Featured in Law.com's "How I Made It" Q&A series, Deepro Mukerjee discussed his journey to becoming chair of Katten's global Intellectual Property department. Sharing insight gleaned from his legal practice and leadership positions, including his role as a member of Katten's Board of Directors, Deepro offered thoughts on topics touching on business development as well as professional and leadership development.
Deepro joined Katten as a partner in 2018, bringing several members of his team from a prior law firm. Appointed as the leader of Katten's IP department in 2021, Deepro is responsible for the performance of all groups within the department, including the recruitment, development and retention of team members. Asked about the "deciding point" that likely led to his department chair appointment, Deepro pointed to a "solutions-oriented, pragmatic approach" in both his legal practice and leadership style.
"As an attorney, and now department leader and Katten board member, I am mindful of prioritizing and continually heightening client service, looking for areas where we can add value. At the same time, I am dedicated to ensuring the continued success and profitability of my group and Katten overall," Deepro told Law.com.
"It is incumbent upon us as firm leaders to foster a collaborative environment where everyone feels empowered to build their practice and take charge of their career trajectory – embodying the entrepreneurial spirit that is foundational at our firm," he added. "This kind of empowerment can influence job satisfaction and productivity, and lead to better performance that will increase the firm’s success."
Identifying a key principle for successful business development, Deepro stressed the importance of client service. In particular, Deepro shared the importance of focusing on and advancing clients' business initiatives while aiming to exceed their expectations – an approach that has helped him build strong client relationships and develop his practice.
"Providing exceptional client service is a bedrock principle at Katten and one that I believe distinguishes the firm," Deepro said. "What defines the firm is our high-quality work, responsiveness and deep understanding of the ins and outs of our clients' businesses. Every decision on a matter should be centered on how this will help advance the company's business goals."
Deepro also offered guidance for partners aspiring to practice group leadership roles, noting that "it is imperative for practice group leaders to have a vision for the change they want to effectuate." He encouraged leaders to provide mentorship opportunities for younger attorneys and to invest in professional development strategies that identify individual talents and help team members reach their full potential.