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Legal Marketplace Analysis

This edition features the world’s leading life sciences practitioners divided into four discrete practice areas, comprising 360 patent litigators, 226 product liability defence experts, 229 regulatory specialists and 176 transactional lawyers from a total of 363 firms across 45 countries. 

Hogan Lovells takes top spot in our research this year with an unprecedented level of recognition in our life sciences research. Following closely behind, Sidley Austin offers comprehensive global advice and excels in the regulatory side of the field. Bird & Bird has a dominant pan-European offering, especially with regard to patent litigation. Covington & Burling is also an instantly recognisable name in life sciences and a leading player in the regulatory and transactional fields on a global scale. Meanwhile, Arnold & Porter impresses, in particular, with its transatlantic regulatory advice. Firms also excel domestically, including Hyman Phelps & McNamara in the US, Bristows in the UK and Uría Menéndez in Spain.

We also select the five most highly regarded individuals from each of our patent litigation, product liability defence, regulatory and transactional chapters.

Who's Who Legal: Life Sciences 2015
Most Highly Regarded Individuals
Lawyer Firm
Patent Litigation
Penny Gilbert Powell Gilbert, London
Benoît Strowel Hoyng Monegier, Brussels
Miquel Montañá Clifford Chance, Barcelona
Richard Ebbink Brinkhof, Amsterdam
Morgan Chu Irell & Manella, Los Angeles
 
Product Liability Defence
Christy Jones Butler Snow, Ridgeland
Sheila Birnbaum Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, New York
Sara Gourley Sidley Austin, Chicago
Colin Loveday Clayton Utz, Sydney
John Meltzer Hogan Lovells, London
 
Regulatory
Peter Bogaert Covington & Burling, Brussels
Ian Dodds-Smith Arnold & Porter, London
Jordi Faus Faus & Moliner, Barcelona
Peter Safir Covington & Burling, Washington DC
Helen Waxberg Mannheimer Swartling, Sweden
 
Transactional
John Wilkinson Reed Smith, London
Barbara Kosacz Cooley, Palo Alto
Alan Mendelson Latham & Watkins, Menlo Park
Yuval Horn Horn & Co Law Offices, Tel Aviv
Martin Brodey Dorda Brugger Jordis, Vienna

 

This year, Hogan Lovells achieves an unprecedented 35 listings across the life sciences legal market, becoming the most prominent firm in our research. Its life sciences industry expertise is global, with leading lawyers hailing from across Europe, Asia and the US. It’s also comprehensive, with numerous lawyers listed in each practice area chapter. Hogan Lovells’ regulatory presence in Washington DC is particularly strong, earning six listings alone. Jonathan Kahan is a “sensation” and “one of the most knowledgeable Food and Drug Administration (FDA) lawyers around”. His practice is “particularly strong” on the medical devices side of the market. David Fox is the “real deal”. He has “extensive experience” advising on product lifecycle management for innovators and generics. Alongside them, Philip Katz leads the firm’s pharmaceutical and biotechnology practice group. He is “first rate” in all matters before the FDA, regularly advising both large and small pharmaceuticals on successfully steering through regulatory processes. The firm also boasts a very strong group of European regulatory lawyers. In Brussels, Elisabethann Wright is a “leading authority” on EU life sciences law; she often assists clients in the classification, authorisation and marketing of their products. In Amsterdam, Hein van den Bos is reported to be “a rising superstar” in Dutch and EU regulatory law for pharmaceuticals, biotechnology and medical devices. In Munich, Jörg Schickert heads the German regulatory and life sciences practice. Described as “intelligent and pragmatic”, he often advises international life sciences companies on their product strategies in Germany and Europe.

Most of the firm’s 11 product liability listings are concentrated in Europe. In London, John Meltzer is universally acclaimed in this field and certainly “one of Europe’s premier product liability litigators”. In the same office, Caroline Moore is widely regarded as “one of the most knowledgeable and experienced” lawyers in this area of law. Ina Brock is Germany’s leading product liability lawyer according to our research. “She is immensely talented,” according to one of our sources. Hogan Lovells can also lay claim to two of France’s leading product liability lawyers. Thomas Rouhette and Cécile Derycke both earn international acclaim for their work defending product liability claims. Outside Europe, recognition also goes to Eugene Chan in Shanghai for his “exceptional practice” representing international and domestic clients in Chinese lawsuits. In Baltimore, Lauren Colton is an “excellent litigator” with a “complete understanding” of scientific and medical topics.

