Boston – April 2, 2014 – Cooley LLP announced today that a market-leading group of IP attorneys is joining the firm. The team is led by Ivor R. Elrifi, the former co-chair of Mintz Levin’s IP practice, and fellow partner Heidi A. Erlacher. Elrifi, Erlacher and their team will reside in Cooley’s Boston and New York offices. Together they will further strengthen Cooley’s leading national patent counseling and prosecution practice serving the life sciences and technology sectors.

“The addition of Ivor, Heidi, and their team establishes Cooley as one of the pre-eminent, fully integrated IP firms, with one of the largest national life sciences patent practices in the country,” said Jim Brogan, chair of the firm’s intellectual property practice. “Recently, we have seen unprecedented growth in the life sciences industry, with countless companies receiving regulatory approval and accessing the public capital markets for the first time. This group’s deep experience and extensive relationships across the country and internationally will be invaluable as Cooley continues to lead at the forefront of complex IP representations.”

Cooley’s IP practice, which works with innovative clients ranging from start-ups to Fortune 500 companies, excels at delivering sophisticated legal strategies in patent, copyright, trademark, false advertising, licensing, ITC Section 337, and trade secret matters. In both 2012 and 2013, Cooley's growing IP practice was named to TheNational Law Journal’s “IP Hot List,” which identifies the nation’s leading IP law firms. Cooley also ranked fifth in Corporate Counsel’s 2013 Patent Litigation Survey.

Four former Mintz Levin partners are joining Elrifi and Erlacher at Cooley. These latest additions underscore Cooley’s strategy of aligning its legal capabilities with the rapidly evolving technology and life sciences business environment along the East Coast, in the greater New England region, and nationally.

“This is the right move at the right time,” said Ivor Elrifi. “It was a huge decision for Heidi and me, one that we considered very carefully. In Cooley, we see a truly national practice that connects the dots between life sciences and innovation. These are extremely exciting times in life sciences, as innovative services and therapies are increasingly coming to market. As traditional boundaries in science and technology are broken, it's wonderful to join such a strong, ambitious and comprehensive practice at Cooley.”

“Ivor and Heidi are highly talented IP practitioners who are skilled at counseling life sciences companies on a range of important matters, including guiding these companies through highly complex patent diligence and intense scrutiny of their strategic IP growth initiatives,” said Al Browne, partner-in-charge of Cooley’s Boston office. “Their impressive and widely acknowledged acumen in patent counseling and prosecution will provide significant value to our clients and complement our existing robust and sophisticated IP and patent teams.”

Elrifi has advised companies around the world in various key industries, including pharmaceutical, biotechnology and life sciences, on developing patent strategies and in the prosecution, licensing and enforcement of patents. He has also served as patent counsel, vice president and general counsel for Rhode Island-based CytoTherapeutics Inc. He has received various awards throughout his career, including being named an “LMG Life Sciences: Life Science Star,” and ranked nationally inChambers USA since 2007. Elrifi earned his B.S. and Ph.D. from Queen’s University and his J.D. from Osgoode Hall Law School.

Erlacher advises clients on patent strategy, counseling and prosecution for life sciences companies, including pharmaceutical companies, in areas such as chemistry, biochemistry and biotechnology. Among her numerous professional accolades, she was named a “Massachusetts Super Lawyers: Rising Star – Intellectual Property” in 2005 and 2009. She earned her B.A. from Clark University, her Ph.D. in organic chemistry from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and her J.D. from Suffolk University.

The arrival of this team further underscores the significant momentum that Cooley has gained recently as a result of several strategic transactions. In 2013, leading health care and life sciences regulatory partner Wendy Goldstein joined the New York office with a large team based in New York and Washington, DC. Also last year, IP partner Joseph Teja, Jr. joined Cooley's Boston office with a team of IP lawyers focused on electronics and technology. At the start of this year, Cooley combined with Dow Lohnes, a leading boutique regulatory law firm in Washington, DC.

About Cooley LLP

Cooley's attorneys solve legal issues for entrepreneurs, investors, financial institutions and established companies. Clients partner with Cooley on transformative deals, complex IP and regulatory matters, and bet-the-company litigation, often where innovation meets the law.

Cooley has more than 750 lawyers across 11 offices in the United States and China.