Katherine Bacal, Partner and Intellectual Property Lawyer at Baker McKenzie LLP | BCGSearch.com

Katherine Bacal, Partner and Intellectual Property Lawyer at Baker McKenzie LLP


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Before going to law school, Katherine Bacal had no plans to enter the legal profession. In fact, she initially wanted to be a history professor.


Katherine Bacal is a Partner at the international law firm Baker McKenzie LLP. She specializes in the fields of intellectual property and copyright, advising clients on protecting their intellectual property rights as well as resolving disputes arising from infringement of those rights. Bacal has extensive experience with patent, trademark, and copyright licensing and enforcement for large companies in a variety of industries.

Bacal provides clients with proactive advice on protecting and maximizing the value of their intellectual property. She frequently advises clients on strategies for identifying, protecting, and exploiting intellectual property. Bacal has experience with a wide variety of legal issues from infringement and false advertising to cybersquatting and domain name disputes. She also assists clients in developing and implementing intellectual property strategies, and works with them to resolve disputes.

Bacal also has expertise in copyright law. Her practice involves advising clients on the protection of original works, enforcement of copyrights, and negotiations of licensing agreements. She has experience litigating infringement claims and defending against copyright challenges. In addition, she provides advice to clients on the development of technological protection measures to prevent unauthorized use and copying of their copyrighted materials.

Katherine Bacal is a skilled and experienced Partner in the field of intellectual property and copyright. Bacal has advised numerous companies on their intellectual property strategies and the protection of their rights, as well as resolving disputes. She is knowledgeable in patent, trademark, and copyright law, offering counsel on licensing and enforcement. Additionally, Bacal has experience with copyright law, including advising clients on protect their works and negotiating licensing agreements. She also assists with the implementation of technological protection measures.

Katherine Bacal, Partner with Baker McKenzie LLP

Ms. Katherine Bacal is a Partner in the Los Angeles office of Baker McKenzie LLP. Ms. Bacal's practice focuses on corporate and securities laws, mergers and acquisitions, and private equity. She regularly advises public companies, private equity firms, and special committees across a range of industries, including life sciences, healthcare, technology, and agribusiness.

Ms. Bacal has extensive experience advising on corporate governance, public and private offerings of debt and equity securities, and other M&A matters. She has represented public and private companies in connection with a variety of transactions, including venture capital and private equity investments, IPOs, and public and private M&A transactions.

In addition to transactions, Ms. Bacal counsels public and private companies on general corporate issues, including corporate governance and Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) reporting and compliance matters. She also advises on fiduciary duties and corporate finance.

Ms. Bacal has been named a Southern California Rising Star by Super Lawyers magazine in 2017 and 2018, and was recognized as a "Top Corporate Lawyer" by the Los Angeles Business Journal in 2018.

Prior to joining Baker McKenzie, Ms. Bacal was an associate with the global law firm, DLA Piper. She received her Juris Doctor, cum laude, from Southwestern Law School and her Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of California, San Diego.

Katherine Bacal: Professional Achievements

Katherine Bacal, Partner with Baker McKenzie LLP, is an experienced corporate and securities attorney who specializes in mergers and acquisitions, private equity, and corporate governance. With a focus on a wide variety of industries including life sciences, healthcare, technology, and agribusiness, Ms. Bacal has led many successful transactions and clients to victory. She has successfully counseled public and private companies in venture capital investments, IPOs, and public and private M&A transactions. In addition, Ms. Bacal is highly experienced in advising clients on SEC reporting and compliance matters, fiduciary duties, and corporate finance.

For her professional accomplishments, Katherine Bacal has been named a Southern California Rising Star by Super Lawyers magazine in 2017 and 2018 and a "Top Corporate Lawyer" by the Los Angeles Business Journal in 2018. She earned her Juris Doctor, cum laude, from Southwestern Law School and her Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of California, San Diego.

Katherine Bacal
"I wasn't prompted by any burning desire to be a lawyer," she said. "Instead, while on leave from my Ph.D. program in European history, I took the LSAT. Having scored reasonably well, I decided that I would rather pursue a law degree than move into an ivory tower. After I began law school and worked at a couple of law firms, I realized that I really liked litigation and appeared to be well suited to be a litigator. In other words, I'm slightly argumentative by nature but in a good way."

In appears that being argumentative has paid off for Bacal, as she is now a partner at prominent international law firm Baker & McKenzie, where she has a successful litigation practice. Her practice focuses on complex commercial litigation, particularly "defense of class actions and unfair business practice claims." She also has a hotel, resort, and tourism specialty. Bacal has represented individuals and corporations in a wide variety of matters, including cases involving alleged unfair business practices and unfair competition, trade-secret misappropriation, securities fraud, and accountant malpractice.

In one of her more notable cases, she represented Wyndham International, Inc., in a series of lawsuits concerning the hotel industry's pricing practices. Motions to dismiss were granted in two of those suits—one in Florida and one in California—and one California case resulted in a published decision affirming the dismissal: Searle v. Wyndham International, Inc., 102 Cal. App. fourth 1327, (2002). She said that all of the other cases in which she represented Wyndham—including cases in California, Texas, Illinois, and Florida—were either dismissed by the plaintiffs or resolved by settlement.

Some of her other well-known clients include Goodrich Corporation, Galderma Laboratories, and Wyndham Worldwide.

Bacal is also chair of the litigation and dispute resolution group in her firm's San Diego office. In addition, she was recently elected president of the Lawyers Club of San Diego. She is currently the vice president of the organization and will be sworn in as president at its annual dinner in May.

Bacal studied liberal arts, with emphases on both literature and the history of ideas, as an undergrad at the University of Redlands Johnston Center. She graduated in 1985, and after that, she began working on her Ph.D. at the University of California, San Diego. However, Bacal eventually decided to go into law instead of starting a career as a history professor.

"While I liked the idea of teaching, the emphasis—at least at my school and program—seemed to be on very specialized research, which did not interest me as much," she said.

As a result, she entered the University of Texas School of Law and earned her J.D. in 1991. Following graduation, she joined Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher in its San Diego office, where her practice focused on securities litigation. She remained there until the firm closed its San Diego office in 2000. Bacal joined Baker & McKenzie in its San Diego office that same year and made partner in 2002.

She explained what attracted her to Baker & McKenzie:

"I came from a national firm which, like many others, was trying to establish an international presence. Baker already had that. As a result of this strong international practice, it appeared that there would be many new and different opportunities for a California litigator. Additionally, I knew about the commitment the firm and the San Diego office had to community involvement. I found the combination of a locally and internationally driven and directed firm both interesting and appealing."

She said some of the highlights of her career so far include being elected president of the Lawyers Club of San Diego and making partner at Baker & McKenzie.

"And last but probably most importantly, having grateful clients who appreciate the representation they received," Bacal added.

She had the following advice for law students:

"Don't forget, in whatever community you practice, it is actually a small world," she said. "Your reputation is priceless. Practicing law is much more fun in a collegial environment. Although litigation is adversarial, it's not warfare. Take the high road because it is the right road. Finally, get involved in community and/or bar activities. It is not only fulfilling; it is also a lot of fun."

Bacal was born and raised in Tucson, Arizona, where her two brothers and two sisters still reside. Her mother, one brother, and one sister are all lawyers in Tucson.

She has been married for 19 years and has three daughters, aged 10, eight, and four. Bacal enjoys spending time with her children; she also likes to run and has completed 12 half marathons. She also enjoys recreational soccer.

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