In patent litigation the firm boasts seven world-class practitioners. The Amsterdam office is especially noteworthy for the presence of two leading lawyers. Bert Oosting is a “heavyweight litigator” across the pharmaceuticals, biotechnology and the medical devices industries, both before the Dutch courts and the European Patent Office. Klaas Bisschop has a “fantastic understanding of the technological industry” and is “certainly one of the go-to IP litigators in the region”. In London, Stephen Bennett is a popular choice among life sciences companies for his “responsive” practice that is committed to “finding solutions” and “getting it done”. He most regularly acts for innovators, representing them in litigation and advising them on extension of patent rights. Again the firm has a top IP presence in Asia with Henry Wheare, who is a “savvy and experienced lawyer”, according to sources.

 

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A number of lawyers are also selected for their niche expertise handling life sciences transactions. Laura Berezin is a “technically proficient lawyer” with an “excellent understanding of the complex aspects involved in the life sciences industry”. She advises a range of life sciences clients in both M&A and securities transactions. In Baltimore, Asher Rubin is the global co-head of the firm’s life sciences industry sector team and a highly knowledgeable practitioner in this industry. He provides clients with the full spectrum of advice on M&A, securities and licensing. In Moscow, Natalia Gulyaeva has cultivated a “top-tier” international IP practice encompassing commercial transactions and licensing, as well as contentious disputes.

Sidley Austin is a global force in the life sciences industry. It has established a network of regional and international expertise in the US, Europe and Asia. The firm is well placed to give advice on European regulatory law, with four leading lawyers based in Brussels. Maurits Lugard, head of the EU life sciences regulatory team, draws upon a “deep wealth of knowledge” to advise clients on drug safety, clinical trails and marketing. He is internationally regarded as “one of the very best on the continent”. Maarten Meulenbelt is a “key industry player”, who provides “precise” advice on both regulatory and competition matters for life sciences businesses. Sidley Austin also has a “superb” Washington DC team, including Scott Bass, an “intelligent”, “reliable” and “responsive” practitioner who offers “authoritative” guidance on the FDA, as well as EU and Chinese regulatory enforcement. The “superlative” Coleen Klasmeier engages with world-leading companies on drug and medical device regulation. Alongside them, Raymond Bonner heads the firm’s food, drug and medical device compliance and enforcement practice. His “wide and detailed knowledge” of the area complements his “user-friendly approach”. Furthermore, Meenakshi Datta and Richard Raskin are “pre-eminent” regulatory and enforcement lawyers in Chicago.

Six listings are garnered from the firm’s product liability defence practice in Chicago, which supports its status as a “world-leading” practice group. Sara Gourley receives universal acclaim from peers and corporate counsel. According to sources “she knows everything there is to know” and “she sets the benchmark for litigation”. Michael Davis has “a longstanding presence at the top of the market”, he is held in high regard by those who have worked with him and is also known to be an “steadfast litigator”. Maja Eaton has extensive experience litigating in pharmaceutical mass torts. She is a “big hitter” who shows “clear-sightedness in relation to highly technical issues”. In Los Angeles, Debra Pole is well known as an “outstanding and experienced litigator”; clients say that “she immediately comes to mind” for the big-ticket product liability cases.

A number of leading patent litigators are also listed in the US. Among them, the “outstanding” Thomas Beck is head of the New York IP group. His “scrupulous approach to tactical planning” is one of numerous characteristics that make him an excellent adviser and litigator. In Chicago, David Pritikin chairs the firm’s national IP practice. He is a “skilful litigator” who “knows his stuff”.

In Asia, Chen Yang is head of the firm’s regional life sciences practice. Her “eminent” practice includes advising international pharmaceutical and medical device companies on Chinese regulatory and corporate law.

