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Lance Koonce


Lance Koonce is a partner and head of the litigation practice at Klaris, and specializes in intellectual property and media particularly in the context of new technologies, including Web3 and AI.  

As a litigator, Lance has tried multiple complex federal cases including jury trials, and has worked on a range of high-profile matters involving intellectual property and media issues over the past two decades, including recently The Tolkien Estate v. Polychron (copyright), Resolute Forest Products v. Greenpeace Int’l (First Amendment), iFinex Inc. et al. v. State of New York (press access), Mujae Group v. Spotify (trade secret) and UMG v. OpenDeal (trademark).  

As a counselor and transactional lawyer, he provides advice to clients from individual authors and artists to startups to multinational corporations in industries including film, television, book and magazine publishing, music, news, advocacy, consumer products, art, and software.  Much of his counseling work over the past five years has been on matters involving blockchain and digital assets, including NFTs.

Lance was formerly a partner at Davis Wright Tremaine LLP, where he headed the firm’s blockchain practice. Before that, he had stints on Capitol Hill and in book publishing. He has served as co-chair of the subcommittee on Intellectual Property and Privacy of the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance’s Legal Industry Working Group and as co-chair of the Law & Technology section of the New York County Lawyers Association, and is a member of the Media Law Resource Center, the American Bar Association and the Copyright Society. He is admitted to practice before the U.S. Courts of Appeals for the Second, Ninth and Federal Circuits, as well as a number of federal district courts.

A prolific writer and speaker, Lance’s publications include an article in Slate detailing his experience with a viral social media post, Viral Like Me, and his presentations include a session entitled “NFTs’ Next Phase: Reshaping IP and the Content Economy” that he moderated for the 2023 Consensus conference. He is the co-author of the “Motion Practice” chapter in Copyright Litigation Strategies, published by the American Bar Association, and of the “Commercial Defamation” chapter in Commercial Litigation in New York State Courts, published by Thomson Reuters.

Representative Matters


  • Tolkien Estate v. Polychron, C.D. Cal. (copyright infringement claim against author of unauthorized sequel to The Lord of the Rings) (ongoing)
  • Resolute v. Greenpeace Int’l et al., N.D. Cal. (First Amendment defense of environmental advocacy organization) (summary judgment for defendant, Apr. 2023)
  • UMG v. OpenDeal at al., S.D.N.Y. (defense of trademark claim against blockchain-based music fundraising company Opulous, Inc.) (ongoing)
  • Freeman v. Deebs- Elkenaney et al., S.D.N.Y. (representation of literary agency in defense of copyright claim involving young adult novels) (ongoing)
  • The Wylie Agency v. Georges Borchardt, NY Supreme Court (declaratory judgment claim based on contract) (ongoing)
  • iFinex Inc. et al. v. State of New York, NY Supreme Court (successfully assertion of freedom of information request regarding Tether stablecoin, for CoinDesk, Inc.) (2021-23)
  • Mujae Group v. Spotify (defense of trade secret claims) (settled 2022)
  • Corey Asraf v. Filmrise IX Harlan, New York Supreme Court (successful defense of breach of contract claims relating to film production deal) (2021-22)



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