Novartis GC Werlen to join Quinn Emanuel as partner

US litigation powerhouse Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan has picked up the outgoing general counsel of pharmaceutical giant Novartis as a partner to boost its European offering.

Thomas Werlen is due to join Quinn Emanuel in early 2012.

Werlen announced his departure from Novartis earlier this year. He has been replaced by former Bär & Karrer senior partner Felix Ehrat. During his time at the company he has dealt with a number of complex issues, including investigations by the US Department of Justice (see feature).

Quinn Emanuel partner John Quinn said Werlen’s hire would expand the firm’s cross-border IP and patent practice in particular, although he is also expected to boost Quinn Emanuel’s business litigation and investigations team.

Before joining Novartis in 1995 Werlen was a private practice lawyer at firms including Cravath Swaine & Moore and Allen & Overy, where he specialised in capital markets, securities and financial transactions.

Earlier this month Quinn Emanuel announced it was raiding Dechert to open a Moscow office (19 October 2011). The firm has two existing European offices in London and Mannheim.