Fish & Richardson Codifies Nationally Recognized Appellate Experience into Appellate Group

Leading intellectual property law firm Fish & Richardson has formalized an Appellate Group co-led by Principals Lauren Degnan and Nitika Gupta Fiorella. The formalization of the group strengthens the firm’s cross-market services to support its unique approach to building winning appellate advocacy for clients.  

Appeals are unique proceedings, and Federal Circuit appeals are particularly demanding and nuanced, requiring a deep understanding of the law, the technology at stake, and the underlying facts of the case. Fish excels for clients at the Federal Circuit because of the firm’s unique approach, matching attorneys who are immersed in the underlying case with attorneys who are seasoned veterans at the Federal Circuit, including former Circuit clerks. That approach optimizes the advocacy Fish provides for every appeal and leads to appellate victories year after year.  

“Fish’s legacy at the Federal Circuit is the result of intensive practice, strategic decision-making, and outstanding legal skill. We invest in this practice area to equip our clients with unparalleled legal representation through the full case lifecycle,” said Fish President and CEO John Adkisson. “I’m delighted that Lauren and Nitika – two of our most practiced appellate attorneys – are leading this group and further building upon our success.”

Fish has a nationally recognized bench of appellate attorneys, including 27 former Federal Circuit clerks. In the last five years, Fish has handled more than 390 Federal Circuit appeals – more than any other firm – and secured over 30 precedential decisions since 2018. The firm has been named to The National Law Journal’s “Appellate Hot List” eight times.  

As co-leaders of the group, Degnan and Fiorella are charged with spearheading strategy and fostering interdisciplinary collaboration. Degnan is a seasoned trial and appellate lawyer known for guiding high-stakes disputes through a complex maze of courts and jurisdictions. A former Federal Circuit clerk, Degnan has argued over 20 times at the venue and has an impressive record of appellate and dispositive motion wins. She was named a “Litigation Trailblazer” by The National Law Journal in 2021 for her appellate work and serves as a vice chair of the Federal Circuit Bar Association’s Amicus Committee.  

“At Fish, we develop long-term case strategies because we know that the appellate process starts before appeals are even filed,” said Degnan. “With more than 50 lawyers experienced at the Federal Circuit, we have a talented cohort of attorneys who regularly consult on case strategy to ensure we’re setting up our clients for long-term success.”   

Fiorella is a skilled litigator with extensive courtroom experience who is regularly tapped to work on high-profile cases from their inception through appeal. Her Federal Circuit wins include two precedential decisions and a rare reversal of a Patent and Trademark Appeal Board decision. Fiorella clerked for the Honorable Chief Judge Sharon Prost of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit and for the Honorable Kent A. Jordan of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. Fiorella was named to the Philadelphia Business Journal’s “40 Under 40” and the Delaware Business Times “Top 40” in 2021, and has been recognized in Best Lawyers “Ones to Watch” from 2022 to 2024. 

“As appellate attorneys, we’re often entrusted with preserving and protecting the IP assets of our clients when it matters most,” said Fiorella. “We appreciate that the stakes are high and whether we’re supporting a client who’s been with us since the beginning, or a new client that has brought us a case that needs our attention, we’re committed to providing the highest caliber of representation.”