire spectrum” of Paul Hastings professionals to individual client needs.

He added, “This is growing the pie, and this will be a bigger piece of a bigger pie.”

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