Arrow-right Camera
News >  Business

Lee & Hayes expands scope of law practice

During its 18 years, Spokane-based law firm Lee & Hayes has developed a global reputation in intellectual property law.

On Wednesday the law firm announced it is expanding by adding five attorneys for a new corporate and intellectual property litigation group.

Lee & Hayes has hired Spokane attorney Bryce Wilcox to chair the new group. Wilcox has been a legal presence in Spokane for almost 20 years, recently as a principal and president of Lukins & Annis law firm.

Shaun Cross, CEO of Lee & Hayes, said the expansion is part of the firm’s strategic plan and recognition that its clients need a wide range of legal services beyond patents and intellectual property.

Expansion adds more options for increasing revenue sources, a concern for Lee & Hayes since it has generally relied on Microsoft for a large share of its IP work, Cross said. Since then it’s added a range of clients, including Amazon, T-Mobile, Itron and Alibaba, one of China’s largest Web companies.

The company now has 52 attorneys and 33 support staff at its offices in Spokane, Austin, Texas, Seattle and Portland.

Over time the firm may end up expanding to between 80 and 100 attorneys, Cross added. The firm started a six person corporate practice group three years ago which is headed by Spokane attorney Terry Kelly

It has added a dozen attorneys since January, which includes the five who are part of the new litigation group.

In addition to Wilcox, the new group includes Vanessa Waldref, who worked in civil litigation with Lukins & Annis; Bob Carlson, a veteran IP attorney; Lance Reich, who has experience in litigation in the patent area; and Chris Lynch, who’s practiced law in Spokane for 25 years.

Lynch and Waldref join the Spokane office, while Carlson and Reich will join the firm’s Seattle office.

The litigation group will tackle all intellectual property matters as well as commercial litigation, Cross said.

That broader approach results after many regional companies that work with the firm on IP started asking for assistance that until now Lee & Hayes has not offered, Cross said.

Recently a London-based magazine, Intellectual Asset Management, recognized Lee & Hayes for the third straight year as the top-rated U.S. firm for “quality patents” and for its work in the area of information technology.

Patent quality refers to a law firm’s ability to identify and help clients preserve high-value patents, Cross said.