Barnes & Thornburg take Nutter IP quartet to launch Boston office

US firm eyes city's 'thriving' life sciences and biotech sectors

US national firm Barnes & Thornburg has hired a quartet of IP lawyers to support its new office launch in Boston, the firm’s 20th nationwide.

The foursome – Ronald Cahill, Heather Repicky, Rory Pheiffer and Derek Roller – join as partners from Nutter McClennen & Fish, adding to existing Barnes & Thornburg partners Robyn Maguire and Matthew Leno. The new Boston office will focus on IP and life sciences, along with corporate M&A, investment fund formation, commercial litigation and white collar practice groups.

Robert Grand, Barnes & Thornburg’s managing partner, said: “Boston is a thriving centre 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.”

All four new arrivals were long-time Nutter lawyers – Cahill was at the firm for just shy of a quarter of a century, Repicky was there for almost 16 years, Pheiffer for almost 15 years and Roller for just under 12 years. Maguire, meantime, has been at Barnes & Thornburg for six months, having also joined from Nutter where she spent more than 16 years. Leno has been at the firm for three years, joining after two decades at McDermott Will & Emery.

William Boudreaux, co-chair of the firm’s life sciences practice, said: “These attorneys are top practitioners in their field and have skills that complement our talent across the country. They not only counsel clients on their IP strategy, but also advise at the C-suite level on how to align IP strategy to achieve larger business objectives. Bringing them on board gives us the ability to immediately serve the burgeoning life sciences community in and around Boston.” 

The Boston opening is the firm’s fourth new location since 2019, following launches in Salt Lake City, Raleigh and New York. It also hired a team of lawyers in Delaware from Faegre Drinker earlier this month.

Cahill said: “We were drawn in by Barnes & Thornburg’s focus on providing excellent legal services, which is crucial in Boston’s competitive legal market. 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.”

Other firms have also looked to Boston recently as they move to expand their tech and life sciences practices. Last month, Silicon Valley firm Cooley hired Amy Baker Mandragouras from Nelson Mullins as a partner in the firm’s life sciences patent counselling and prosecution practice in the city, taking with her a team of lawyers and technical specialists. And in April, Withers opened in Boston with a trio of patent partners hired from Burns & Levinson and a patent specialist from Hamilton Brook Smith & Reynolds. 

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