Features

Kimberly Herman – Sullivan & Worcester 

Crafting tailored solutions for client success 

At Sullivan & Worcester, a global law firm with offices in Boston, London, New York, Tel Aviv and Washington, D.C., Partner Kimberly Herman’s expansive practice spans the U.S., Europe, Asia and the Middle East.  

Herman leads the firm’s intellectual property, technology, media, and entertainment groups, leveraging more than two decades of expertise in the legal world. Renowned for her prowess in contract negotiation and intellectual property matters, she meticulously crafts tailored solutions to meet her client’s diverse needs. 

With a keen focus on precision and reliability, Herman guarantees that her clients receive the highest caliber of legal counsel, honed through years of experience and dedication to their success. Drawing from her rich background, she possesses a unique ability to anticipate client requirements and adeptly navigate complex legal landscapes, ensuring optimal outcomes while mitigating risks effectively. 

“My goal is to provide my clients with legal advice that is precise, reliable and tailored to the risk profile of the company. Leaning on my years of experience and dedication, I strive to anticipate their requirements and navigate complex legal terrains, ensuring optimal outcomes while minimizing risks,” Herman says. 

Championing client needs 

Sullivan & Worcester represents several proprietary software vendors, for which Herman and her team negotiate licenses and other related agreements on their behalf.  With the rise of software-as-a-service (SaaS) models, customer compliance with these agreements is crucial for ensuring intellectual property rights are respected and appropriate revenues are collected. 

The firm also represents several media and entertainment companies concerning clearing and optioning rights in content. With the proliferation of digital media platforms and the increasing demand for diverse content, managing rights and permissions has become a critical aspect of the industry.  

“We are always assisting clients in securing the necessary rights for their content, enabling them to capitalize on new opportunities and navigate legal complexities effectively,” Herman explains.  

Additionally, Sullivan & Worcester represents a biotech company in connection with clinical trial agreements. As the biotech industry advances, clinical trials are pivotal in testing new treatments and therapies. Herman’s team facilitates negotiating and drafting agreements between the biotech company and research institutions, ensuring compliance with regulatory requirements and protecting their client’s interests throughout the trial process. 

Herman and the firm also work frequently with non-profits that rely on donations and partnerships to support their initiatives. They assist one organization, for example, with various donor and branding agreements. Herman and her team provide legal counsel on donor agreements, ensuring that the organization’s fundraising efforts comply with applicable laws and regulations, and they advise on branding agreements to enhance the organization’s visibility and impact.   

Building trust and rapport 

Herman is a beacon of leadership and expertise within the legal world, steering her team with a blend of intensity and collaboration. Herman has the skills of a shrewd negotiator and is adept at collaboration and competition. 

Over the years, her leadership style has evolved, emphasizing the importance of building rapport, active listening, and avoiding bias. As she approaches her third decade in law, Herman prioritizes trust-building and hands-on mentorship, fostering an environment where colleagues and adversaries thrive. 

In 2024, Herman sees exciting opportunities, particularly in intellectual property law, amid the rise of generative AI. However, the industry faces challenges in attracting and retaining talent, with experienced experts in high demand and junior lawyers exhibiting greater mobility. 

For Herman, the toughest aspect of her role lies in business development, navigating the intricacies of building relationships and earning trust in a competitive market. Yet, the most rewarding aspect remains the bonds formed with clients turned friends and the satisfaction of resolving complex legal disputes outside the courtroom. 

“As a lawyer, I’ve learned the value of collaboration and the importance of building trust. I aim to navigate the legal landscape with integrity, ensuring the best outcomes for my clients,” Herman says. 

A journey in law 

Herman’s career is marked by a diverse and dynamic path. With a degree in journalism from Northeastern University and a JD from Western New England University School of Law and New England Law Boston, Herman’s foundation in communication and legal studies laid the groundwork for her success. 

Before joining Sullivan & Worcester in 2001, Herman spent six years in private practice. But she didn’t always foresee a career as a lawyer. In fact, her interest in the law was ignited while she was a reporter for The Boston Globe. Covering court-related stories sparked her passion—she broke a page-one story reporting on a legal case involving American Marine and Chief Warrant Officer Martin Gaffney, showcasing her early aptitude for legal journalism. 

Herman’s versatility and expertise have led her to undertake multiple in-house roles. She’s gained valuable experience at companies like PerkinElmer and FairMarket, Inc., and expanded her practical knowledge at organizations like Hydration Labs  and Bally’s Interactive before returning to private practice at Sullivan & Worcester. 

Beyond her professional endeavors, Herman finds joy in tennis, where she has served as the captain of a recreational team for many years. Her commitment to her legal career and personal interests reflects her well-rounded approach to life and work. 

“My journey reflects a blend of diverse experiences and unwavering dedication. From journalism to law, each step has shaped my path toward success. I believe in embracing opportunities on the courtroom floor or the tennis court and channeling my passion into everything I do,” Herman says. 

View this feature in the Vanguard Spring III 2024 Edition here.

Published on: May 10, 2024

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