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Barnes & Thornburg Tests Loaded Boston Life Sciences Market

June 21, 2021, 3:04 PM

Barnes & Thornburg is opening a new six-partner Boston office that will boost the firm’s growing intellectual property and life sciences practice—the latest Big Law firm looking to make a play in the city’s hot life sciences market.

The new office includes four partners from Boston-based firm Nutter McClennen & Fish—including intellectual property practice partners Ronald Cahill, Heather Repicky, Rory Pheiffer, and Derek Roller—and two partners from within Barnes, Robyn Maguire and Matthew Leno.

The firm’s new Boston office, its 20th in the United States, will primarily focus on IP and investment and financing in the life sciences arena, as well as corporate M&A, investment fund formation, and commercial litigation.

“We were drawn in by Barnes & Thornburg’s focus on providing excellent legal services, which is crucial in Boston’s competitive legal market,” said Cahill in a statement. “In addition, the firm’s strategic commitment to expanding its life sciences practice, and its deep bench of accomplished life sciences attorneys, will be immensely valuable to our clients in greater Boston.”

The pick-up is just the latest in a series of life science practice laterals in Boston involving a broad range of firms.

Last September, WilmerHale and Orrick both announced new additions to their respective life sciences practices in Boston. Hogan Lovells partner Asher Rubin, who co-led the firm’s global life sciences industry practice, and Hogan Lovells life sciences partner Adriana Tibbitts jumped to Sidley Austin in January.

A month later, Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati grew its life sciences team in Boston with the hire of Ropes & Gray partner Mark Bellomy, an advisor to companies, investors, and institutions on tech and IP transactions, with a focus in the life sciences space, for more than two decades.

Last month, Cooley announced it had added to its life sciences practice with a six-member, all-women team from Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough, led by veteran IP partner Amy Baker Mandragouras.

“Boston is a thriving center for innovation and investment—especially in the life sciences and biotech sectors—and establishing a presence there has been part of our strategic growth plan for quite some time,” said Robert Grand, Barnes & Thornburg managing partner, in the statement.

Barnes & Thornburg also opened new offices in Raleigh, N.C., Ann Arbor, Mich., and Salt Lake City in late 2019, which added 17 life sciences attorneys, including nine partners, to its IP team. Those lawyers concentrate primarily on patent work.

Barnes’s move to Boston follows new attorneys added to its Wilmington, Del. office earlier this month, and the opening of a New York office last year.

To contact the reporter on this story: Sam Skolnik in Washington at sskolnik@bloomberglaw.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Chris Opfer at copfer@bloomberglaw.com

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