Sarah Piepmeier is a partner in the San Francisco office and a leader of Kirkland & Ellis’ Bay Area intellectual property litigation practice. Sarah’s practice focuses primarily on patent litigation, but she also has significant experience in trade secret, copyright, trademark, false advertising, anti-trust, technology-related commercial litigation, and constitutional law. Sarah’s cases have involved a variety of technologies and industries, such as semiconductors, wireless standards, relational databases and data aggregation, online video games, social networking, electronic books, anti-virus and encryption software, hard drives, high-voltage switchgears, and various home appliances. Sarah has also achieved successful results for major clients on cutting-edge legal issues relating to standard essential patents and FRAND, and she has significant experience working with German counsel on patent matters before courts in Germany.
Recently, Sarah was recognized by The Recorder as a 2018 Woman Leader in Tech Law, a recognition given to California-based lawyers who practice in the technology industry. Earlier in 2018, Sarah was named one of the Top Women Lawyers in California by the Daily Journal. In addition, Sarah was honored as a Northern California “Super Lawyer” for Intellectual Property Litigation each year from 2013 through 2015. Previously, from 2010 through 2012, she was named a “Rising Star” in Intellectual Property Litigation, a distinction awarded to less than 2.5% of Northern California lawyers under the age of 40. In 2011, Sarah was named a “Best LGBT Attorney Under 40” in the United States by the National LGBT Bar Association.
Sarah’s clients rely on her fifteen years of experience litigating patent and other IP matters across the United States, including dozens of district court cases and more than ten Section 337 Investigations before the International Trade Commission. Sarah has significant first chair experience and routinely leads teams of lawyers, including joint defense groups, in high profile matters from case inception through successful resolution. An accomplished trial lawyer, Sarah has tried more than ten cases in federal district court and before the International Trade Commission.
Prior to joining Kirkland, Sarah was a core member of the team that obtained a landmark decision invalidating California’s Proposition 8 on the grounds that it violates the United States Constitution. Sarah’s work on this case has been profiled and mentioned in corresponding media coverage, as well as in the documentary and book that trace the litigation. Today, Sarah maintains an active pro bono practice that focuses primarily on civil rights litigation. Prior to law school, Sarah spent several years as a complex database designer.
Sarah is a member of the Firmwide Diversity and Inclusion Committee, the LGBT Subcommittee, and the Pro Bono Management Committee. Sarah is also a member of the Bay Area Recruiting Committee and the Bay Area Associate, Paralegal, and Secretarial Review Committees.