21 May 2021

Cooley hires patent team from Nelson Mullins in East Coast life sciences drive

Team is led by partner Amy Baker Mandragouras, who join the firm's Boston office

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Silicon Valley firm Cooley has hired life sciences lawyer Amy Baker Mandragouras from Nelson Mullins as the firm continues to expand its East Coast presence. The announcement follows hot on the heels of news the firm is hiring nine partners to open an office in Chicago as it seeks to tap into the Midwest’s burgeoning venture capital scene and growing tech and life sciences industry. 

Mandragouras joins as a partner in the firm’s life sciences patent counselling and prosecution practice in Boston, bringing with her a team of experienced lawyers and technical specialists. She was previously head of Nelson Mullins’s life sciences patent practice and has three decades of experience advising biotech and pharma companies on patent and IP matters.

Ivor Elrifi, chair of Cooley’s global patent counselling and prosecution practice group, said: “Amy is a well-known and respected practitioner across the Boston legal market, and her arrival will prove instrumental in strengthening our life sciences-focused patent work in the Northeast and across the globe. We are excited to add her depth and experience to our team, as more and more game-changing life sciences companies continue to call Boston home.”

Mandragouras spent more than a decade at Nelson Mullins, holding a number of leadership positions including as managing partner of its Boston office and chair of the Boston office’s diversity, equity and inclusion committee. She also previously spent close to 20 years at Lahive & Cockfield, where she was the first woman chair of its executive committee, before the firm combined with Nelson Mullins in 2010. 

Her practice focuses on IP strategy and other patent counselling matters, such as helping clients build strong patent portfolios and advising on the IP aspects of collaborations, acquisitions and licensing deals.

She said: “I’ve enjoyed collaborating closely with Cooley partner Heidi Erlacher for clients over many years and am thrilled to combine my team with such a talented life sciences IP group.”

A number of other firms have been seeking to grow their life sciences offerings of late. Earlier this week, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer hired Hogan Lovells’ former New York corporate head and life sciences and IP licensing lawyer Adam Golden to lead its US life sciences transactions practice.

Last month, Withers opened in Boston to bolster its tech and life sciences business with the arrival of a trio of patent partners from Burns & Levinson and a patent specialist from Hamilton Brook Smith & Reynolds. And in March, Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe hired Morgan Lewis’s San Francisco IP practice head Gargi Talukder to help develop its life sciences group.

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