Sidley adds three FDA vets from Hogan Lovells amid life sciences boom

  • All were associate chief counsel for enforcement at FDA
  • Law firms keep adding to practice area

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(Reuters) – Sidley Austin said on Tuesday it has picked up three former U.S. Food and Drug Administration lawyers, grabbing the trio from Hogan Lovells as law firms continue to bulk up to meet client demand for life sciences work.

Jim Johnson, who headed Hogan Lovells’ FDA good manufacturing practice compliance practice, joins Sidley with Scott Kaplan and Chris Fanelli. Johnson and Fanelli are based in Washington, D.C., while Kaplan sits in Boston, the firm said.

All three were associate chief counsel handling enforcement matters for the FDA’s Office of the Chief Counsel before their separate tenures at Hogan Lovells.

Larry Barden, chair of Sidley’s management committee, said in a statement that serving life sciences clients “is a key strategic priority for the firm.” He also highlighted the team’s ties to Boston, a life sciences and health care hub he called “an important geographic focus” for the Chicago-founded firm.

Sidley, which has 2,000 lawyers, has recruited nearly 30 lateral partners with life sciences focuses since 2019, the firm said.

Sidley isn’t alone in its quest for talent to beef up its life sciences and health care capabilities. Big Law firms are seeing high demand across related practice groups from clients seeking regulatory, corporate, intellectual property and litigation guidance.

Sidley also looked to Hogan Lovells for life sciences lateral hires earlier this year. Asher Rubin, the former global co-head of Hogan Lovells’ life sciences and health care industry sector group, and Adriana Tibbitts joined Sidley as partners in January.

Alice Valder Curran, who leads Hogan Lovells’ global regulatory and IP, media and technology practice, said in a statement the firm thanks Johnson, Kaplan, and Fanelli for their contributions.

Read more:

After exits, Sidley adds a practice chief from Hogan Lovells

Life sciences practices still a Big Law bright spot during pandemic

Hogan Lovells taps life sciences duo with biotech bona fides

Sara Merken

Sara Merken reports on privacy and data security, as well as the business of law, including legal innovation and key players in the legal services industry. Reach her at

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