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6 June 2023Sarah Speight

Cooley appoints ‘first-rate’ life sciences partner trio

The ‘formidable’ three bring 52 years’ experience from Fish & Richardson collectively | ‘Extensive’ patent trial background includes branded Hatch-Waxman litigation.

Cooley has appointed three litigation partners in the US with “make-or-break” patent trial experience to its IP litigation practice.

Chad Shear,  Betsy Flanagan and  Geoff Biegler have made the move from  Fish & Richardson, where they spent a total of almost 52 years between them.

The trio brings “extensive” trial experience to the firm, having previously represented early- to late-stage life sciences companies in complex patent disputes across district and appellate courts, and the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB).

Shear, Flanagan and Biegler represent big biotech and pharma firms, including  Gilead and  GSK, in patent infringement disputes. Their focus is on branded Hatch-Waxman litigation, competitor small and large molecule drug cases, and Biologics Price Competition and Innovation Act litigation.

Career highlights

Flanagan, who was formerly a scientist at MSD, served on the legal team for  Coherus BioSciences, which successfully invalidated three patents in  AbbVie’s blockbuster drug Humira. She will be affiliated with Cooley’s Chicago office, although based in Minneapolis.

Shear, who will be based in the San Diego office, handled more than two dozen post-grant proceedings before the PTAB and worked on “hundreds” of appeals at the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, according to his LinkedIn profile.

Biegler represented  Alvotech in its multi-jurisdiction biosimilar dispute with AbbVie over Humira (adalimumab), and also Roche and Genentech in Hatch-Waxman litigation involving Xeloda (capecitabine) oral chemotherapy treatment, with the litigation settled shortly before trial, in Hoffman-La Roche and Genentech v Teva. Like Shear, he has joined the San Diego office.

‘Formidable trio’

“The addition of this team of first-rate litigators reflects Cooley’s commitment to the continued strategic growth of our patent litigation capabilities,” said Michael Attanasio, chair of Cooley’s global litigation department.

“Their collective experience and track record of success in all forums make them an outstanding addition not only to our patent litigation and trial teams, but also to our best-in-class life sciences platform across the entire firm.”

Stephen Smith, chair of Cooley’s IP litigation practice, added: “Chad, Betsy and Geoff have a long history of successfully representing industry-leading life sciences, biotechnology and pharmaceutical brands in high-stakes patent litigation involving core products, both in the US and internationally.

“We are thrilled to welcome this formidable trio to our growing practice—they will be a huge asset to our deep bench of patent litigators and trial lawyers.”

Shear, Flanagan and Biegler said of the move: “The three of us are thrilled to join the dynamic team at Cooley and their acclaimed intellectual property litigation practice. We are looking forward to being a part of the firm’s collaborative culture and leveraging the firm’s dominant life sciences reputation to further enhance the practice.”

According to Cooley, the firm has one of the most active patent litigation practices in the US, having handled 525-plus patent cases and 70-plus US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit patent appeals—the vast majority as the appellee—in the past five years.

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