North Carolina is experiencing rapid economicgrowth, thanks in part to Charlotte’s thrivingfinancial services sector, which is now thesecond-largest banking hub in the UnitedStates behind New York. Meanwhile, ResearchTriangle Park has become prominent as an ITand biotechnology centre. This trend isfuelling licensing activity in the state and hasincreased demand for IP transactionalexpertise within the legal market. Suchdemand is well met by those identified in ourranking table, which includes lawyers whocombine the necessary technical expertisewith solid business acumen.
Outstanding expertise in licensing is one of the main draws of this firm’s Research Triangle Park office. “It has an enormous bank of transactional experience and it consistently produces high-quality licensing agreements, taking a practical and commercial approach.” The client relationships that it fosters are “extremely strong” and close personal attention at partner level is a hallmark. With its lawyers backed by a phalanx of scientific advisers and patent experts, the firm has the technical acumen to handle the most complex of licensing arrangements across the industry spectrum. With market heavyweight and former LES President Allen Baum at the helm, the life sciences are a particular focus for the North Carolina group. Baum’s expertise in the sector is diverse: he has in-depth experience of pharmaceutical outbound and inbound licensing, university licensing – representing licensees – and litigation settlement licensing. “His lawyering skills are excellent and his advice inspires confidence. He keeps open and direct lines of communication and he knows exactly how to staff his deals appropriately.” Baum’s litigation background is also an advantage: “his experience as a litigator translates very well into his transactional work.”Moore & Van Allen PLLC
General practice outfit Moore & Van Allen has expanded its IP capabilities significantly in the past five years and is now firmly on the map for licensing in the Southeast. The IP group is home to a transactional team comprising expert commercial lawyers with technical expertise, and this combination of business and technological savvy helps to set it apart from many competitors. The synergy between the IP and corporate departments has served to broaden the firm’s IP transactional horizons and there is no type of strategic alliance or IP commercialisation deal that it cannot handle. Its clientele is largely North Carolina-based, but the firm has operations across the region, nationally and internationally. Henry Ward is a leading figure in the group and a key contact for licensing matters. Key areas of IP transactional work for Ward – and for the group as a whole – include financial services, telecommunications, manufacturing and healthcare. In addition, Ward has significant experience of drafting and negotiating IT agreements.Wyrick Robbins Yates & Ponton LLP
Business law firm Wyrick Robbins Yates & Ponton focuses on representing growthoriented ventures and the entrepreneurs that drive them. With licensing a critical tool for its client base, the firm’s expertise in this area is front and centre of its full-scope business practice. “It is outstanding and a highly valued partner in getting a start-up business up and running. It really understands the needs of emerging companies.” Although the group’s technological expertise is diverse, the life sciences sector is a major focus, particularly for top licensing specialist Jason Wood. An “exceptionally intelligent lawyer with a deep understanding of life sciences from both a technical and commercial perspective”, he is known for his ability to craft highly successful and long-lasting agreements, and “has a fantastic feel for licensing”. Recent work includes acting for Viamet Pharmaceuticals in its research, option and licence agreement with Dow Agrosciences to evaluate the potential use of technology for the development of novel agricultural chemicals. Few, if any, firms of this size can handle complex life sciences work at the same level as Wyrick Robbins.