Lathams wins MoFo IP partner for Valley team

Los Angeles firm Latham & Watkins is boosting its Silicon Valley office with an intellectual property partner from Morrison & Foerster (MoFo).

Charles Hoyng has a practice focusing on life sciences work and joined MoFo four years ago as a partner. He handles a large amount of negotiation and drafting of technology licence agreements and advises on the development, protection, manufacture and distribution of technology products. His clients span biotechnology, pharmaceutical products, medical devices and other healthcare-related industries.

The practice area is an important to Lathams and is led out of the firm’s Silicon Valley office. Last year, the firm hired one of the Valley’s top life sciences corporate lawyers, Alan Mendelson, from local firm Cooley Godward to boost the group.

The office acts for clients including global biotechnology company Amgen, vaccine development company Aviron and drug development group Axys Pharmaceuticals.

Head of the office Peter Kerman says the biotechnology market is booming and there is plenty of work.

He says: “What we decided to do was to have a diversified portfolio of practice areas. We are trying to put ourselves in a position where, as one industry cycle is down, there will continue to be business in the office.

“As the internet bubble has cracked and a lot of the local firms don’t have enough work to keep them busy, we continue to be very busy.”