Ropes & Gray has announced that Johnson & Johnson counsel Eric Wu is to re-join its Shanghai office as a life sciences partner.

Wu, who was a senior associate at Ropes & Gray before joining J&J as M&A regional counsel for the Asia-Pacific region in 2015, returned to the firm on 12 November.

His practice focuses on international M&A and general corporate matters involving life sciences companies with interests in China. He has advised on transactions centred around biotechnology, pharmaceutical and healthcare companies.

At J&J, Wu collaborated with the company’s global team on transactional matters in Asia, managing the legal activities of its pharmaceutical, medical device and consumer healthcare businesses.

The company closed several deals within the Asia-Pacific region during Wu’s tenure there, with recent examples including a US$26.35 million collaboration with the Singapore National Eye Centre to combat myopia, and its US$2.2 billion acquisition of Japanese skincare company Ci:z.

Ropes & Gray has advised the company and its subsidiaries extensively in the US, representing Janssen Pharmaceuticals in its divestiture of US license rights of opioid painkiller Nucynta to Depomed for US$1.05 billion, and counselling J&J on is acquisition of Aragon Pharmaceuticals.

According to Ropes & Gray, Wu is joining a China life sciences practice recognised for “excellence in transactions, intellectual property, regulatory counsel, anti-corruption and government enforcement.”

“One of the firm’s strategic imperatives has been to deliver a best-in-class life sciences practice to our clients in Asia,” said Geoffrey Lin, managing partner of Ropes & Gray’s Shanghai office in a statement. “Eric immediately enhances our offering, which is already providing outstanding counsel and client service to market-leading clients.”

Wu is a graduate from the Boston University School of Law and first served as an associate at Choate, Hall & Stewart for two years before becoming an associate at Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom.

“It’s an honour to be able to offer Ropes & Gray’s clients my perspective on an array of life sciences issues, having now served in-house at a leading company and been responsible for covering its business development and innovation activities across the Asia-Pacific region,” Wu said. “I’m very excited to rejoin the Ropes & Gray life sciences practice, given that clients hold the firm’s life sciences practitioners around the globe in such high regard. It’s a great opportunity.”

J&J was not able to immediately respond to PLN’s request for comment.