Bird & Bird has by far the strongest network of leading life sciences lawyers in the European market, and it also impresses in Asia, with strongholds in Hong Kong, Singapore and Beijing. In particular, the firm is “the outstanding name” in EU patent litigation matters. In London, the “sensational” Neil Jenkins has been one of the most prominent patent litigators in our research for many years. According to clients, “he stands head and shoulders above the competition”. Morag Macdonald is “the prime example of an intelligent and creative life sciences litigator”. She has extensive experience in patent disputes across the UK and European courts. In Düsseldorf, Oliver Jan Jüngst covers patent infringement cases in the German courts and the European Patent Office. He is known to be “sharp”, “a good team player” and “a talented litigator”. The neighbouring Munich office features the “excellent” Michael Alt, who has “unsurpassed technical expertise in pharmaceutical and medical device patent litigation”. Bruno Vandermeulen heads the “highly regarded” IP practice in Brussels. He is said to be an “intuitive” and “seasoned” patent litigator. In Finland, Ella Mikkola is a “leading authority” and has been involved in some of the pharmaceutical industry’s signature patents disputes in the country. She is also an “extremely able” regulatory lawyer for the sector. The strength of the firm in Asia is demonstrated by the “excellent” Alison Wong in Hong Kong. Her experienced multi-jurisdictional IP and regulatory practice is a “firm favourite” among clients and she is prized for her “intricate knowledge”.

A number of the firm’s lawyers are also singled out for their regulatory practices. Massimiliano Mostardini and Mauro Turrini “are by far the best in Italy”: they offer “responsive” and “technically savvy and commercially friendly advice”. In Brussels, Marc Martens presents “well-prepared” and “user-friendly advice” on a range of life sciences matters, including data exclusivity, marketing and reimbursement authorisations and clinical trials.

Further recognition goes to Sally Shorthose, who is widely seen as a “leading” transactional intellectual property lawyer. She provides “superb” advice on the protection and exploitation of IP rights across a range of transactions.

Covington & Burling is one of the most recognisable names in life sciences law, excelling in the regulatory and transactional areas on a global scale. The “outstanding” DC office is at the heart of the firm’s regulatory practice, providing six listings. Peter Safir features prominently in our research and is certainly one of the very best FDA lawyers in the US. Clients praise his “tremendous understanding and impressive depth of knowledge” as well as his “detailed and clear advice”. Peter Barton Hutt is a “legendary name” and “arguably the most influential food and drugs lawyers in America over the last 40 years”. Michael Labson’s “top-notch” practice covers the full range of pharmaceutical, biologics and medical device regulation. He is a “trusted adviser” to a number of leading US life sciences companies. Alongside them, Richard Kingham is a “revered regulatory lawyer” who boasts a “top-tier” practice in both the UK and the US. His clients find him both “extremely knowledgeable and accessible”.

The firm can also lay claim to the “best regulatory lawyer in Europe”. In Brussels, Peter Bogaert draws universal praise for his “authoritative” practice. He is a popular lawyer both for his “unsurpassed regulatory expertise” under European and national laws and his “personable approach”. In London, Grant Castle is a “world-class” regulatory lawyer and “one of the best in the country”. He has an “intuitive understanding of how the industry operates” and is able to provide “salient advice” across a product’s life cycle.  In Asia, Shaoyu Chen is a “certain inclusion” and the “first port of call” for peers and clients seeking regulatory guidance in the region.

The firm’s large network of sector specific transactional lawyers covering the US, Europe and China is particularly impressive. In DC, John Hurvitz’s “remarkable practice” draws on “a deep wealth of scientific and technical expertise” that informs all manner of commercial and partnering transactions in the industry. In San Francisco, James Snipes is praised for his “vast experience” and “careful and precise handling of complex matters”. In particular, he acts for bio-tech and pharmaceutical companies in corporate areas, including complex licensing, acquisitions, divestitures, spin-outs and venture investments. In London, the “esteemed” Paul Claydon is head of the firm’s corporate practice in Europe. He has over two decades’ worth of experience advising life sciences companies in M&A, securities, private equity and venture capital transactions. Alongside him, James Gubbins is “commercially astute and very knowledgeable”; he is known to “effectively tailor his corporate advice to the industry”. In Shanghai, Weishi Li has built a “highly accomplished” practice assisting western and Chinese life sciences companies in structuring and negotiating commercial, corporate and partnering transactions in China.

