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CHICAGO (July 27, 2016) – The Chicago office of McDonald Hopkins continues to grow with the addition of two more associates in July. The business advisory and advocacy law firm now has 20 attorneys who provide a wide range of services to clients in various industries across the country.

Both James M. Theo and Ashley Nelson Van Leer are joining the Chicago office of McDonald Hopkins as associates in the firm’s Intellectual Property department. They join a growing national team of more than 30 intellectual property attorneys and professionals who specialize in creating innovative solutions and competitive advantages that help clients build their businesses.

“We are thrilled to have Ashley and James join our Chicago office team as we expand our Intellectual Property group’s national practice,” said Richard Kessler, managing member of McDonald Hopkins’ Chicago office. “Chicago presents a growing market for technology firms. With our deep bench strength and wide-ranging expertise, McDonald Hopkins can provide those firms with the legal counseling and business advisory services they need to grow and succeed.”

  • James M. Theo comes to McDonald Hopkins from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Inc., where he served as in-housel counsel in the Office of the General Counsel. Theo has extensive experience working on the management, prosecution, and protection of trademarks. He also brings to McDonald Hopkins experience in contract compliance, corporate policy, and litigation. Theo earned a J.D. from Loyola University Chicago School of Law and a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. He can be reached at 312.642.3207 or
  • Ashley Nelson Van Leer comes to McDonald Hopkins from Amin Talati & Upadhye, LLC, where she served as an associate attorney in the IP and regulatory boutique’s trademark department. Van Leer has extensive experience assisting food, drug, medical device, and cosmetic companies with trademark procurement and licensing. She also brings to McDonald Hopkins experience working on litigation and transactional matters. Van Leer earned a Master of Laws in intellectual property from John Marshal Law School, a J.D. from Texas Wesleyan University School of Law, and a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Mississippi. She can be reached at 312.642.4084 or