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Building the team: Cooley hires Reed Smith life sciences partner duo

Cooley has made more recruits to its newly launched London office with the hire of Reed Smith life sciences partner duo John Wilkinson and Nicola Maguire.

The duo both joined the US firm in 2005 from Bird & Bird, having both worked at the firm for five years. Wilkinson is listed as a leading individual in the pharma and biotechnology sector according to The Legal 500 and focuses on a range of IP, regulatory, anti-trust and transactional matters. Recent instructions includes advising Danish-listed Bavarian Nordic, on a licence and supply agreement for its Ebola vaccine with Crucell Holland, one of the Janssen Pharma companies of Johnson & Johnson.

Maguire, who joined Bird & Bird after having spent time in-house at GE Lighting and Cable & Wireless, specialises in advising life sciences companies and other IP-rich clients on collaborations, M&A, joint ventures and other negotiated transactions.

On his move to Cooley, Wilkinson said: ‘Cooley was well known to both of us, owing to its platform and prestige in the life sciences sector. With the London office now established, the timing couldn’t be better to explore the natural synergies that we can collectively bring to a global client base.’

Cooley’s London managing partner Justin Stock, who recently joined from Morrison & Foerster to spearhead the City launch, added: ‘Their practice areas and client bases complement many of Cooley’s core strengths and they will add to the incredible momentum we’ve experienced here in London since day one. Cooley’s tech and life sciences brand is known throughout the world and we are excited to be further strengthening it here in the UK.’

The announcement comes just a week after the firm announced the hire of private equity and venture capital partner Stephen Rosen from Olswang. It also follows the London office winning its first major mandate from IGas, the UK’s biggest shale gas explorer, after bringing the instruction over from Morrison & Foerster upon joining Cooley in January. The firm is predicting ballpark turnover figures of upwards of $40m for the London office and has set a target for 70% of work to be generated from the UK and 30% of work to be generated via referral from the US side.