Ropes & Gray has added Dechert IP transactions partner Violetta Kokolus in the Big Apple as the Boston-founded firm continues to build out its New York presence.
Kokolus advises clients on complex technology and IP transactions, focusing on strategic alliances and collaborations, licensing arrangements and product related commercial matters.
She works with clients across a wide range of industries, including consumer and retail, healthcare, banking and financial services. She also handles IP, data privacy and cybersecurity aspects of M&A transactions including cross-border deals.
While there were several reasons for her move to Ropes & Gray, Kokolus said one of her primary motivations was the culture of the firm.
“Ropes & Gray is a very collegial and collaborative firm which makes bringing lawyers from across practice areas and geographies really easy,” said Kokolus. She added that this collaborative environment dovetails with her work as an IP transactional attorney.
Prior to joining Dechert in 2014, she spent several years at Weil, Gotshal & Manges in New York where she worked on several high-profile deals. In 2014, she was a part of the Weil team that represented Facebook Inc. in its $19 billion acquisition of messaging service WhatsApp.
At Dechert she was a part of a team that represented Korean memory chip maker SK Hynix Inc. in its $18 billion acquisition of Japan-based Toshiba Corp.’s memory chip unit last summer.
Kokolus also brings in-house legal experience to Ropes & Gray. She worked in secondments as legal counsel to Panasonic Corp. in Osaka, Japan and Apple Inc. in Cupertino, California.
‘Not Afraid of Change’
Kokolus said that she hopes to continue to build her practice at Ropes & Gray, much like the firm is expanding its New York presence, which is now at around 350 lawyers.
As more clients become increasingly concerned with cybersecurity and artificial intelligence, the platform at Ropes & Gray allows her to service her clients’ future needs, she added.
“I think Ropes & Gray is an innovative firm that’s not afraid of change or thinking outside of the box,” Kokolus said. “I know my clients really value these qualities and these are also qualities that are in line with what made their businesses so successful.”
Ropes & Gray has been busy expanding its footprint in New York over the last year. In 2018, the firm added Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson restructuring partner Matthew Roose and Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer capital markets partner Paul Tropp.
It also hired O’Melveny & Myers partner Filko Prugo as chair of its life sciences IP litigation practice, and brought Charlotte Jacobsen from Fitzpatrick, Cella, Harper & Scinto—which is now part of Venable— to that practice group as well. In January of this year, the firm also added White & Case private equity partner Carolyn Vardi.