Ira M. Kalina

Phone: (312) 569-1466 (312) 569-1466
Fax: (312) 569-3466


Ira M. Kalina has been recognized as one of the nation’s premier technology transactions attorneys, and currently serves as both vice chair of the Firm’s Intellectual Property Practice Group and chair of Drinker Biddle’s Information Technology practice. For over two decades, Ira’s legal practice has focused on the intersection of cutting-edge technology and mission critical deal work for clients of every size. Ira’s sophisticated work as both in-house and outside counsel has spanned technology transactions, outsourcing, strategic corporate ventures, information technology, online initiatives and open source. He has been a go-to resource for clients in a variety of industries, including health care, media, gaming, financial services, entertainment, education and traditional manufacturing industries.

In short, Ira’s clients rely on him for advice on development and leveraging of innovation, whether independently or in conjunction with third parties through joint ventures, investments and strategic alliances. He has worked with clients to negotiate joint research and development projects, sponsored research programs with universities and national laboratories, and establishing dedicated labs between universities and industry. He also assists with inbound/outbound licensing programs, technology transfer, distribution and asset distribution.

Ira’s practice has coincided with the modern era of information technology, and he regularly counsels clients on software licenses, SaaS/Cloud services, and big data projects of every variety through system implementation and broad-based outsourcing arrangements. He has developed considerable experience with Internet-based business initiatives with respect to all technology and Web issues, from site development, infrastructure implementation and hosting through distribution, content licensing, promotions and advertising. He regularly counsels clients on open-source licensing, open-source initiatives and the potential impact of open-source on software development and mergers and acquisitions.

Ira has broad and notable experience in the health care and life sciences industries, counseling hospitals and hospital systems, academic medical centers, practice groups, pharmaceutical companies, industry associations and vendors with respect to all aspects of information technology, intellectual property, research and development and strategic ventures. Ira marries a broad mix of commercial and intellectual property experience with a deep knowledge of the healthcare and life sciences information technology ecosystem.

In addition to his law firm experience, Ira worked in-house as vice president of business development and general counsel of a Chicago-based Internet startup. During his tenure there, he was responsible for developing relationships with online content and service providers, network providers and distribution partners. Ira also served as licensing counsel to WMS Gaming Inc., a leading manufacturer of video slot machines, and Midway Games Inc., a leading developer of home video games, where he advised the companies with respect to software development, inbound and outbound licensing, e-commerce issues, advertising and promotions.


  • Assisted a publicly traded retailer in negotiations with all of its strategic vendors to re-engineer and centralize its e-commerce platform. Projects ranged from traditional software license, telecommunications/infrastructure and call center agreements to more specialized payment processing, link sharing, SEO services, and brand loyalty programs.
  • Managed the outsourced IT and strategic vendor contracting for a multibillion-dollar health system, ranging from high-volume day-to-day agreements to multi-year, multimillion-dollar strategic agreements across all service areas including clinical, revenue cycle management, human resources and talent management, finance and telecom.
  • Advised an industry consortium comprising multinational corporations in establishing a project to engage in a multi-year, multi-party, multimillion-dollar development and distribution of a revolutionary integration platform designed to improve collaboration between customers, vendors and regulators. Work with the consortium to manage vendor relations and develop, implement and negotiate the various agreements that will establish the framework for the on-going commercial ecosystem.
  • Counseled a software as a service (SaaS) company from inception through its recent public offering to develop its cloud solution, negotiating the license agreements with primary third party technology providers, establishing and updating the form customer agreements to minimize intervention and increase speed-to-close, and advise on privacy, licensing and ecommerce issues.
  • Negotiated the strategic co-development, licensing and distribution components of corporate venture transactions by strategic investors in industries including financial services, media, health care, consumer products and pharmaceuticals.
  • Represented data aggregators in developing form agreements and commercial models to license and distribute data to third parties, including negotiating and adjusting these agreements with strategic customers and resellers.


Chambers USA, Illinois, Technology and Outsourcing (2015-2019)
Intellectual Asset Management, IAM Patent 1000 (2015)

Awards Methodology (

Ira Kalina is often seen advising on technology transactions and strategic corporate ventures. Clients hold him in high regard: ‘Ira is a joy to work with. He is responsive, efficient, practical and really knows our business. We could not ask for a better partner.'

Chambers USA (2017)

Practice chair Ira Kalina maintains his standing in the transactional technology market and is admired for his negotiation skills. His broad client base looks to him for counsel on matters such as licensing, technology development and e-commerce.

Chambers USA


Bar Admissions

  • Illinois


  • The University of Chicago, J.D., 1994
  • University of Michigan, B.A., 1991