Freshfields snags Hogan Lovells N.Y. corporate head to lead US life sciences deals

A nameplate of the Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP office is pictured in Frankfurt, Germany December 16, 2019. Picture taken December 16, 2019. REUTERS/Ralph Orlowski

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer has brought on Adam Golden to serve as head of U.S. life sciences transactions, further expanding on the London-founded firm’s recent growth in the U.S. legal market.

Golden, who advises pharmaceutical, biotech and medical device companies and investors, joins as a partner in New York from Hogan Lovells, where he was head of the New York corporate practice group.

He said has worked with Freshfields lawyers in the past and gotten to know them over the years, adding that the firm’s expansion moves in the U.S. over the past 18 months “have definitely gotten my attention.” Golden also pointed to some of Freshfields’ recent client matters, such as representing AstraZeneca Plc in its $39 billion acquisition of Alexion Pharmaceuticals Inc last year.

Golden’s client base has included Novartis AG, Gilead Sciences Inc and Celgene Corp, including Novartis’s $8.7 billion acquisition of AveXis and Celgene’s $9 billion purchase of June Therapeutics and acquisition of Impact Biomedicines for up to $7 billion, the firm said.

He joined Hogan Lovells in 2014 from the legacy firm Kaye Scholer, which has since merged with Arnold & Porter. There, he was co-chair of the corporate department.

Freshfields made headlines when it boosted its New York presence with the hire of dealmaker Ethan Klingsberg and his team from Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton in late 2019.

In July 2020 the firm launched in Silicon Valley, swiping partners from U.S. firms Davis Polk & Wardwell, Sidley Austin, Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati and Latham & Watkins. The Silicon Valley office is its third in the U.S., following Washington, D.C., and New York. Freshfields has more than 2,800 lawyers in total, including 380-plus U.S.-qualified lawyers, according to its website.

Among other new hires, the firm earlier this month added technology, data and cybersecurity attorney Brock Dahl from the U.S. National Security Agency. Joining Freshfields as counsel, Dahl sits in the firm’s D.C. and Silicon Valley offices.

The firm said in a Tuesday statement that Golden’s arrival comes in response to demand from life sciences clients for support on strategic initiatives. Other law firms have also been actively adding to their life sciences teams in the past year to meet client needs.

John Fisher, who leads Freshfields’ life sciences and technology M&A practice in the U.S., highlighted that activity in the life sciences arena.

“There’s been so much innovation in the life sciences space over the last five to 10 years, involving new technologies, such as gene editing, cell therapies, personalized medicine,” he said.

Freshfields is known as “being preeminent in the areas that are critical to having a successful life science practice, particularly on regulatory issues, global antitrust, foreign direct investment like CFIUS,” Fisher said. “And our clients, frankly, demand people like Adam,” he said.

David Gibbons, global head of Hogan Lovells’ corporate and finance practice, said in an emailed statement that the firm wishes Golden well. “We would like to thank Adam for his important contributions to our corporate practice and our work in the life sciences & health care sector,” he said.

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Sara Merken