This year’s guide to the leading practitioners in the life sciences - product liability space sees almost 300 individuals highlighted for their impressive work across a range of mandates arising from medical device, pharmaceutical and biotech-related issues.
We also identify the most highly regarded individuals across EMEA, North America, Latin America and Asia-Pacific.
You can view a searchable, filterable list of all the practitioners listed in WWL: Life Sciences 2020 using our Market Insight Tool. Click the button below to view.
The Global Elite Thought Leaders are those individuals who received the highest number of nominations from peers, corporate counsel and other market sources this year. Our research has identified them as truly outstanding practitioners and the very best in their field.
Who’s Who Legal does not list law firms, only individual lawyers. The leading firms are those in each region whose listed practitioners received the most total nominations in our research.
Global Elite Thought Leaders
John Meltzer is a titan of the life sciences market whom one source describes as “the most knowledgeable and well-respected practitioner in the field” with “an exhaustive understanding of product liability directives”.
Ina Brock is a keystone of the European life sciences market, with commentators recommending her as an “excellent lawyer at the top in her field”, as well as “one of the best specialists in Germany and a true leader”.
Caroline Moore secures extensive acclaim from sources as “a fantastic lawyer who is very good with experts”.
Christian Di Maurois is highlighted by respondents across Europe thanks to his “wide experience” as “a very good product liability litigator”.
Sebastian Lach is praised as a “skilled” lawyer who delivers “outstanding” work on life sciences-related product liability issues.
Elisabethann Wright is a well-regarded name among peers. She has over 30 years of experience advising on matters pertaining to the pharmaceuticals, and medical devices sectors.
Ian Dodds-Smith is selected by peers as one of Europe’s preeminent life sciences specialists. He has over 30 years of experience in a broad range of product liability and regulatory matters.
Tom Fox wins considerable recommendations for his litigation practice, which focuses on product liability defence claims regarding medical devices and pharmaceuticals.
Adela Williams is a respected name in the field. She combines her training as a medical practitioner with outstanding legal expertise to defend clients in the medical device and products industry.
Other leading individuals
Trevor Davies at Kennedys is a stalwart of the European life sciences field with nearly 40 years of experience in product liability matters. Peers praise him as “a very well-respected and known name”.
Shuna Mason of CMS focuses her superb practice on product liability and regulatory issues pertaining to the pharmaceutical, medical and cosmetic sectors.
Jacques-Antoine Robert at Simmons & Simmons is a “top-notch and very experienced lawyer”, and stands out in the European market as “truly the best, bar none”.
Founding partner Thomas Rouhette with Signature Litigation is a standout figure in the life sciences marketm with over 30 years’ experience in international product liability litigation.
Henning Moelle of Taylor Wessing secures numerous endorsements as “a very experienced, great lawyer” who is “very pleasant to work with and has tremendous clientele”.
Noerr’s Michael Molitoris is “a superb” litigator” in the German market who is well versed in product liability matters.
Arthur Cox’s Isabel Foley is a Global Elite Thought Leader, held in high esteem as “an outstanding and experienced name in the space”.
Roddy Bourke with McCann FitzGerald is championed for his “strong reputation all-round”. He is a skilled litigator with 25 years of experience across the areas of product liability and life sciences.
Alessandro Giorgetti of Studio Legale Giorgetti is one of Italy’s premier product liability minds, with over 30 years of experience in Italy and across the EU.
Ewa Rutkowska at KRK Kieszkowska Rutkowska Kolasinski is “the go-to person in Poland”. One peer effuses, “I’ve worked with her for a very long time - the recognition is very well earned.”
Global Elite Thought Leaders
Sara Gourley is one of America’s foremost product liability litigators, and accordingly this year earns the status of a Global Elite Thought Leader. She is described by source as “a very smart and energetic practitioner”.
Maja Eaton is one of the firm’s global leaders for product liability with wide-ranging experience covering mass tort and toxic tort litigation.
Heidi Levine is acknowledged by peers as “one of the biggest names in the US” for product liability matters. She is the firm’s global co-lead on product liability and mass tort matters, and is particularly well versed in issues pertaining to the pharmaceutical and medical devices sectors.
Donald Zimmer Jr is lauded as “a very wise, articulate figure” and “a lawyer to trust”. He is “very collaborative and one of the greatest practitioners in US for this field of practice”.
Chilton Davis Varner is a standout name in North America for product liability matters. She brings considerable experience to bear in mass torts and toxic tort proceedings.
Lana Varney wins substantial endorsements from peers in North America for her representation of clients in product liability matters pertaining to pharmaceuticals and medical devices matters.
Gordon McKee is held by market commentators as “the dean of the bar in Canada”. He has over 25 years of experience in product liability suits and class action proceedings.
James Sullivan QC is a standout counsel whose “status has been recognised by many”. Sources are quick to point out that he is “an excellent, experienced advocate” in product liability cases.
Catherine Beagan Flood gains recognition from respondents as “an accomplished strategist and courtroom litigator”, and “a great lawyer with exhaustive knowledge of class actions”.
