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Orrick Taps Ex Biotech Legal Boss to Run Life Sciences Licensing

Sept. 9, 2020, 10:01 AM

Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe is launching a life sciences licensing team led by new partner Shana Solomon, who joined the firm in Boston Tuesday following less than a year as general counsel of biotech company Velocity Sciences.

Orrick’s life sciences practice area is one of the firm’s fastest growing, and works with over 450 companies, said practice leader Scott Iyama, in a Wednesday statement.

The hire marks another step towards growing the life sciences practice, which Solomon said comprises roughly 25 to 30 attorneys.

“One of the goals that I have is to establish ourselves as a destination practice for licensing transactions in the life science space,” Solomon said in an interview. “This is really my niche, and that’s different than what Orrick specializes in which is mergers and acquisitions, IPOs, these large transactions for life science companies and other tech companies.”

Solomon has worked with life science companies ranging from startups like Velocity Sciences, based in Boulder, Colo., to major Boston-based scientific equipment company Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc., where she served as general counsel of the biosciences division from 2007 to 2012.

She’s also worked as general counsel of Thermo Fisher Scientific subsidiary Dharmacon Inc. and done stints in private practice, both as a partner at Broomfield, Colo.-based Sage Law Group and in her own law practice, Omics Law Group, based in Bolder, Colo.

Solomon is the most recent in a series of Orrick life science hires in the past year. The firm has added partners including Stephen Thau, former co-chair of Morrison & Foerster’s life sciences group, and Gregg Griner, a former partner at Gunderson Dettmer.

Along with Solomon, Faraaz Samadi also joined Orrick this week as a partner in the firm’s London office, where he will work on technology transactions.

To contact the reporter on this story: Ruiqi Chen in Washington, D.C. at

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Rebekah Mintzer at; Chris Opfer at