Partner Spotlight- R. Mark Halligan

Feb 14, 2023
  • FisherBroyles News
  • Trade Secrets

Partner Spotlight – R. Mark Halligan

How long have you practiced law and what is your practice area?

I graduated from Northwestern University’s School of Law in 1978 and have been a practicing lawyer for over 40 years. My practice is intellectual property – patents, copyrights, trademarks, and trade secrets. I am a litigator and First Chair trial lawyer and have represented numerous plaintiffs and defendants in intellectual property disputes. I counsel clients globally on how to protect trade secrets and intellectual property in foreign jurisdictions.

For 26 years I have taught trade secrets law at John Marshall Law School – now part of the University of Illinois, Chicago School of Law – and have written numerous books and articles.

Who is your typical client?

My clients range from individual inventors and small enterprises to major companies worldwide.

Intellectual property is often created by one person having a great idea during the middle of the night and immediately seeking to protect that idea by treating it as a trade secret, generating a record of proof of concept, and marking it as confidential. So, my clients can be anyone from private individuals to multinational corporations.

How would you describe the Intellectual Property practice area at FisherBroyles?

The FisherBroyles model has allowed me to work remotely, while staying closely connected to highly skilled lawyers in the US and abroad.

The caliber of attorneys in the Firm’s Intellectual Property Practice is impressive – with over 100 trial lawyers and over 50 intellectual property lawyers.

How is it different from previous law firms you have worked at?

I was an early adopter of and advocate for using the Internet in the legal industry. In the late 1990s, I created my own webpage, which was voted one of the top law firm websites by the National Law Journal.

When I joined FisherBroyles in 2014 – as the Firm’s 103rd partner – I knew this was the law firm of the future. Previously, I had tried to work remotely, taking advantage of new technological possibilities. The remote connection and the ability to work from anywhere has always attracted me. However, only since working at FisherBroyles could I do this efficiently and effectively, taking advantage of and benefiting from the Firm’s full-service partnership.

There are many ways FisherBroyles is ahead of other firms. One big difference is the absence of internal politics, and this is closely connected with the Firm’s transparent compensation model. In many big law firms, you have lawyers spending much of their day walking the hallways, politically negotiating to get more equity shares. FisherBroyles completely does away with the politics.

And then there are legal fees. Due to the reduced physical overheads, this enables us to offer the most competitive rates and to avoid many of the additional costs which are commonplace in big law firms.

FisherBroyles’ smooth and efficient internal structure allows for lower costs, while delivering the stellar quality of a big law firm. Every lawyer at FisherBroyles is highly qualified and experienced. When I assign work to one of my partners, what comes back is a finished product almost always ready to go to the client. The level of quality is first class. We produce work at a price point that few can compete with.

FisherBroyles is a hugely exciting place to work.

Have you been able to grow/build your personal practice since joining the Firm? If so, how and has the Firm’s model enabled that?

The answer is a clear ‘Yes!’

Since joining the Firm, I always have a very active litigation calendar, involving a variety of intellectual property matters including patents, copyrights, trademarks and trade secrets. I have been involved in lawsuits in many different jurisdictions including California, Illinois, Delaware, Oklahoma, Salt Lake City and Ohio. The growth in my legal practice is directly linked to the deep bench of talent at FisherBroyles and the Firm’s compensation structure.

Every partner joining FisherBroyles can grow his or her practice, because of the synergies, the efficient distributed model, and the excellent professional climate at the Firm. My practice has expanded every year since joining FisherBroyles.

The law profession now understands the difference between the distributed law firm and a traditional firm forced to go digital. We have proven that the FisherBroyles model works not just for a small group of attorneys but for a rapidly growing and large firm, full-service, Am Law 200 firm with hundreds of partners.


About FisherBroyles, LLP

Founded in 2002, FisherBroyles, LLP is the first and world’s largest distributed law firm partnership. The Next Generation Law Firm® has grown to hundreds of partners practicing in 24 markets globally. The FisherBroyles’ efficient and cost-effective Law Firm 2.0® model leverages talent and technology instead of unnecessary overhead that does not add value to our clients, all without sacrificing BigLaw quality. Visit our website at to learn more about our firm’s unique approach and how we can best meet your legal needs.

These materials have been prepared for informational purposes only, are not legal advice, and under rules applicable to the professional conduct of attorneys in various jurisdictions may be considered advertising materials. This information is not intended to create an attorney-client or similar relationship. Whether you need legal services and which lawyer you select are important decisions that should not be based on these materials alone.

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