Arnold & Porter is a firm with a long tradition of excellence in this industry and it remains dedicated to securing its leading status by employing world-class lawyers across the industry’s key legal sectors. The firm impresses, above all, with its transatlantic regulatory advice. In London, Ian Dodds-Smith is among the most highly regarded lawyers in the world owing to his “all-encompassing knowledge” of the European regulatory system. His advice is “pragmatic, clear and meticulously worked out”. He is also recognised as a leader in product liability defence with a reputation as a “tough and resilient litigator”. Adela Williams is also listed as a stand-out lawyer in both areas. She is a “skilled practitioner” with an “unsurpassed comprehension of medicinal and medical device products”. Alongside her, Lincoln Tsang is “a fount of technical and strategic life sciences knowledge”, providing “invaluable sector experience” on product life cycle management, product acquisition, and risk and crisis management. In DC, Daniel Kracov is a “well reputed name” who provides “clear and effective strategies” to his clients on the challenges relating to the development, approval and marketing of drugs, biologics, and medical devices. Lisa Blatt heads the firm’s appellate and Supreme Court practice. She has a fantastic record before the Supreme Court and her clients “could not wish for a more skilled lawyer”.  

NORTH AMERICA

Hyman Phelps & McNamara is the largest dedicated food and drug law firm in the US, with its office in DC offering “outstanding” regulatory guidance. Jeffrey Gibbs is “a superstar” and “one of the top US lawyers” for product approvals, advertising and promotion, and enforcement actions. Paul Hyman and Robert Dormer are founding members of the firm and are both “legendary names in the field” and “among the definitive FDA lawyers”. Alongside them, Kurt Karst has a “superb grip on FDA precedents” and he is also an “extremely able” patent litigator.

Norton Rose Fulbright is Canada’s stand-out firm in this sector, with seven listings. Patrick Kierans is the global head of life sciences and health care; he maintains a reputation as “one of Canada’s foremost practitioners” in the field. He is described as a “truly outstanding litigator” and regularly represents major pharmaceutical companies in complex intellectual property cases. The “excellent” William McNamara acts on the defence of product liability class actions in the life sciences sector and has been involved in some of the country’s “most significant cases”. Adrienne Blanchard is a “highly accomplished lawyer” who represents clients before regulatory bodies on various issues including drug pricing matters as well as product recalls. She is generally regarded as “one of the leading life sciences regulatory lawyers in the country”. Judith Robinson heads the firm’s Canadian intellectual property practice and comes “highly recommended” for her expertise in the validity and infringement of pharmaceutical patents.

Leading US transactional lawyers abound in Cooley’s prominent life sciences practice, which achieves 11 listings. Barbara Kosacz is the international head of the group and her “distinguished” practice specialises in complex strategic partnering transactions and mergers and acquisitions for pharmaceutical companies. She is a “major player” in the market and has been pivotal in some of the biggest life sciences transactions in recent years. Robert Jones “is among the very best in the world at what he does”, according to sources. His practice covers the full range of corporate and securities law matters for life sciences companies. Kay Chandler is vastly experienced and offers “unsurpassed expertise” in complex commercial transactions for biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies, including technology licences and acquisitions, collaborations and manufacturing agreements as well as private financings and public offerings.

A number of other individuals also stand out for recognition in the American market. Morgan Chu of Irell & Manella is “fittingly called a legend” in the IP field. He is a “highly skilled trial lawyer” who has been involved with a number of the most important pharmaceutical patent cases over the last few decades.

Christy Jones of Butler Snow is an “incredible defence counsel”. She is “the lawyer of choice” to many major drug and medical device companies involved in complex product liability disputes.

At the renowned litigation firm Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, Sheila Birnbaum is “one of America’s premier product liability and mass tort litigators”. According to clients, “she is able to achieve feats beyond her peers”.

