New York City is home to the largest stable of life sciences patent litigation lawyers in the United States, with many of the individuals on the table specialising in pharmaceutical and biotechnology cases. While nearby states New Jersey and Delaware remain the favoured forums for patent litigation, cases are often led by lawyers based in New York. The sheer number of firms sets the tone for this competitive market, with country-wide market leaders Robert Baechtold and Leora Ben-Ami receiving nigh-unanimous praise for their wealth of experience and depth of expertise. The quality of those whom we have placed in bands two and three is also exemplary, with many appearing in matters and attracting praise that would assure them a place in the top tier elsewhere; the hard-fought nature of the New York market and the lofty profiles of Baechtold and Ben-Ami, however, preclude anyone else from reaching the pinnacle at present.
Fitzpatrick, Cella, Harper & Scinto founding partner Robert Baechtold is a “venerable pharmaceutical litigator”, recognised across the United States for his longstanding contributions to the field. “Guru”, “lion”, “dean” and “sage” are all epithets applied to this “stellar advocate” who remains central to the firm’s practice, though market commentators note that he is less hands-on than in previous years. Over the last four decades, he has distinguished himself in many cases concerning pharmaceuticals and biotechnology patents, for clients including Bristol-Myers Squibb, Pharmacia, Novartis, Merck, AstraZeneca, Astellas Pharma and Sanofi- Aventis. Leora Ben-Ami of Kaye Scholer is “a first-rate patent litigator” who has extensive experience in life sciences, especially in biotechnology and pharmaceutical cases. This is thanks in part to her adoption of an intense focus on the area in comparison to many of her peers; another factor is her popularity with biotechnology, medical devices and pharmaceuticals players, including Pfizer.
At Kenyon & Kenyon, Richard DeLucia is recognised for his experience in complex technical patent litigations, including pharmaceutical and biotechnology cases. Sources deem him a “highly capable litigator”. John Desmarais maintains a broad IP litigation practice at Kirkland & Ellis; he is recognised as a “very effective litigator”, with experience in a wide range of patent cases. Dimitrios Drivas, the chair of White & Case’s global IP practice group, has a special focus on patent litigation, recently achieving a favourable result for Pfizer against Teva Pharmaceuticals USA and IVAX Pharmaceuticals; he also represented a major international pharmaceutical company in a patent infringement, fraud and business tort action against US and foreign affiliates of a generic drug manufacturer. He is admired for his “significant trial experience in high-profile cases”. Jesse Jenner of Ropes & Gray is well respected for his longstanding contributions to the field; he maintains a broad IP practice, with medical device cases being an area of expertise. Also at the firm is Steven Lee, a patentfocused practitioner praised for his “deep technical knowledge”; he has handled matters for a range of companies including Teva Pharmaceuticals USA. Gerald Sobel of Kaye Scholer is recognized internationally for his pharmaceutical work; his many years of experience, knowledge and “professorial style” make him a highly effective litigator, according to sources. However, some go on to speculate that this “class act” may be nearing retirement. Representing AstraZeneca and Merck, Errol Taylor of Milbank Tweed Hadley & McCloy has “a very strong reputation” for his work handling complex pharmaceutical and chemical patent litigations.
The highly regarded Peter Armenio of Quinn Emanuel Urquhart Oliver & Hedges handles a wide range of IP litigation, representing clients such as GlaxoSmithKline and Tyco Healthcare Group. At Kaye Scholer, Patricia Carson handles cases for Genentech and Wyeth; she is a “very impressive” pharmaceutical litigator. Deemed a “smart, hard worker” by interviewees, Laura Coruzzi of Jones Day handles a broad range of patent matters. A recent work highlight is her representation of Myriad Genetics and University of Utah Research Foundation in a gene patenting case. Kevin Culligan is a recent addition to the Goodwin Procter litigation team; his main focus is on medical device and pharmaceutical cases. Edward Filardi heads up Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom’s patent litigation practice; he is commended for his “extensive experience” in highly technical cases and multi-jurisdictional work. Gerald Flattmann of Kirkland & Ellis is “a tenacious litigator” with expertise in the full range of pharmaceutical and biotechnology patent matters; he represents clients such as sanofi-aventis and Forest Labs. Working with Carson is Richard Greco, noted for his “thorough preparation”. Nicholas Groombridge co-chairs Weil, Gotshal & Manges’ patent litigation practice. He has a large portfolio of biotechnology and other life sciences clients, and particular expertise in trial work at the appellate level. While life sciences matters make up the majority of Robert Gunther’s work, he is also involved in new technology litigations, earning praise for his “complete command of cases”; he can be found at Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr. Name partner Edgar Haug of Frommer Lawrence & Haug maintains a diverse IP and competition law practice, with a particular emphasis on complex technical litigations. Denise Loring Ropes & Gray is commended for her work representing clients such as AstraZeneca; she is “thoughtful and calm under pressure”. Peter Ludwig of Darby & Darby is recognised for his “strong biotechnology practice”, although market commentators speculate that he is now less involved in day-to-day cases. Thomas Meloro of Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP is “a pleasure to work with”; he maintains a general IP litigation practice, with a focus on pharmaceutical, chemical and medical device cases. Specialising in pharmaceutical patent litigation, Frederick Rein of Goodwin Procter is “a key member of the team”, praised for his strong practice. The “strategic-minded” Henry Renk of Fitzpatrick, Cella, Harper & Scinto is praised for his ANDA-related litigation work. He has represented companies such as AstraZeneca, Bausch & Lomb and Merck, and interviewees acclaim his “deep understanding of the Hatch- Waxman Act”. At the same firm, William Solander maintains a broad litigation practice, with particular expertise in patents; he garners praise for being “a tough, in-the-trenches style litigator”. Fellow founding partner Barry White is a “formidable adversary”; he offers a comprehensive array of services for pharmaceutical companies and has a particular forte in ANDA litigations under the Hatch-Waxman Act. John White of Cooper & Dunham LLP is recognised for his multi-jurisdictional work. Sources say he is a “strong practitioner in the biotechnology field”, with recent work highlights including representing academic organisations such as The Kennedy Institute and Columbia University.