Photo: Diego M. Radzinschi/ALM

Expanding its life sciences patent litigation group in New York, McGuireWoods has hired a trio of partners from Baker & Hostetler who specialize in guiding companies through disputes related to intellectual property protections on branded and generic drugs.

The three lateral hires, Benjamin Hsing, Wanda French-Brown and Irene Hudson, have worked alongside each other for about three years and started at McGuireWoods on Wednesday, they said in an interview. As a group, they have experience handling litigation stemming from abbreviated new drug applications (ANDAs)—the process set out under the Hatch-Waxman Act that regulates when and how generic drugs can come to market.

Benjamin Hsing, McGuireWoods

“Ben, Wanda and Irene are highly respected for devising strategies to help domestic and international companies navigate complex patent litigation challenges,” said a statement by David Finkelson, chair of McGuireWoods’ IP and patent litigation department.

Holly Buckley, a co-leader of the firm’s health care and life sciences industry team, added that the new hires’ skill in ANDA litigation “will be an important asset for our healthcare and life sciences clients.”

Discussing the move from one out-of-town firm to another (Baker & Hostetler expanded out of Cleveland, and McGuireWoods out of Richmond, VIrginia), Hsing pointed to the strength of McGuireWoods’ patent litigation and trial group and the platform it offered for their practices. All three lawyers also cited the firm’s existing expertise in the life sciences sector.

“We saw a good mix between our established practice and the clients here at McGuireWoods,” said Hudson.

Wanda French-Brown, McGuireWoods 

Hsing and French-Brown both echoed that point, with Hsing adding he believes McGuireWoods’ life sciences transactional work will open the door to new client relationships.

“Because McGuireWoods has a very good transactional practice in the life sciences space, it will give us a great opportunity to meet potential clients early” as opposed to later, once they’re already facing potential litigation, said Hsing.

Beyond the business factors behind the move to a new firm, French-Brown also said she and the group view it as an excellent cultural fit. Specifically, the approach McGuireWoods has taken to diversity and inclusion was a big draw—while many firms tout their diversity efforts, French-Brown said, McGuireWoods “walks the walk” on creating an atmosphere conducive to diversity.

“That was really key for us—coming to a firm where it’s an environment that benefits all kinds of diverse attorneys,” she said.