Orrick hires Kramer Levin’s life sciences head in New York

Irena Royzman is fourth IP partner to join tech-focused firm this year

Leading IP litigator Irena Royzman has joined Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe’s life sciences team in New York from Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel. 

Royzman spent five years at New York-headquartered Kramer Levin, where she led its life sciences practice, having previously developed her career at Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler, where she was based for 15 years.

Royzman advises pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies on subject matters including small molecule drugs, antibodies, other biologics and medical devices.

Alyssa Caridis, co-head of Orrick’s IP business unit, praised Royzman’s “extraordinary scientific credentials” and litigation record. She added that the tech-focused firm sees her as another “game-changing addition” to its growing national team handling cutting-edge cases as it seeks to continue to build its life sciences practice. 

She has experience in litigation under the Hatch-Waxman Act and Biologics Price Competition and Innovation Act. For plaintiffs, she has defended challenges to patents protecting blockbuster HIV/AIDS, cancer and antipsychotic treatments. For defendants, she obtained dismissal of all claims against a blockbuster retinal therapy. She has also filed numerous amicus briefs at the Supreme Court of the US and Federal Circuit.

Before joining Kramer Levin, she completed a PhD in biology from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the Whitehead Institute, where she was a National Science Foundation Fellow.

Royzman said that Orrick’s “trial culture, appellate prowess and holistic approach to serving the life sciences sector set the firm apart”. She added that she was excited to join the Orrick team “at this momentous time for life sciences”. 

The San Francisco-headquartered firm points out that she is the 10th partner to join its IP litigation practice in two years. Other recent additions include former Venable partner Tim Carroll, who joined the Chicago office in January, Laura Wytsma, who also hailed from Venable and joined the Los Angeles office in February, and Washington DC-based Josh Pond, who joined from Crowell & Moring, also in February.

Orrick has added 15 partners to its life sciences team during the same two-year period, in practice areas that include litigation, venture capital and strategic licensing.

Email your news and story ideas to: [email protected]