PALO ALTO, CA (January 13, 2016) – Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, the premier provider of legal services to technology, life sciences, and growth enterprises worldwide, announced today that the firm will open a Boston office in February 2016 to better serve the growing life sciences community as well as the expanding technology, energy, and other growth companies resident in the market.
“Boston has been an attractive market for us for many years and we’re fortunate to have a significant and growing client base located there,” said Chairman Larry Sonsini. “The city is home to extraordinary growth enterprises; brilliant scientists, engineers, and entrepreneurs; world-class universities and financial institutions; and remarkable legal and professional talent. It’s also one of the largest venture markets in the country and it’s a place we must be.”
The firm’s Boston office, which is its 10th U.S. location and its 15th worldwide, will initially be led by partners Dr. Lou D. Lieto, Mark R.Fitzgerald, and Mark C. Solakian, who is joining the firm, as explained below. Lieto and Fitzgerald will both relocate from the firm’s Washington, D.C., office. A team of associates, patent agents, and scientific advisors will also be based in the new office.
“There’s no question that it is one of the leading life sciences markets in the world, which is why we are so excited to be a part of the Boston community,” said Vern Norviel, who leads the firm’s patent and innovations practice and focuses on representing clients in the life sciences industry. Moving forward, Norviel will be spending approximately half of his time in the Boston office and will be a key player in its continued growth.
Lieto joined the firm in 2006. His intellectual property practice focuses on patent prosecution, strategic patent counseling, and IP due diligence in a variety of fields, including adoptive cell therapy, biofuels, immunotherapeutics, medical devices, pharmaceuticals, and stem cells. In addition to his law degree, he has a Ph.D. in veterinary science, and was previously a patent examiner with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
Fitzgerald, who joined the firm from Boston over 15 years ago to help open its first East Coast office in the Mid-Atlantic region, has a corporate and securities practice that focuses on representing public and private life sciences, technology, and national defense clients. Prior to starting his legal career, he served as an officer in the U.S. Air Force from 1987 to 1992 while stationed at Hanscom Air Force Base in Massachusetts.
Solakian will join WSGR as a partner in the firm’s life sciences practice. He served most recently as senior vice president, general counsel, and corporate secretary at Bedford, Massachusetts-based Joule Unlimited Technologies, Inc., a global biofuels company. Prior to that, he was the first in-house business lawyer hired to establish and manage Helicos BioSciences Corporation’s legal department in advance of its successful IPO in 2007. Solakian previously was the senior corporate attorney at Affymetrix from 2000 to 2007, responsible for corporate governance and SEC regulatory matters, M&A activities, business development and licensing transactions, and management of stock incentive programs. Solakian earned his J.D. from Boston College Law School, where he served as executive editor of the Boston College Law Review. He received an A.B., cum laude, from Harvard University.
WSGR’s life sciences experience dates back to its formative years, when innovative companies first began to develop and commercialize breakthrough discoveries. The firm’s life sciences practice has grown to include more than 140 attorneys, patent agents, and scientific advisors. A substantial number of the firm’s practitioners have advanced degrees in biology, chemistry, engineering, or other scientific fields, and many of them have experience working in laboratory, medical, or research facilities. The team also includes attorneys who have served as in-house legal counsel for major life sciences companies.
WSGR was recently named one of Law360's 2015 “Life Sciences Groups of the Year” and was ranked first in the inaugural Life Sciences Law Firm Index published by litigation finance firm Lake Whillans based on research conducted by Breaking Media that looked at law firm corporate, intellectual property, and regulatory practices; experience working with start-up companies; and thought leadership to identify which law firms are the most active and relevant for life sciences companies.
Once the firm’s Boston office opens in February 2016, the address will be 28 State Street, 37th Floor, Boston, MA, 02109.
About Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati
For more than 50 years, Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati has offered a broad range of services and legal disciplines focused on serving the principal challenges faced by the management and boards of directors of business enterprises. The firm is nationally recognized as a leader in the fields of corporate governance and finance, mergers and acquisitions, private equity, securities litigation, employment law, intellectual property, and antitrust, among many other areas of law. In addition to the new Boston location, Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati has offices in Austin; Beijing; Brussels; Hong Kong; Los Angeles; New York; Palo Alto; San Diego; San Francisco; Seattle; Shanghai; Washington, D.C.; and Wilmington, DE. For more information, please visit www.wsgr.com.