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King & Spalding, Latham Latest Firms to Snag Pharma Talent (1)

March 29, 2021, 6:26 PMUpdated: March 29, 2021, 7:44 PM

King & Spalding and Latham & Watkins hired partners focused on the pharmaceutical industry on Monday, growing their presence in one of the few legal practices predicted to grow this year.

King & Spalding hired Eva Temkin from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, where she most recently served as acting director for policy at the Office of Therapeutic Biologics and Biosimilars. Temkin will be a Washington-based partner in the Atlanta-founded firm’s FDA and life sciences practice.

Latham, meanwhile, hired Christopher Schott to its healthcare and life sciences practice in its Washington office. Schott joined from Hogan Lovells, where he made partner in 2017. He represents pharmaceutical companies on compliance matters including price reporting under the Medicaid, Medicare, and 340B drug pricing programs, the firm said in a statement. The 340B program requires pharmaceutical manufacturers to sell drugs at a discount to certain healthcare organizations with low-income patients.

The hires add to a recent surge in Big Law hiring aimed at the life sciences and pharmaceutical industries, which Citi Private Bank’s Law Firm Group projects to be among the highest performing for Big Law firms this year. These industries have been bolstered by their role in developing vaccines to stem the Covid-19 pandemic, and their heavily regulated statusprovides a wide range of work for lawyers.

There were 179 life sciences partner lateral hires among Am Law 200 firms from September through February, making up roughly 14.5% of all lateral hires in that six month span, according to Decipher, a St. Louis-based competitive intelligence firm that provides due diligence for Big Law recruitment.

Firms bulking up in the space this year have included McDermott, Will & Emery, Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe, DLA Piper, and Sidley Austin. King & Spalding in January hired New York-based Richard Zall from Proskauer to chair its healthcare transactions and regulatory practice.

King & Spalding is well-known for its healthcare practice, which is comprised of more than 350 professionals.

In Temkin, King & Spalding adds a partner who led the FDA’s development of a roadmap, called the Biosimilars Action Plan, to foster a competitive market for biologics and biosimilars, expensive specialty drugs that have surged in popularity and promise in the past decade.

“Eva is one of very few lawyers with policy insight into the upper levels of FDA, and continues our 40-year tradition of attracting the very best lawyers from the agency,” Mark Brown, chair of King & Spalding’s FDA & life sciences team, said in a statement.

Latham & Watkins, meanwhile, has a top-four ranked life sciences practice in the U.S. by Chambers & Partners, which evaluateslaw firms based on their submissions and interviews with clients.

Schott, the firm’s most recent hire, advises clients on pricing methodology audits and interactions with federal regulators. He also assists in corporate transactions in the pharmaceutical industry, the firm said in a statement.

“As clients navigate changes to a number of federal programs, policy debates around drug pricing and value-based approaches, as well as the ever-increasing pace of scientific discovery, Chris’s deep experience will be of great value,” said John Manthei, global chair of Latham’s healthcare and life sciences practice, in a statement.

Hogan Lovells Washington office managing partner Michele Farquhar said in a statement: “We thank Chris for his contributions to the firm and wish him well.”

(Adds statement from Hogan Lovells partner on Schott's departure.)

To contact the reporter on this story: Roy Strom in Chicago at rstrom@bloomberglaw.com

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Rebekah Mintzer at rmintzer@bloomberglaw.com; Chris Opfer at copfer@bloomberglaw.com

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