life sciences


Burr joins global law firm in first private sector move

  • March 10, 2023

Former U.S. Sen. Richard Burr didn’t need very long to transition into a new professional career, joining the global law firm of DLA Piper.

The firm said Tuesday that Burr, of Winston-Salem, will work with the firm’s Regulatory and Government Affairs practice group as a principal policy adviser.

The Republican retired from Congress in January after serving five terms in the U.S. House and three terms in the U.S. Senate.

Under congressional rules, Burr cannot lobby his former Senate colleagues for two years.

Burr spent much of his time in Congress preferring a lower profile even as he took leadership roles in key Senate public health, finance and foreign intelligence committees.

Burr will join the firm with a team of policy advisers that will supplement its legal, policy, economic, medical and technological attorneys and advisers in the health care and life sciences field.

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Among the advisers are Margaret Martin, the committee’s former senior adviser of health policy, and Michael Sorensen, Burr’s former director of operations.

“We are excited to join DLA Piper and help clients navigate the funding, regulation, policy and political landscape of the health care system, from drug development to patient care,” Burr said in a statement.

Burr said his team will provide “unparalleled insight and strategic advice at a time of regulatory and political uncertainty.”

“In addition to the draw of DLA Piper’s strong platform, its expansive global footprint is one of the reasons we chose the firm,” Burr said. “Life sciences is global by every nature, and this allows us to build a roadmap to advise clients no matter where they’re doing business.”

Burr’s duties will include being chairman of the firm’s Health Policy Strategic Consulting practice “to provide policy advice, strategic consulting and a wide range of related services to life

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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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