Fenwick Life Sciences Partner Jumps To Reed Smith

Brendan Pierson

IP Law 360

July 17, 2008

Thursday, Jul 17, 2008 - Sergio Garcia, former co-chairman of Fenwick & West LLP's life sciences group, has joined Reed Smith LLP as a partner in its San Francisco corporate and transactions group, the firm announced Tuesday.

Garcia's practice focuses on advising private and public companies on a wide range of issues, including transactions, joint ventures, financing and intellectual property issues, Reed Smith said in a prepared release. His clients have come from the biotech, medical technology, clean technology, financial services industries among other areas.

Garcia had been a partner in Fenwick's corporate group and intellectual property group since 2005. Before that, he served as general counsel at PDL BioPharma Inc.

"Reed Smith offers a compelling opportunity to expand my practice on a global platform with a focus on life sciences, cleantech and technology clients – from start-ups to public companies," Garcia said.

Garcia, who started at Reed Smith on Wednesday, cited Reed Smith's global presence as an important factor in his decision to join the firm.

"Reed Smith has global capabilities and has demonstrated dynamic growth in areas that are important to this diverse client base," he said. "For example, the firm's recent expansion into China is increasingly important to my clients, many of whom are developing strategic partnerships in that area of the world."

Garcia also said that Reed Smith's multidisciplinary practice attracted him to the firm, since a wide range of disciplines “come into play for energy companies, companies that are public, companies that are facing a highly regulated environment,” a group that includes many of his clients.

He also cited Reed Smith's experience working with alternative energy companies, which comprise a growing part of his practice.

Garcia said he believed the move would allow him to serve his existing clients better, as well as win over new ones.

“It's very exciting,” he said. “It's good for my clients, it's good for my business face.”

"Sergio is a recognized leader in the San Francisco Bay Area and is one of the premier counselors for companies in a number of important sectors, including biotechnology, health care, medical device, and cleantech," said John Iino, co¬head of Reed Smith's corporate and securities group.

"His extensive industry knowledge and expertise will enhance Reed Smith's practices as the firm continues to expand its global platform on the West Coast," Iino continued.. "Sergio will be integral to the firm's growing corporate and transactional practice in California. In addition, he will provide a tremendous resource to the firm's emerging growth clients and venture capital investors on the West Coast."

Iino said that Garcia's experience as general counsel for PDL, in particular, gave him “special insight into what clients are looking for.” He added that Garcia's “magnetic personality” would be an important asset for Reed Smith.

“He's a dynamic personality with a very long, experienced background,” Iino said. “We believe he will be a magnet in terms of helping us expand our team in California.”

Iino said that the firm's California office planned to continue growing, particularly in life science, clean energy, and venture capital fields.

Garcia earned his B.A. from Stanford University and his J.D. from the University of California – Berkeley law school.

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