Goodwin Procter has continued its California invasion by picking up two pairs of life sciences partners from Fenwick & West and Sidley Austin, with more lawyers and professionals likely to come.
The Am Law 100 firm has added intellectual property partners Michael Shuster and Kevin Kabler from Fenwick & West in San Francisco, while corporate attorneys Deepa Rich and Sam Zucker have joined its Silicon Valley office, coming from Sidley Austin.
“Now, we’ll have a very significant set of capabilities on the West Coast,” said Mitchell Bloom, who chairs Goodwin’s life sciences practice. “It really filled out our vision of really having the same strength and capability on the West Coast, primary in Northern California, as we have on the East Coast.”
Shuster, who most recently served as the co-chair of Fenwick & West’s life sciences group, said a roughly 10-person group of lawyers and other professionals will likely follow him to Goodwin because the firm better supports the “long-term growth” of their practice.
“What I would point to was the incredible strength of the corporate side,” he said, referring to Goodwin. Another influencing factor, he said, was that “Goodwin has easily figured out what’s required in terms of retention and the advancement of junior people [and] making sure the practice remains robust for the next generation.”
Shuster works on intellectual property matters for biotechnology, chemical and pharmaceutical companies. He joined Fenwick & West in 2002 from the San Francisco office of Bingham McCutchen, where he started his legal career in 1991.
Kabler, who was promoted to partner at Fenwick & West last year, provides strategic patent counseling and due diligence for companies and institutions in the life sciences industry. Prior to joining Fenwick & West as a patent agent in 2007, Kabler was a postdoctoral fellow in the laboratory of Nobel Laureate J. Michael Bishop at the University of California, San Francisco.
In addition to its corporate practice, Shuster said his team was attracted to Goodwin’s strong footprint in Boston. They were also drawn to the opportunity to help build out the firm’s life sciences practice on the West Coast, he said.
“We felt that was the thing we can easily bring to the table, given the recognition of the group and the reputation we had already in the Bay Area, which we cultivated carefully over the last almost 20 years,” Shuster said.
Echoing Shuster, Zucker, who came from Sidley Austin, added, “the opportunity to build here as well as around the country and globally, I think it is unparalleled.”
Rich, who was an associate at Sidley Austin, also added that she was drawn to Goodwin’s Boston platform, and the support it provides for biotech-related work. “Outside northern California, Boston is the largest biotech hub,” she said.
Including the latest four arrivals, Goodwin now has eight partners dedicated to its life sciences practice in Northern California, Bloom said. Firmwide, Goodwin has 45 partners on its life sciences team, which recently advised gene therapy company Spark Therapeutics Inc. on its $4.8 billion sale to F. Hoffmann-La Roche AG.
In a statement responding to Shuster and Kabler’s departures, Fenwick & West IP chair Rajiv Patel said: “We appreciate Michael and Kevin’s contributions and wish them well. Overall our life sciences practice is growing, having doubled in less than three years, and we continue to invest.”
Last April, Fenwick & West lost another pair of private equity partners, Scott Joachim and David Johanson, to Goodwin. Joachim served as the founder and chair of the Silicon Valley firm’s private equity practice.
Regarding Rich and Zucker’s departures, Martin Wellington, managing partner of Sidley Austin’s Palo Alto office, said in a statement: “We thank Sam and Deepa for their contributions to the firm, and we wish them all the best.”