Freshfields adds Arnold & Porter duo in latest life sciences push

A nameplate of the Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP office is pictured in Frankfurt
REUTERS/Ralph Orlowski
  • Kristen Riemenschneider and Vinita Kailasanath join firm’s Washington and Silicon Valley offices, respectively
  • Both have worked with AstraZeneca, also a Freshfields client

Oct 25 - Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer is continuing to bolster its life sciences and technology practices with a pair of partners from Arnold & Porter in Washington, D.C., and Silicon Valley.

Kristen Riemenschneider and Vinita Kailasanath are joining Freshfields as the London-founded firm continues its rapid expansion in the U.S. legal market.

Washington, D.C.-based Riemenschneider's work focuses on biopharmaceuticals, including strategic license and collaboration transactions. Kailasanath primarily works with clients in the biotech and medical device sectors, and is based in the firm's Silicon Valley office, which is a little over a year old.

The two attorneys have both advised vaccine manufacturer AstraZeneca on matters including M&A and supply agreements. They said they were attracted to Freshfields in part because some of their existing clients, including AstraZeneca Plc, already have longstanding ties to their new firm.

"That's why we thought that our U.S.-based life sciences practice was so complementary to the Freshfields global relationships with these core clients," Kailasanath said. "We think that we'll be able to provide a very full service, holistic platform and team."

The duo will work closely with Adam Golden, who joined Freshfields in May from Hogan Lovells as head of its U.S. life sciences practice, and Jennifer Bethlehem, global head of the firm's consumer and healthcare practice, Freshfields said.

Freshfields is committed to bringing on more lawyers to help reinforce its position "as the preeminent team for legal advisory in the areas and at the intersection of life sciences and technology," Golden said in a statement.

Arnold & Porter did not immediately respond to request for comment on the departures of Riemenschneider and Kailasanath.

Freshfields has grown quickly in the U.S. since late 2019 when it hired dealmaker Ethan Klingsberg and his team from Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton.

The firm also recently poached Damien Zoubek, a veteran dealmaker at Cravath, Swaine & Moore, a firm that rarely sees lateral partner exits to rivals. Zoubek will serve as Freshfields' co-head of corporate and M&A alongside Klingsberg.

(CORRECTION: A previous version of the story misattributed a quote from Kailasanath to Riemenschneider.)

Read more:

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New Freshfields regional head says firm won't add more U.S. offices for now

Freshfields snags Hogan Lovells N.Y. corporate head to lead US life sciences deals

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Xiumei Dong covers legal industry news, with a focus on law firm strategy and growth, in-house counsel and the Washington, D.C., legal market. Reach her at