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Editorial

Clifford Chance Ė Their Voices

DLA Piper LLP (US)¬†is instructed primarily by clients in the technology and software industries, which it advises on a range of commercial transactions including tech¬†licensing, trade mark agreements and outsourcing deals. Rated by clients for his¬†‚Äėclearly superior and absolutely outstanding work‚Äô,¬†Jeffrey Aronson¬†in Silicon Valley advised¬†Softbank Group Corporation on its investment in the on-demand dog walking service Wag and the messaging app Slack. In addition, the team acted for Nike in relation to its acquisition of artificial intelligence company Invertex. Other key figures include joint practice heads¬†Mark Lehberg¬†in Sand Diego and Richard Greenstein¬†in Atlanta.¬†The firm also saw a number of personnel changes in 2018: Washington DC-based¬†Margo Tank¬†and Chicago-based¬†David Whitaker joined the practice group from Buckley LLP,¬†and¬†Matthew Gruenberg joined the Los Angeles office from Barnes & Thornburg LLP;¬†Ryan T. Sulkin left the firm for¬†Michael, Best & Friedrich LLP.

Latham & Watkins LLP has particular expertise in negotiating broadcasting and licensing arrangements, and also handles major joint venture and distribution agreements in the media and entertainment and mobile app industries. Highlights in the Los Angeles office included Adam J. Sullins advising Facebook on the acquisition of certain sports broadcasting rights, and recently promoted partner Ghaith Mahmoud acting for Mattel in relation to a joint venture agreement with the internet technology company NetEast to develop new gaming experiences. Additionally, Silicon Valley-based practice head Anthony R. Klein acted for Lyft in the $250m acquisition of urban bike-sharing company Motivate, which included the adoption of existing city contracts. The firm also assisted Nestlé with licensing agreements to display third-party brands on its food products, which included agreements with household names such as Warner Bros and Disney.

Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP advises its strong tech-sector client base on commercial transactions and ongoing outsourcing arrangements, and also assists banks and fintech companies with licensing and outsourcing agreements involving payments and processing technology. Rahul Kapoor in Silicon Valley acted for internet search provider Yandex in a $3.7bn ride-sharing business transaction with Uber, while Philadelphia-based joint practice heads Barbara Murphy Melby and Michael L. Pillion advised BOX Options Exchange on a blockchain and surveillance technology licence and services agreement for the establishment of StokynX, an exchange for the trading of security tokens. Tony Chan joined the Washington DC office from Dechert LLP in April 2018, and Sameer V. Mohan joined in Houston from Baker & Hostetler LLP in February 2018.

Ropes & Gray LLP¬†is ‚Äėwell equipped'¬†to handle standalone commercial contracts and M&A-related IP transactions for healthcare companies, IT-companies and private equity firms. Silicon Valley-based¬†Megan Baca¬†(‚Äėbusiness-oriented, resourceful, and reliable‚Äô) advised TPG Capital on its stock acquisition from Intel of Wind River Systems, a provider of internet operating systems. In addition,¬†Edward Black advised semiconductors manufacturer M/A-COM Technology Solutions Holdings on a licensing and joint venture arrangement with STMicroelectronics. Practice head David M. McIntosh assisted biotech company Homology Medicines with a research collaboration with Novartis for the use of the client‚Äôs gene editing technology in the development of blood disease treatments.¬†Regina Sam Penti was promoted to partner in November 2018;¬†Harry Rubin¬†in New York left the practice to join Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel LLP in October 2018. Named lawyers are based in Boston unless otherwise stated.

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WilmerHale's Boston-based team is regularly instructed by pharmaceuticals companies, fintech companies and developers of artificial intelligence in relation to licensing agreements, joint ventures and technology development contracts. Jointly headed by Steven D. Barrett and Belinda M. Juran, the practice group acted for Agios Pharmaceuticals in a $424m collaboration and licence agreement with CStone Pharmaceuticals for the development and commercialization of the leukemia medication Tibsovo in China. Other standout highlights included Michael J. Bevilacqua advising fusion energy company Commonwealth Fusion Systems on its establishment with MIT Energy Initiative of a university-industry partnership, Jeff P. Johnson advised the healthcare and security solutions provider Analogic Corporation on its $1.1bn acquisition by the investment company Altaris Capital Partners.

Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP has experience of the full range of commercial agreements associated with complex technology development projects and service outsourcing matters. Recently the team advised Ford Motor Company on its $1bn collaboration with the self-driving technology provider Argo Al for the development of autonomous vehicle technology. The practice group is jointly headed by Stephen D. Nordahl in New York and William J. Peters in Los Angeles; Nordahl acted for Johnson & Johnson in its sale and outsourcing of 60% of its manufacturing capabilities for implantable medical devices to Jabil, while Peters assisted Marriott with an IT outsourcing agreement with Accenture. Carrie M. Leroy joined the Palo Alto office from White & Case LLP in February 2018.

With expertise in industry sectors ranging from life sciences to real estate, Goodwin handles a steady flow of commercial transactions including IP licensing, tech commercialization and technology transfers. Jointly headed in the Boston office by Lisa R. Haddad, John T. Haggerty and Deborah S. Birnbach, the team recently advised Bluebird Bio on its strategic collaboration with Gritstone Oncology to research, develop and commercialize cancer treatment products. Also of note, the team acted for Galapagos and MorphoSys in their global licensing agreement with Novartis Pharma to cover the commercialization and joint development of the monoclonal antibody MOR106. In 2018, Jon M. Novotny and Joshua Cook joined the San Francisco office from Gunderson Dettmer LLP, and the practice group also brought on several new lawyers from Dechert LLP and Fenwick & West LLP. New York-based Jane Greyf joined Latham & Watkins LLP, and Caitlin Murray also left the practice group.

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