Why We Are Different
Our business is winning cases for our clients. Our clients are our partners in that business.
We say our clients are our partners because that how we practice. Beginning from retention through discovery, motion work, trial, and appeal, our clients are involved in each strategic decision.
We are diverse. Half of the firm’s partners are women. More than one-third of our lawyers represent minority groups. We have offices in the two largest states in the country, in cities with rich ethnic, cultural, economic, and creative diversity. Our lawyers and their families are active participants in those communities.
So are our clients. We represent multinational corporations, family companies, and individuals with disputes involving the technology, pharmaceutical, entertainment, telecommunications, manufacturing, hospitality, aerospace, energy, software, real estate, media, and securities industries, and more. We do so in federal, state, and appellate courts, and national and international arbitration forums, coast-to-coast.
We are innovative. We leverage technology and talent to break the BigLaw model. We integrate our trial technology team early in a case, ensuring that if and when a case gets to trial the finder of fact sees and hears more than just oral testimony and loose documents, and instead receives an advanced presentation bringing our client’s story and themes to life. We strive to be paperless. We work seamlessly across offices to ensure that each client’s team has the right mix of experience and expertise to succeed at trial.
We are experienced. Our model is to recruit top talent from the finest law firms in the United States. Skiermont Derby LLP does not deploy teams of junior associates, and our clients do not pay to train attorneys or get them up to speed. The firm is not leveraged by tiers of lawyers duplicating work, and our business is not dependent upon the billable hour. Each lawyer on every team is qualified and capable to step in and handle any case-related task, and all of our lawyers have the trial experience needed to offer credible guidance to our clients throughout a dispute.
Our clients are our business partners, and our business does not exist without them. That is why we appreciate what others say about the work we do for our clients:
“They hire cream-of-the-crop lawyers and have hired cream-of-the-crop lawyers because of their reputation, the kind of work they’re doing.” – Law360
“Famed Dallas IP boutique Skiermont Derby practices at the very highest level in the patent space.” – IAM 2016
“Fearless trial outfit Skiermont Derby is making quite the name for itself in the world of high-stakes patent litigation[.] It features in some of the most challenging technology altercations going, due to its ability to decode elaborate technical concepts, and package – and deliver – arguments in a way that juries find convincing.” – IAM 2015
“In patent litigation, Paul Skiermont does not do things by halves—exceptionally thorough in his upfront preparation and hands on throughout all phases of a case, the seasoned trial lawyer puts heart and soul into getting the right result. He routinely wins difficult cases against the toughest opponents.” – IAM Global Leaders
One of the “Ten Boutiques Giving BigLaw A Run For Its Money,” according to – Law360
“Paul Skiermont, the founding partner of the trial ensemble Skiermont Derby, receives some of the best feedback of any Texas patent litigator. As one client highlights: ‘I’ve worked with many outside counsel over the past decade and Paul’s team is easily at the top in terms of the thoroughness of their legal analysis.’ Another adds: ‘We never fail to be amazed by his command of the details of each case he’s handling–and his recall is instant when you ring him up out of the blue.’” – IAM 2019
“Shining a spotlight on Skiermont Derby’s PTAB expertise, one client comments: ‘I have instructed counsel from large and small firms but never worked with anyone who delivers the kind of inter partes review results that Paul’s firm does. They regularly mop the floor with the mega-firms and even get compliments from in-house people on the other side.’” – IAM 2019
“One can argue about who is the best in disputes but there is a small group of 10 or so who clearly are in a league their own and Paul is in this group. He is the one to go to for the most important patent litigation cases. Most lawyers work hard and are intelligent – these two attributes are not what set the great ones apart. The truly great counsel also possess the rare capabilities to develop a rapport and effectively communicate with the judge and jury, to provide strategic advice that is not clouded by advocacy instead of merit, and to have the mental foot speed to make critical decisions in real time. Paul has all of this and more. He is a superlative patent litigator. He shows great attention to detail, deep understanding of complicated technology and has a knack for distilling issues down to their essence.” – IAM 2016
“Prospective clients of the firm should keep in mind that it is not all about Skiermont; he is flanked by some rising stars, including Sadaf Abdullah, Mieke Malmberg and Sarah Spires.” – IAM 2019
“Patent disputes are the bread and butter of Skiermont Derby, which represents both plaintiffs and defendants with commitment and vigor. The nimble boutique crafts creative, lucid arguments to win the day for companies in the pharmaceuticals, aerospace and computing sectors [and] delivers with finesse in court proceedings and inter partes ” – IAM 2017
“All upper-echelon IP litigators are smart, diligent, outstanding communicators; but what makes Paul Skiermont exceptional is his brilliant litigation instinct. On occasion, sudden developments in cases warrant tossing out the typical lawyer playbook. Paul can process so much information in real time that he executes new moves at just the right time. As well as being a star on his feet, he prepares well by diving deep into the technology, which he often knows as well as, if not better than, the technical experts. He knows the law cold and is an amazing writer; his prose is lucid, his tutorials superb and his use of pictographic material helps to breathe life into the inventor’s story.” – IAM 2015
Alternative Fee Arrangements
Some of our clients hire and pay by the hour by choice. Many do not. One of the things that makes Skiermont Derby LLP unique is that we approach each client relationship and every case with a dispute-specific engagement that makes sense for our clients, their business, and their circumstances.
Contingency Fee Arrangement. In a contingent fee case, the firm is paid only upon a successful resolution of the client’s dispute. That payment is a previously agreed-upon percentage of amounts won or collected on behalf of the client. In many contingency fee cases, that percentage depends on the stage of litigation at which the case is resolved. In some cases, the firm pays all fees and costs prior to reaching a resolution; in many others, our clients decide to pay their own costs.
Hybrid Fee Arrangement. In a hybrid fee case, the firm is paid a reduced hourly rate during the pendency of the litigation and then receives an agreed-upon but reduced percentage of amounts won or collected on behalf of the client.
Flat Fee / Milestone Fee Arrangement. In a flat fee and/or milestone fee case, the firm is paid a flat or otherwise agreed-upon fee at various stages of litigation, whether filing, dispositive motion practice, discovery, summary judgment, and/or trial.
Hourly Fee Arrangement. In an hourly fee case, the firm is paid an agreed-upon hourly rate for the work done on behalf of the client throughout a dispute.
Success / Incentive Fees. Success and/or incentive fees can be added—at the client’s election—to any of the fee arrangements above. We are proud that many of our clients have unilaterally determined to pay the firm a bonus upon the successful resolution of their case.
Our lawyers and staff are deeply involved in a variety of causes and community organizations in Los Angeles and throughout Southern California. Our team has served: on the board of Tower Cancer Research Foundation; on the Leadership Council of Public Counsel, the largest pro bono law firm in the country; and as president of the Iranian American Lawyers Association, among others. We are involved or have participated in a variety of other causes and fundraisers, including the American Cancer Society’s “Walk for Life,” the San Diego YMCA’s “Mile In Her Shoes” fundraiser against domestic violence, Tower Foundation’s “Cancer-Free Generation” Run, and Public Counsel’s annual Run for Justice. We often participate in these and other community events alongside our clients.