Further recognition goes to Alan Mendelson, co-chair of Latham & Watkins’ life sciences group. He is noted for his “exceptional handling” of major transactions, including venture capital financings, private placements and public offerings, M&A and joint ventures for life sciences companies.

EUROPE

London-based Bristows fields a remarkable team of market leading life sciences specialists. Brian Cordery is an “exceptional patent litigator”. Both in court and in his advice, he provides work “of the highest quality”. Liz Cohen is a “naturally gifted lawyer” and “as smart as they come”. She regularly coordinates cross border patent litigation and advises clients within Europe and beyond. Sally Field is a “vastly experienced” in IP disputes and commands “a great deal of respect for the professionalism and knowledge she brings to a case”. Maria Isabel Manley is a “truly outstanding regulatory lawyer”. She is recognised as “insightful”, “user-friendly” and “technically proficient” by pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies operating in the UK and Europe. 

Uría Menéndez offers the industry outstanding legal guidance in Spain. Its top lawyers include José Massaguer, who features prominently in our patent litigation research. He is an “innovative and technically gifted lawyer” who is greatly experienced in representing life sciences companies domestically and the EU. The “excellent” Teresa Paz-Ares is one of Spain’s “outstanding” drug and healthcare regulatory lawyers. Alejandro Ferreres Comella focuses his “superb” litigation practice on product liability disputes. He is known as an “accomplished lawyer” who provides his clients with “thoroughly prepared” and “meticulously crafted work”.

The Swedish firm Mannheimer Swartling is home to a number of leading European life sciences lawyers. Helen Waxberg works mostly in the area of regulation, providing clients with counsel in clinical trials, data protection, marketing, reimbursement, pricing, substitution and product recalls. She is a “consummate professional” with an “exhaustive knowledge base”. Per Josefson is extensively involved with the industry in terms of patent litigation as well as contractual and transactional matters for drug and medical device companies. He is a “strong performer” and “commercially astute”.

Penny Gilbert, co-founder of the renowned London-based IP boutique Powell Gilbert, is said to be among “the best of the best”; she is armed with “unrivalled technical, strategic and intellectual firepower”, according to clients.

Clifford Chance is a prominent global player in this sector with nine listings in our research. Barcelona-based Miquel Montañá is among our most highly regarded individuals for his patents disputes practice. According to sources, he is an “experienced and naturally-gifted adviser who places his clients’ needs first”.

John Wilkinson is the stand-out lawyer in Reed Smith’s impressive life sciences practice. The firm has 10 “world-class” listings in total. Wilkinson is particularly learned in transactional matters; he has been involved with a number of highly complex alliances and joint ventures, co-promotional and co-marketing arrangements, distribution and supply agreements. He is championed as an “innovative and dedicated” advisor.

At Hoyng Monegier, Benoît Strowel’s name “is synonymous with European patent law”. He is a “leading figure” and a “tremendous counsel” to major bio-pharmaceutical companies.

In Amsterdam, Richard Ebbink of Brinkhof “has become one of the finest patent litigators in Europe”. His “remarkable intelligence” and “excellent style of delivery” stands him apart.

Jordi Faus, founder of boutique life sciences law firm Faus & Moliner Abogados, is widely regarded as “one of Spain’s premier lawyers”, with “boundless knowledge” of EU and pharmaceutical regulatory law.

Martin Brodey, at Dorda Brugger Jordis, is a “first-rate” corporate lawyer with “a consummate understanding of the life sciences industry”. He has been engaged with some of the most significant pharmaceutical M&A transactions in continental Europe.

Yuval Horn, founder of Horn & Co Law Offices in Tel Aviv, regularly advises American, European and Israeli life sciences companies on their cross-border transactions, including M&A, financial instruments, restructurings, licensing and joint ventures. He is consistently regarded as “the leading lawyer in the region” for his “unprecedented expertise” and “efficient handling” of complex corporate transactions. 

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Nominees have been selected based upon comprehensive, independent survey work with both general counsel and private practice lawyers worldwide. Only specialists who have met independent international research criteria are listed.

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