Shirley X. Li Cantin

Shirley Cantin’s practice focuses on intellectual property disputes. She has represented clients, such as those in the life sciences industry, in high-stakes litigation in federal and state courts and before the United States International Trade Commission in cases involving a variety of technologies, including pharmaceutical therapies, medical devices, semiconductor chips and computer storage. Ms. Cantin has handled nearly all aspects of litigation, from pre-suit investigations through appeals. She has argued key motions, delivered Markman arguments, taken and defended depositions, led large-scale discovery efforts and handled all aspects of trial preparation. Her experience also includes strategic counseling and alternative dispute resolution proceedings.  

Most recently, Ms. Cantin was recognized by Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly as a 2019 Up & Coming Lawyer. In 2018, Ms. Cantin co-taught the Harvard Law School Patent Trial Advocacy course—a full-semester simulation course aimed at preparing students to act as trial counsel in patent cases.

Ms. Cantin is committed to diversity and inclusion and actively serves on the firm’s Diversity Committee. Ms. Cantin is also committed to pro bono representation. Through the Massachusetts Volunteer Lawyers Project, she achieved a significant victory for a Mandarin-speaking tenant in a landlord–tenant dispute in Boston Housing Court. She is also part of the WilmerHale team working with the ACLU challenging the Trump administration’s pattern of separating married couples and families pursuing lawful immigration status.  

Prior to joining WilmerHale, Ms. Cantin served as a special assistant district attorney in the Middlesex District Attorney's Office, where she argued and won cases before the Massachusetts Appeals Court and a case before the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court on an issue of first impression. During law school, Ms. Cantin completed an internship with the Honorable Patti B. Saris of the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts.

Ms. Cantin is licensed to practice in Massachusetts and New York.




    • Obtained favorable settlements for innovator pharmaceutical company in multi-defendant Hatch-Waxman litigation involving bisphosphonates
    • Successfully briefed opposition to motion to dismiss Hatch-Waxman litigation on personal jurisdiction grounds in the District of Delaware
    • Successfully briefed motions to stay second-filed Hatch-Waxman case in the Northern District of West Virginia 
    • Obtained two favorite settlements for innovator pharmaceutical company in Hatch-Waxman litigation involving iron chelation therapy in the District of Delaware 
    • Obtained favorable settlement in patent infringement litigation involving real-time literacy assessment applications in the Southern District of New York 
    • Successfully protected the interest of third party served with subpoenas in the United States International Trade Commission, which resulted in minimal document production and no deposition
    • Successfully protected the interest of third party served with subpoenas relating to ongoing patent infringement litigation in federal district court, which resulted in no document production


Insights & News


  • Education

    • JD, Boston College Law School, 2009

      Articles Editor, Environmental Affairs Law Review
    • BA, Philosophy, Columbia University, 2005

      King's Crown Leadership Award
  • Admissions

    • Massachusetts

    • New York

  • Languages

    • Chinese (Mandarin)