Jill A McWhirter


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Julie McWhirter

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Jill McWhirter, a partner in the Houston office and a member of the energy practice’s management team, advises clients in the global marketplace on their technology transactions by providing practical strategic guidance to help clients profitably develop, protect, share and exploit their technology and intellectual property assets.  She provides her clients with innovative intellectual property (“IP”) strategies as well as insights into legal challenges they may face to succeed in the highly competitive world market. Her approach is simple: align her clients’ business goals with the ability to protect all aspects of their IP, optimize and monetize its value, and increase their market position.

With Ms. McWhirter’s undergraduate degree in nuclear engineering and her experience working as a “decontamination engineer” (preparing for disposal or radioactive and hazardous waste materials) at Westinghouse Electric Corporation, the energy industry has been a central component of Ms. McWhirter’s IP practice.  She spends a significant amount of time with her energy clients, both here in the U.S. and overseas, on IP transactional  matters that may arise during daily operations as well as on critical company-changing transactions.  She assists in engineering the intellectual property side of corporate deals, negotiating contracts, analyzing risk assessment, IP development and licensing agreements and counseling.

In addition, she has deep experience managing the most complex software license transactions and has negotiated over 200 transactions in the last four years. Understanding the software industry challenges both here in the U.S. and internationally, Ms. McWhirter provides practical and efficient representation for clients on the licensing, exploitation and distribution of software assets, including inbound and outbound agreements, framework and enterprise agreements, cloud computing and software service agreements.

Ms. McWhirter spends a significant portion of her time handling IP related in the Middle East region and in the petrochemical and oil and gas industries where she partners with clients in developing their overall IP strategy.  She has particular expertise working with energy clients as they begin to develop and/or expand their IP footprint by pulling the right K&S team together to provide the full range of IP expertise that King & Spalding has to offer.

Ms. McWhirter is a member of the Texas, Alabama and Washington, D.C. bars, and is a member of the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office.  She holds memberships in the American Bar Association, American Intellectual Property Law Association, Houston Intellectual Property Law Association and International Trademark Association.  While in law school, Ms. McWhirter served as a legal intern with Hon. Craig Enoch in the Texas Supreme Court.

In The News

  • “Slumping Energy Companies May See IP as Way to Gain Back Profits”, Texas Lawyer, August 1, 2016
Intern, Texas Supreme Court Justice Craig Enoch, Texas

J.D., magna cum laude, St. Mary's University
B.S., University of Michigan

District of Columbia
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas
U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas
U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas
U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas
U.S. Patent and Trademark Office