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IP litigator Sternfeld departs boutique after 15 years to join Fieldfisher

Fieldfisher has bolstered its IP group and its life sciences practice with the hire of three partners from IP boutique Rouse, including veteran litigator Diana Sternfeld.

With twenty years of experience across a broad range of patent disputes, Sternfeld leads the team, having established Rouse’s patent practice in 2001.

She will be joined by Nicole Jadeja and Rebecca Baines, who were both made partners in May 2014. Described by the Legal 500 as a ‘very friendly and collaborative team’, Fieldfisher’s newest recruits will join the firm’s five partners focusing on life sciences litigation.

Recent cases Sternfeld has acted on include advising Medeva in one of the leading supplementary protection certificate cases referred to the Court of Justice of the European Union; advising SmithKline Beecham against Connaught in a case in which the Court of Appeal revisited the question of disclosure of documents in open court and acting for GSK in a case against Genentech which went all the way to the Supreme Court.

Sternfield said she was looking forward to joining the team, ‘particularly with its strong presence in Europe at this key time for European patent litigation. We are looking forward to working with the current team.’

Fieldfisher IP and technology litigation group head Nick Rose said with the impending introduction of the unitary patent and the Unified Patent Court, the trio will play a vital role in ensuring the firm has strong litigation team based in London and across Europe.

‘Diane, Nicole and Rebecca are all immersed in the life science industry with significant experience in the UK and across the continent. Coupled with our European network – as well as Diana’s status as one of the best known UK patent litigators and Nicole and Rebecca’s own burgeoning practices – their arrival puts us in an excellent position to better serve our clients’ needs in the new unitary patent era.’

Rouse London managing partner Jeremy Newman said in a statement he understood the trio’s decision to move, as Rouse’s strategic direction made it unlikely that it would open offices in continental Europe.

He added: ‘As an international and specialist IP firm, we continue to provide patent litigation services in the UK, representing a number of high profile clients, with particular focus on technology clients and disputes in the digital environment.’