Los Angeles-based law firm Michelman & Robinson, LLP announced opening a Dallas office—its first in Texas. The office will be home for the firm’s intellectual property, data privacy, and cybersecurity practices. The office will be managed by two native Texan M&R partners, Matthew Yarbrough and Jason Blackstone.
The firm said Dallas was chosen for the new office because of North Texas’ rapid growth, particularly for new and expanded corporate offices.
“There is no denying the importance of Texas in today’s legal marketplace,” said Sanford Michelman, founding partner at M&R, in a statement. “The state, and Dallas in particular, are booming, with countless major companies relocating there. For us, a strong presence in Dallas not only helps to serve our existing client base in Texas, but also allows for our continued growth throughout the Southwest.”
Digital challenges for business are on the rise
Michelman added Yarbrough and Blackstone are “two extraordinary attorneys” who provide the firm with a presence in the important and growing practice areas of IP, data privacy, and cybersecurity. Per the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center, reported data breaches increased 400 percent in 2020, making risk mitigation and IP protection a growing concern for businesses. Beyond the cybersecurity threats, companies also need guidance navigating international digital regulations, laws, and government enforcement of privacy statutes like the EU’s GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation).
“Data breaches are on the rise and threats will only grow more sophisticated as technology and AI advances sweep across every business sector and enterprise,” said Blackstone. “An attack not only can impact a company’s operations for weeks on end, but it causes collateral effects that can diminish customer and partner trust.”
Blackstone added, “With Dallas, specifically, and Texas overall, continuing to grow as an important region of business and innovation, the need for sound legal strategies related to data, privacy, and cybersecurity regulation—those that Matthew and I provide—have become mission critical for companies.”
Yarbrough has more than 28 years of experience in IP, cybersecurity, data privacy, and government white-collar investigations. He has worked as an Assistant United States Attorney (AUSA) with the Department of Justice and in private practice serving as a defense attorney, legal expert, and strategist. He was part of the DOJ’s first cybercrime enforcement strike team and helped establish the Texas AG’s Internet Bureau and the North Texas Computer Forensics lab for the FBI.
Blackstone is an experienced IP attorney and litigator working on information strategies ranging from managing IP acquisitions and enforcement to data policy and operations. He is active in the startup ecosystem and has provided counsel on tech including artificial intelligence/machine learning and the interface between the cyber and real-world environments.
“We are excited to begin a new chapter,” said Yarbrough. “The firm is known nationwide for its powerhouse litigators and transactional pros. Jason and I are confident that our IP, data privacy, and cybersecurity expertise and this new office in Dallas will be a value-laden complement to M&R’s already stellar offerings.”
M&R— which specializes in litigation, transactional, and regulatory work for such industries as advertising, gaming, financial services, cannabis, hospitality, retail, and technology — also has offices in San Francisco, New York, and Chicago. The Dallas office is slated for an Uptown location at 100 Crescent Court.
Sandra Engelland contributed to this report.