Orrick Adds Morgan Lewis Lawyer as Life Sciences Patent Lead (1)

March 15, 2021, 10:01 AMUpdated: March 15, 2021, 6:02 PM

Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe is bringing on Morgan Lewis & Bockius partner Gargi Talukder to head its life sciences patent strategy and prosecution practice as the firm looks to build out its offerings amid a surge of market activity in life sciences.

Talukder, who led Morgan Lewis’ IP practice in San Francisco, advises companies ranging from startups to the Fortune 50 in global patent portfolio management, IP diligence, and patent prosecution.

Talukder, who also holds a Ph.D. in neuroscience, works with scientific leads and senior management for biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies to develop patent procurement and product clearance strategies across a range of sectors like biologics, including genome sequencing, antibody therapies, and cell therapies.

Despite the coronavirus pandemic, life sciences work has remained robust and, according to Citi Private Bank’s Law Firm Group, these practices can expect to see high levels of activity in 2021. Law firms have been busy recruiting new lawyers to capitalize on the activity, including Orrick.

From September 2020 until Feb. 28 of this year, there have been 179 life sciences partner lateral hires among Am Law 200 firms, 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.

Earlier this year Orrick hired David Schulman, co-leader of Dechert’s life sciences group. Orrick has also added Gunderson Dettmer life science partners Gregg Griner and Albert Vanderlaan, the former general counsel of Velocity Sciences Shana Solomon, as well as Stephen Thau, former co-chair of Morrison & Foerster’s life sciences group.

McDermott Will & Emery, Fenwick & West, and Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati
have also made notable life sciences lateral hires in the last few weeks.

Talukder, who first joined Morgan Lewis in 2006, said Orrick’s emphasis on life sciences and its strengths on the corporate and litigation side drew her to the firm, along with what she said is a collaborative culture.

In her new role Talukder said her goal is to build a patent prosecution and strategy team that supplements Orrick’s existing services and expands its client base.

“The life sciences companies that we work with, and that Orrick works with, are fighting the big diseases. What my practice will do, and what the team will do, is help with that fight and make sure that these companies have the space in the patent landscape to do what they need to do.”

Adding patent prosecution expertise is the next step in the development of Orrick’s life science offering, said Matthew Gemello, head of Orrick’s global corporate practice, in a statement.

“Our clients’ innovation continues to outpace regulation and Gargi’s market-leading expertise will be a game-changer for these innovative businesses,” he said.

(Updated to include Decipher data in paragraph 5)

To contact the reporter on this story: Meghan Tribe in New York at mtribe@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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