Buchanan Ingersoll takes rival's bio team

Pittsburgh firm Buchanan Ingersoll is taking on one of the US's leading biotechnology teams from rival firm Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld.

The group of nine lawyers, including four partners, boosts the firm's technology practice and leaves Akin Gump lacking in its biomedical, food and drug capability.

The partners are Robert Pinco, Edward John Allera, Donald Segal and Mark Yacura. All four have served as advisers to the Federal Drug Agency before they joined Akin Gump. The team represents worldwide brand names and prominent technology companies, but refuses to name clients.

Buchanan Ingersoll president and CEO William Newlin says that the hires represent the final fit in the firm's technology and biomedical practice.

He says: “Buchanan Ingersoll has a very large practice for entrepreneurial companies and particularly for technology companies.

“In order to be full service in the biomedical area you need the venture capital corporate finance capacity, you need the intellectual property and then you also need the federal drug regulatory abilities.

“We have had very extensive financial and IP practices, but this is the third leg of the stool.”

The team is joining Buchanan Ingersoll's Washington DC office and boosting it to around 40 lawyers. The firm now has 80 lawyers in its technology group spread across Pittsburgh, Princeton, Washington and London.

It represents more than 600 technology and entrepreneurial growth companies and is in the middle of an aggressive expansion.

Earlier this month the firm announced that it was setting up an international board of advisers, including the director general of the Confederation of British Industry Digby Jones, and other senior business leaders.

The nine-strong board will advise the firm on its strategy to become one of the leading transatlantic legal and business consulting firms (The Lawyer, 12 June).

Buchanan Ingersoll has also moved into New York with the acquisition of a 12-lawyer financial and trademark law group from New York state firm Harris Beach & Wilcox (The Lawyer, 15 May).