Orrick in life sciences licensing drive as it adds partners in Boston and London

Start-up GC joins as new team's founding partner as UK arm gains ninth 2020 senior lateral

Shana Solomon and Faraaz Samadi; further additions to Orrick's global tech transactions team promised soon

Orrick has established a life science licensing team and bolstered its European venture capital practice with partner hires on either side of the Atlantic.

Shana Solomon has joined the top 40 US firm as a partner in its Boston office from biotech startup Velocity Sciences with a brief to set up a licensing team as part of the firm’s life sciences practice, which boasts more than 450 clients.

In London, technology transactions advisor Faraaz Samadi has joined as a partner from Milbank, where he was an associate, making him the ninth partner-level UK lateral secured by Orrick this year.

Solomon will divide her time between the Boston office, which the firm opened in 2019, and her home in Colorado, where her former employer, Velocity Sciences, is based.

She has spent more than two decades advising public and private life science and biotechnology companies both in private practice and as in in-house lawyer, including a seven-years spell as general counsel of the biosciences division of Thermo Fisher Scientific.

Scott Iyama, head of Orrick’s life sciences practice, said life sciences was one of Orrick’s fastest-growing sectors and the firm would be working with Solomon, the founding partner of the licensing team, to invest in its growth.

Meanwhile, Samadi joins Orrick after 10 years at Milbank having started his legal career at Allen & Overy.  

He advises on complex commercial and technology transactions, technology services agreements, data privacy, IP licensing and strategic alliances and has acted for technology companies at all stages of their evolution.

Matthew Gemello, head of Orrick’s global corporate practice, said both hires reflected the firm’s focus on advising on complex commercial transactions for the “world’s most innovative companies” and promised “more additions to our global tech transactions team soon”.

Samadi’s arrival at the London office continues a busy year for the firm for UK lateral hires with eight previous arrivals at partner level over the year to date.

Four energy specialists and a property specialist have joined from Watson Farley & Williams and three senior lawyers have joined from Pricewaterhouse Coopers: cyber and data partners Keily Blair and James Lloyd, who joined in January, and fintech specialist Marco Boldini, who arrived in March.

Boldini divides his time between London and Milan, where he heads up the Italian financial services regulatory practice.

In April, specialist property firm Forsters acquired a three-partner London property team from Orrick, a move Orrick attributed to its strategy of focusing on the tech and innovation, energy and infrastructure and finance sectors.

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