The past week has seen new lateral hires by life sciences teams at O’Melveny, Crowell & Moring and King & Spalding, as well as a US new general counsel at Bayer. 

⇒ O’Melveny hired IP litigator Hassen Sayeed from Paul Hastings in New York on 2 October.

A specialist in complex patent litigation, Sayeed has particular expertise in handling cases under Hatch-Waxman and the US Biologics Price Competition and Innovation Act. He counts AstraZeneca, Bayer, Pfizer, Schering and Wyeth among his clients.

Sayeed previously worked alongside O’Melveny’s head of life sciences litigation Lisa Pensabene while an associate at Fitzpatrick Cella Harper & Scinto in New York. He went on to spend eight years with Ropes & Gray in the city, making partner in 2014, before joining the litigation team at Paul Hastings in July 2016. His arrival at O’Melveny follows that of life sciences transactional specialist Geoffrey Kuziemko from Latham & Watkins earlier in the year.

“We're excited to welcome Hassen to the firm as we continue to expand our life sciences capabilities,” O’Melveny chair Bradley Butwin said in a statement. “His arrival gives the O'Melveny team another important advantage and reflects our commitment to life sciences innovation.”

“We wish Hassen the very best for the future,” a Paul Hastings spokesperson said.

⇒ Crowell & Moring recruited Gunther Meyer as senior counsel in its Brussels IP group on 27 September.

The former head of Eversheds Sutherland’s IP group in the city, Meyer focuses on the life sciences sector, having advised pharmaceutical, biotech and medical device companies in patent and supplementary protection certificate cases before the Belgian courts and internationally. His non-contentious work, meanwhile, focuses on the negotiation and drafting of collaboration agreements between life sciences clients. 

“Gunther’s experience in Belgian, EU, and international IP and regulatory matters, especially in the life sciences sector, will further strengthen our practice,” said Kristof Roox, co-managing partner of the firm’s Brussels office. “He will also strengthen our trademark and licensing practice.”

“Crowell & Moring is a leader in IP law, with very strong credentials,” Meyer told PLN. “It has a distinguished group of lawyers, many of whom I have respected for years.”

“Its culture and reputation are unmatched, and the firm provides a wonderful platform to serve clients across a range of practices,” he added.

Meyer is a member of the International Association for the Protection of Intellectual Property, LES Benelux and the European Communities Trademark Association.

Before working at Eversheds, he served as counsel at law firm Stibbe in Brussels from 2007 to 2013.

⇒ King & Spalding announced on 1 October that it had recruited product liability specialist Mel Bailey as a partner in its trial and global disputes practice group in Austin.

Bailey’s practice focuses on tort litigation, with a particular focus on pharma and medical device cases. He has also handled toxic torts and environmental, tobacco and consumer products cases.

He advised one of the plaintiffs in lengthy multi-district litigation product liability proceedings arising from alleged ill-effects suffered by users of Roche’s Accutane acne treatment. 

“Mel is a very experienced and able trial lawyer who has tried more than 65 cases to verdict in his career,” said Andy Bayman, leader of King & Spalding’s trial and global disputes group.

Bailey praised the “creativity and meticulous preparation” of King & Spalding’s lawyers. “I am thrilled to be joining the firm’s dispute team, which has a great reputation for successfully defending the best interests of its clients,” he said.

⇒ Scott Partridge has become Bayer AG’s new general counsel for its expanded US operations, replacing Jan Heinemann on 1 October 2018.

Partridge was previously vice president for global strategy at agricultural chemicals company Monsanto, which Bayer acquired in a US$63 billion deal in June.

Partridge joined Monsanto as its chief deputy general counsel in 2006, leading the company’s international law function, managing litigation and guiding the resolution of significant disputes. He also designed and launched Monsanto’s relationship-based dispute resolution and conflict avoidance model, creating policies, establishing programmes and negotiating long-term agreements with competitors.

His top priority in his new role is “smoothly combining Bayer’s 100-lawyer legal team based in New Jersey with Monsanto’s 47 lawyers in St Louis,” where he will continue to be based.

“I have always had a keen interest in working with people to solve problems and find new ways to create value for clients,” he told PLN. “My time in private practice coupled with a decade in a business strategy role have given me rich and diverse perspectives on the role of in-house counsel.”