Life Sciences INDUSTRIES

We represent industry leaders in biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, medical devices and beyond in confronting and resolving challenges in all aspects of the life sciences industry.

Recognized both globally and nationally as a leading life sciences practice, WilmerHale has represented life sciences clients in boardrooms and courtrooms across the United States and Europe for more than four decades. From biotechnology, pharmaceutical and medical device companies at all stages of growth to venture capitalists and investment banks, we understand the business of our life sciences clients and the changing regulatory, competitive and consumer demands that the industry faces. Our work in supporting life sciences clients has led to the group being named a "Practice Group of the Year" by Law360.

Many of our lawyers have advanced degrees in relevant scientific disciplines and more than 100 of our lawyers devote a significant portion of their practice to aspects critical to life sciences clients. Those aspects include corporate finance, licensing and alliances, mergers and acquisitions, patent prosecution and other intellectual property matters, patent and product liability. We also work with clients on securities, litigation and FDA, competition and other regulatory matters.


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Der Marderosian, Lia

Lia Der Marderosian

Vice Chair, Corporate Practice Group

Co-Chair, Life Sciences Group

+1 617 526 6982 (t)

Falber, Stuart M.

Stuart M. Falber

Co-Chair, Life Sciences Group

+1 617 526 6663 (t)


Brian A. Johnson

Co-Chair, Capital Markets

+1 212 937 7206 (t)

Singer, Steven D.

Steven D. Singer

Chair, Transactional Department

+1 212 295 6307 (t)


We have represented life sciences clients in venture financings, public offerings, mergers and acquisitions, licensing agreements and collaborations. We also have protected their innovations through patent prosecution and portfolio development; defended their interests in enterprise-critical patent litigation; and navigated regulatory issues vital to their success.

 Read about some of our recent life sciences transactions.


Our life sciences clients include:

  • Achillion
  • Agios Pharmaceuticals
  • Argos Therapeutics
  • AVEO Pharmaceuticals
  • Bristol-Myers Squibb
  • Cephalon
  • Cerulean Pharma
  • CoNCERT Pharmaceuticals
  • Cynosure
  • Curis
  • Durata Therapeutics
  • Eleven Biotherapeutics
  • Emergent BioSolutions
  • Epizyme
  • Idenix
  • Idera Pharmaceuticals
  • Infinity Pharmaceuticals
  • Karyopharm Therapeutics
  • The Medicines Company
  • Medtronic
  • Merrimack Pharmaceuticals
  • Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation
  • Ophthotech Corporation
  • Pacira Pharmaceuticals
  • PerkinElmer
  • PTC Therapeutics
  • Tetraphase Pharmaceuticals
  • Thermo Fisher Scientific
  • uniQure biopharma

Publications & News


April 17, 2013

Selected 2013 Life Sciences Transactions

Recognized both globally and nationally as a leading life sciences practice, WilmerHale has four decades of experience representing biotechnology, pharmaceutical and medical device companies at all stages of growth, as well as venture capitalists and investment banks.

April 5, 2013

Technical and Scientific Experience

Our ability to provide superior legal representation to technology companies is greatly enhanced by the academic and industry experience of our lawyers in a wide variety of technical and scientific fields.    

April 3, 2013

The 20th Annual BIO International Convention: We’ll See You in Chicago

The 20th annual BIO International Convention—the largest global event for the biotechnology industry, featuring keynote addresses and sessions led by key policymakers, scientists, CEOs and celebrities—will be taking place from April 22-25, 2013 in Chicago, Illinois.

March 14, 2013

WilmerHale Earns Top Rankings in BioPharm Insight’s 2012 League Tables

BioPharm Insight’s 2012 Licensing League Tables ranks WilmerHale as the leading legal advisor in its global and North America volume tables and lists the firm in fourth place in its global and North America value tables.

March 4, 2013

Planning for March 16, 2013: Important Considerations as US Moves to a First-Inventor-to-File System

The America Invents Act (AIA) has already brought extensive reforms to US patent law since it was signed into law on September 16, 2011. On March 16, 2013, perhaps the most publicized change will take place when the US officially moves from a “first-to-invent” to “first-inventor-to-file” system.

