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DLA Piper LLP (US)

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Matthew Holian

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DLA Piper LLP (US)

Work Department

Life Sciences


Co-Chair; Partner


Matt's practice involves the defense of pharmaceutical and other healthcare companies in a variety of cases, with an emphasis on serving as national counsel in complex, multi-jurisdictional product liability suits. Matt serves as the Co-Chair of the firm's US Life Sciences Sector. Matt provides strategic advice in managing mass torts from start to finish, beginning with litigation risk assessments before medications are approved and continuing through pretrial discovery, bellwether trials and, ultimately, resolution. Matt has played a leadership role in a number of federal multi-district litigations and related state court proceedings for some of the world's largest pharmaceutical companies. He also has played a significant role in expert discovery in those litigations, particularly relating to epidemiology and statistics.


JD, Stanford University; BA, Harvard University

United States: Dispute resolution

Product liability, mass tort and class action: pharmaceuticals and medical devices - defense

Within: Product liability, mass tort and class action: pharmaceuticals and medical devices - defense

DLA Piper LLP (US)’s pharmaceutical and medical device practice is jointly headed by Raymond Williams in Philadelphia and Christopher Young in San Diego, and handles sector-related product liability litigation and mass torts. Williams and New York-based Loren Brown continue to act as national counsel for Novo Nordisk in all litigation arising from claims alleging that some type 2 diabetes treatments can cause pancreatic cancer and pancreatitis. In other ongoing work, Brown defends Pfizer in product liability litigation, in which plaintiffs claim that long-term use of proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) cause various forms of kidney disease. Together with Boston-based Matthew Holian, Brown also represents Bristol-Myers Squibb and Pfizer in an MDL involving claims that anticoagulant medication Eliquis causes bleeding. Bayer, Medtronic and Biogen are also clients of the firm. Cara Edwards in New York is another name to note and Boston-based Jessica Wilson was invited to partnership in January 2017.

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Product liability, mass tort and class action: toxic tort - defense

Within: Product liability, mass tort and class action: toxic tort - defense

Jointly headed by Raymond Williams in Philadelphia and Christopher Young in San Diego, the product liability and mass torts practice at DLA Piper LLP (US) is primarily active in asbestos litigation. Led by Boston-based Matthew Holian and John Wellschlager in Baltimore, the team continues to act as national counsel for BASF Catalyst in asbestos litigation related to its predecessor Engelhard and recently won a summary judgment in favor of the client in Fields v Ford Motor Company. Porsche, Exxon Mobil and NJOY are also clients of the firm.

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United States: Industry focus

Healthcare: life sciences

Within: Healthcare: life sciences

DLA Piper LLP (US)’s ‘excellent, responsive and knowledgeable’ department has considerable experience assisting high-profile clients with regulatory, transactional and IP matters, as well as complex global disputes. San Diego-based co-head Lisa Haile and New York-based Stuart Pollack have been leading advice to SteadyMed on various patent invalidation claims brought against United Therapeutics before the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB). Co-head Richard Mulloy and Drew Wintringham, who are in San Diego and New York, respectively, have been representing Covidien in patent litigation brought against Ethicon arising from the release of Ethicon’s Enseal X1 medical device. The team also acted for Sanpower Group on its $820m acquisition of Dendreon Pharmaceuticals. Also led by product liability expert Matthew Holian in Boston, the team includes George Karavetsos in Miami, Loren Brown in New York, Raymond Williams in Philadelphia, Larry Nishnick in San Diego and Aaron Fountain, who splits his time between Austin and Houston.

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Legal Developments by:
DLA Piper LLP (US)

  • Sentencing guidelines for corporate manslaughter

    In February 2010 the Sentencing Guidelines Council (the SGC) issued definitive guidelines to courts on imposing appropriate sentences for corporate manslaughter and health and safety offences causing death. The SGC states that fines imposed on companies found guilty of corporate manslaughter should not fall below £500,000, while fines in respect of health and safety offences that are a significant cause of death should be at least £100,000. Crucially, the SGC declined to provide for a fixed link between the imposed fine and the turnover or profitability of the offending company.

    - DLA Piper UK LLP

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