EAPD raids Reed Smith to launch life sciences practice

US law firm Edwards Angell Palmer & Dodge (EAPD) has made its first lateral partner hire following its merger with Kendall Freeman to launch an IP and life sciences practice in London.

Reed Smith Richards Butler IP partner Rajita Sharma, whose previous clients include Johnson & Johnson, will take on the new life sciences mantle, joining EAPD as a partner.

Laurence Harris, partner-in-charge of EAPD’s London office, said Sharma will help the firm grow an IP and life sciences practice in the UK.

“We’re looking to reflect the US strengths of the firm in the UK, but not to replicate the whole of the US,” explained Harris. “We look to strengthen our existing practices and add new ones where they fit with those we already have.”

The firm currently represents more than 150 public and private life sciences companies on both sides of the Atlantic, including Novartis and Oxford Pharmaceuticals.

Jeffrey Hsi, EAPD IP chair, said IP is a significant area of strength for the firm’s US operations.

“EAPD has been at the forefront of the life sciences industry for more than two decades,” he said. “We have more than 100 lawyers advising companies in this industry.

“With the addition of Rajita, the firm advances our international presence in this important area.”