February 13, 2013

WilmerHale Client Oxford BioTherapeutics Nominated for 2013 Breakthrough Alliance Award™

February 5, 2013

Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly Names Bill Lee a Lawyer of the Year

Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly has named Bill Lee, current partner and former co-managing partner of the firm, a “2012 Lawyer of the Year.” Recognized for his marked success in 2012, Lee is featured in the January 21 issue in a Q&A piece in which he discusses the closely watched trial between Apple and Samsung that resulted in a $1.05 billion victory for his client.

January 24, 2013

HHS Issues Final Omnibus HIPAA Rule

January 7, 2013

Experienced Life Sciences Lawyer Rejoins WilmerHale’s Boston Office

WilmerHale is pleased to announce that Richard Hoffman will rejoin its Boston office as a partner in the Transactional Department and Corporate and Life Sciences Groups. He has more than 25 years of corporate, legal and business development experience in the life sciences industry. Mr. Hoffman has significant expertise in establishing new companies and advising existing companies on corporate, financial and business development strategies.

January 2, 2013

The False Claims Act: 2012 Year-In-Review

The upward trends in False Claims Act (FCA) enforcement that we described in our 2011 Year-In-Review continued in 2012. In the fiscal year that ended on September 30, 2012, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) secured $4.9 billion in FCA settlements and civil judgments, beating the previous record by more than $1.7 billion. Federal FCA recoveries since January 2009 add up to $13.3 billion, which is the largest four-year total in DOJ history. Our full review is available in PDF format.


As a result of our skill and experience in the life sciences field, we have received many accolades, including:

  • Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business 2007-2014 named WilmerHale a top law firm for life sciences with attorneys who are "consistently excellent people," "very responsive" and who "continue to stand out." WilmerHale is "a very strong firm" who is "in the top 1%" in the area of life sciences. 
  • Chambers Global 2013 and 2014 recognized WilmerHale as a leader in life sciences with an "outstanding US practice coupled with international reach."
  • Chambers Europe 2013 recognized WilmerHale as a leader in life sciences in Germany.
  • Law360 has named WilmerHale as a "Life Sciences Practice Group of the Year" for 2013 in its annual competition which recognizes five firms per practice area that have played a key role in the significant matters that made headlines and changed the legal landscape within the past year. This is the fourth consecutive year the firm has been named a "Practice Group of the Year" by Law360.
  • Legal 500 US 2013 ranked WilmerHale among the top law firms for life sciences. In the 2013 edition of the guidebook, a source stated that our firm "brings a great deal of experience to any situation" and says that our firm "has access to additional expertise/resources to help solve any problem."
  • LMG Life Sciences ranked the firm in their 2013 edition in the areas of patent prosecution, corporate, and licensing and collaboration. The firm was also named a "Lifecycle Firm," meaning the firm is regarded as one of the best full-service law firms within the life sciences industry.
  • LMG Life Sciences named WilmerHale the winner of the 2013 "Canadian Impact Deals of the Year" award. The firm was recognized for its representation of Enobia Pharma in the company's acquisition by Alexion Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
  • Managing IP recognized WilmerHale in 2013 as one of the best in the nation and named the firm "National Patent Contentious Firm of the Year" and "Pharmaceutical IP Litigation Firm of the Year."
  • Managing IP named WilmerHale among the top nationally ranked firms in their 2013-14 guide, and received a "Tier 1" ranking in the area of life sciences.
  • PLC Life Sciences Industry Super League 2012 named WilmerHale among the top ten law firms for having "a strong transatlantic life sciences practice."
  • PLC Cross-border Life Sciences Handbook 2011/12, 2009/10, 2008/09, 2007/08 and 2006/07 named WilmerHale a leading law firm in the area of life sciences.
  • The American Lawyer placed WilmerHale on their 2013 "A-List" as one of the nation's leading law firms. This is the tenth year the firm has received this recognition.
  • The American Lawyer recognized WilmerHale as its "IP Litigation Department of the Year" in 2014.
  • The National Law Journal named WilmerHale to the 2012 and 2013 Intellectual Property Hot Lists, which honors firms who demonstrate creative strategies for litigation, patent prosecution, licensing and other transactional work.
  • U.S. News – Best Lawyers® ranked the firm in their 2014 edition in the areas of intellectual property and corporate law, and awarded WilmerHale as a first-tier law firm in 27 national and 60 metro-area rankings.