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Leading MoFo life sciences dealmaker decamps for Orrick

4 minute read

The law firm Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe, LLP in Washington, D.C., U.S. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly

  • He's the ninth life sciences partner to join Orrick since 2019

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RALEIGH, NC (Reuters) - Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe is boosting its life sciences and emerging companies offerings with the addition of partner Mike O’Donnell in Silicon Valley, the firm announced on Thursday.

O'Donnell is joining the firm from Bay Area rival Morrison & Foerster, where he led the corporate life sciences practice in Palo Alto.

Like other firms, Orrick has been bulking up its life sciences practice, adding partners from Dechert, Morgan Lewis & Bockius and biotech startup Velocity Sciences in recent months. The sector was a bright spot for deal-making even during the height of the pandemic and has remained hot this year, generating demand for well-connected, experienced corporate partners.

O'Donnell is the ninth life sciences partner to join Orrick since 2019, according to the firm.

“We are building a life sciences practice that can truly partner with our clients as they grow and innovate,” Matthew Gemello, leader of Orrick’s global corporate practice, said in a statement. “Mike is among the very best in the business, and our entire team is thrilled to welcome him.”

O'Donnell has advised emerging life sciences companies in more than 300 venture capital financings totaling $7 billion, according to Orrick. He assisted Auris Health in raising over $650 million before the company was sold to Johnson & Johnson for $5.75 billion, according to his archived MoFo profile.

He also handles biopharmaceutical spin out negotiations and has helped ink strategic alliances and partnerships for clients GlaxoSmithKline, Pfizer, Merck & Co. and Baxter International.

O'Donnell has also been the lead attorney in nearly a dozen initial public offerings, including for Illumina, Neurocrine Biosciences and Microcide Pharmaceuticals.

“I’m thoroughly impressed with Orrick’s holistic approach to building a life sciences practice and the talent the firm has assembled,” O'Donnell said in a statement. “I’m greatly looking forward to collaborating with Stephen Thau, Scott Iyama (Orrick's life sciences practice co-chair) and the entire life sciences team to create something truly special in the market.”

Thau and O'Donnell were partners together at Morrison & Foerster before Thau joined Orrick in 2019.

Other recent Orrick life sciences additions include Dechert's former practice co-head David Schulman, the former head of Morgan Lewis' San Francisco intellectual property practice Gargi Talukder, and licensing adviser Shana Solomon from Velocity Sciences.

Read more:

Orrick adds another life sciences partner, tapping Morgan Lewis patent pro

Orrick tech lab spins off first independent product, pitching more client control

Hogan Lovells taps life sciences duo with biotech bona fides

Arriana McLymore reports on the business of law, including diversity in the profession, corporate practices, legal education and attorney career life cycles.

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