John Desmarais ’85 to Receive 2022 De La Salle Medal

Desmarais is the founding partner of Desmarais LLP, an intellectual property law firm.

desmarais_john_web.jpgJohn Desmarais ’85 will be the guest of honor at Manhattan College’s annual De La Salle Medal Dinner at The Plaza Hotel in New York City on Wednesday, April 20, 2022. Desmarais is the founding partner of Desmarais LLP and serves on the Manhattan College board of trustees.

The De La Salle Dinner raises essential, unrestricted income, the most critical form of funding for the College. Donations from this event are applied to a multitude of needs, particularly student scholarships and financial aid, making a Manhattan College education accessible for more students.

Established by Manhattan College in 1951 in honor of Saint John Baptist de La Salle, founder of the Institute of the Brothers of the Christian Schools and patron saint of teachers, the College’s board of trustees has viewed the dinner as an opportunity to honor executives who exemplify the principles of excellence and corporate leadership.

Desmarais has more than 30 years of experience in patent law and intellectual property litigation. He has been acknowledged numerous times for his trademark and patent dispute wins, including a $1.25 billion, plus royalties, settlement between Viiv Healthcare and Gilead Sciences, Inc., in 2022, and one of the largest jury verdicts of all time for Alcatel-Lucent vs. Microsoft in 2007.

He was named Lawyer of the Year by Best Lawyers in its 2021 U.S. edition in the Litigation- Intellectual Property Category in New York and in 2002, was recognized as one of the most successful young litigators in America in The National Law Journal's “40 Under 40: A Look at Some of the Most Successful Young Litigators in America.”

Desmarais began practicing in the area of intellectual property litigation for Fish & Neave and, after several years in private practice, served as an Assistant United States Attorney in the Southern District of New York. Before the creation of Desmarais LLP in 2010, Desmarais spent 13 years as a partner at Kirkland & Ellis LLP, where he served on the management committee. 

Desmarais earned his bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from Manhattan College, was awarded the chemical engineering medal, and graduated magna cum laude. He proceeded to earn his J.D. from New York University School of Law in 1988.

Registration and donation information for this event is located at

For more information, please contact Kristen Farrell, director of institutional giving and special programs, at (718) 862-7431 or

By Pete McHugh