Laura Hall

“I think our rotation system for new associates, which is very unusual among New York firms, helps them develop a similar cross-practice understanding, as well personal connections in other groups that make collaboration more efficient, effective and fun.”

Position

Associate, New York

Key Facts

Attended Harvard Law School

Practice Area

Litigation

Joined A&O

September 2010

Laura joined Allen & Overy as an Associate in the New York office. She received her J.D. from Harvard Law School in 2004. We asked her the following questions:

What area of law do you specialize in and why?
I focus on intellectual property and bankruptcy litigation, although I also do quite a bit of securities litigation. The combination has come about by chance, but over time, I’ve found they intersect more and more. For example, I’ve litigated copyright and trademark claims on behalf of a bankrupt technology company and advised on how bankruptcy law affects patent licenses in corporate transactions. All three areas give me the chance to be constantly learning, whether it’s interviewing scientists, businesspeople or bankers, yet also deepening my legal skills in strategy, negotiation and argument. Figuring out how best to present your client’s case to a judge or a jury is a creative challenge and it’s especially satisfying when you win.

My clients in intellectual property litigation have included an international bank, a family-owned software company; and a smartphone manufacturer, and in bankruptcy matters, I have represented debtors both high-tech (telecommunications) and low-tech (paper mills), as well as financial institutions that have filed claims against or received subpoenas from debtors.

What do you enjoy most about your practice?
I enjoy getting into the facts and knowing as much as possible about each case. That doesn’t have to be limited to formal discovery—there’s often a wealth of information available online about the parties if you do some digging. Having all that knowledge helps me see the implications of each new piece of information that comes to light and tailor our legal strategy.

How does Allen & Overy differ from other firms in New York?
I joined A&O after clerking and spending five years at a large, New York-based law firm because it offered me the chance to be part of a growing, changing litigation practice with the same caliber of clients and matters I’d had at my old firm. Our office being smaller than many of our peers’ New York offices has made it easier for me to create my own niche, focusing on intellectual property and bankruptcy litigation, rather than having to find a place in a more rigid structure.

I think our rotation system for new associates, which is very unusual among New York firms, helps them develop a similar cross-practice understanding, as well personal connections in other groups that make collaboration more efficient, effective and fun.

And the connections aren’t just in the New York office—biannual offsites for the various departments and sector groups help us share knowledge and get to know people so they’re not just a voice at the other end of the phone. When my client needs advice on whether the production of documents in response to a bankruptcy subpoena will violate its obligations under UK and EU law, I can call up someone I’ve met personally.