Sherry Knutson is deservedly praised as “a top-tier talent and a well-rounded trial attorney”. She has over 20 years of experience as a trial lawyer in product liability and toxic tort matters.
James Mizgala is championed for his “great practice regarding science and expert issues”. He has 25 years’ experience defending product liability cases, as well as toxic and mass tort issues.
Mollie Benedict is a respected life sciences specialist in the market, endorsed by peers across North America for her handling of complex class action defence.
Nancy Erfle is “one of the best of the best lawyers in the space, with a tonne of trial experience”. She is a specialist when it comes to defending clients in toxic tort and medical exposure litigation on state and national levels.
Laura De Santos is a highly skilled US litigator with exceptional experience defending clients in product liability litigations pertaining to pharmaceutical products and medical devices.
Peers applaud Dominic Campodonico for the quality of his product liability practice and his experience, which covers more than two decades and encompasses national litigation pharmaceutical, medical and laboratory products.
Other leading individuals
Mary Thomson of Gowling WLG is “a top-drawer litigator in Canada, and one of the first choices for complex litigation and issues”. One peer would “rank her as one of the top people in this area”.
The “excellent” Peter Pliszka of Fasken wins considerable approval in our research, with sources calling him “a great lawyer in the space”.
Scott Maidment with McMillan secures the approval of peers, who call him “one of the leaders in this space” and say he is “consistently at the top in this area”.
Mark Cheffo at Dechert is admired by peers across North America as “a very fine, bright lawyer”.
Sheila Birnbaum wins endorsements as “a top-notch practitioner and true market leader”, as well as “one of the most widely reputed individuals in US”.
Bruce Parker with Venable is lauded by commentators for his “science know-how” and “tenacious approach to cases”. He has considerable experience in mass torts.
Craig Thompson is acknowledged by peers as “a superstar lawyer” and “an outstanding trial attorney”. He has experience representing clients in product liability litigation before both federal and state courts.
John Beisner at Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom is a distinguished name in the North American market. He is the firm’s leader of mass torts and consumer litigation, and has 35 years of experience in the area.
Sources confirm that the “excellent” Tarek Ismail of Goldman Ismail Tomaselli Brennan & Baum is “a superb trial lawyer” with a focus on disputes relating to drugs and medical devices.
Quentin Urquhart Jr with Irwin Fritchie Urquhart & Moore is a favourite among peers, who praise him as “a talented, creative, thorough trial lawyer who lives and breathes the law”.
Christy Jones at Butler Snow is held in high esteem by peers, who stress that she is “standout trial lawyer”. She has over 30 years of trial experience representing corporations in litigation concerning medical devices and pharmaceutical products.
Tripp Haston of Bradley Arant Boult Cummings is “very well known” and highly regarded among life sciences lawyers in the US. He frequently represents domestic and international clients in individual and class-action claims.
Global Elite Thought Leaders
Colin Loveday is a giant of the life sciences market. Peers describe him variously as “the industry leader” and “a top-class action litigator”. He “brings a lot of experience, authority and charm to the table” and strongly defends clients’ interests”.
Greg Williams is "one of the best lawyers in this field", praised for being "very articulate and smart on tactics" and "very capable in cross-border litigation".
Andrew Morrison, head of the firm’s national litigation group, is praised as “one of Australia’s best class action litigators” and “a phenomenal lawyer”.
Ross McInnes is a distinguished figure in the Australian market. He is described as “the next generation of specialists, who is upholding the fine tradition of the group”, and “a leading class action litigator”.
Peter O’Donahoo at Allens is a distinguished name in the Australian market, having been recognised as a leading practitioner for 20 years. His expertise lies in product litigation class actions and regulatory investigations.
Stuart Clark AM of SSC Advisory is deemed “an absolutely top-notch counsel in the market” by commentators. His practice is geared towards class actions and complex litigious matters.
Akihiro Hironaka with Nishimura & Asahi is highlighted for his expertise in matters pertaining to vaccines and other pharmaceuticals. Peers say he is “extremely strategic and an expert at leading a large team”, adding: “There is no one else on his level.”
Rajah & Tann’s Wee Hann Lim is admired by peers in the Singapore market, who recommend him as “an extremely good lawyer”. He has nearly 30 years of experience in the biotechnology, pharmaceutical and healthcare sectors.
Emilio Vogelius with Beccar Varela is a statesman of the Argentinian market with nearly 40 years’ experience in product liability litigation, with strong expertise in pharmaceutical-related proceedings.
Sérgio Pinheiro Marçal of Pinheiro Neto Advogados is “one of the best lawyers in the market”. Peers praise him as “a very experienced, excellent advocate”.
Camila Martino Parise is “really great in negotiations as well as regulatory assessments”. One peer effuses that it is “always a pleasure to work with Camila”.
Kestener Granja & Vieira Advogados’ Beatriz Kestener is “a leader in the area” and “very well known” in the market”, thanks to her nearly 30 years of experience.