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Global law firm Goodwin is setting up a Philly tech, startups and life sciences practice

  • February 11, 2023

Abe Kwon has been representing tech startups through their “life cycle” from incorporation and raising their first capital, all the way through an exit or merger, for more than a decade.

He’s spent his law career at a handful of firms in Philadelphia, and recently joined Goodwin as the firm opens a Philly office serving the life sciences, tech, healthcare and private equity. The firm’s local office so far has 17 partners, including Kwon, who work from a coworking space at the Cira Center, while they look for long-term office real estate. The firm will be hiring associates and support staff when they find a permanent office location, he said.

Though Philly’s life science sector has been growing for a while, the city isn’t traditionally known as a tech hot bed, per Kwon — but he feels that’s starting to change. The choice to move to Goodwin was an easy one for Kwon, who called it “a premiere firm” for those industries.

“Goodwin is uniquely positioned to serve clients at the busy intersection of capital and innovation,” said Rachael Bushey, co-chair of Goodwin’s Philadelphia office, in a statement. “The Philadelphia market sits squarely within this intersection for biotech, healthcare and pharmaceutical companies, entrepreneurs, and investors.”

The practice is home to lawyers specializing in early-stage companies, patent lawyers, and pros with experience taking companies public — a “360-degree scope,” Kwon said. Because he works with companies in the tech and life sciences space, he can speak to the similarities and differences early-stage companies in those industries hold. Raising an early VC round might look similar for two startups, he said, but there’s industry-specific nuance. A biotech company will be looking at navigating the clinical trial process; its intellectual property needs will be different from that of a SaaS company.

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