Press Release

Kirkland & Ellis Bolsters IP Practice as Litigators Leora Ben-Ami, Thomas Fleming, Patricia Carson and Christopher Jagoe Join New York Office

Kirkland & Ellis LLP is pleased to announce that Leora Ben-Ami, Thomas Fleming, Patricia Carson and Christopher Jagoe have joined the Firm's New York office as partners in the Intellectual Property Practice Group. All were formerly partners in the New York office of Kaye Scholer.

"Leora, Thomas, Patricia and Christopher have outstanding reputations as some of the finest litigators in biotechnology, life sciences and pharmaceutical intellectual property litigation. They are a perfect match for Kirkland, which has a premier IP practice and represents many of the largest pharmaceutical and health care companies in the world, and we enthusiastically welcome them to the Firm," said Jeffrey C. Hammes, Chairman of Kirkland's Global Management Executive Committee.

Previously the co-chair of the intellectual property practice and a member of the executive committee at Kaye Scholer, Ms. Ben-Ami has been called "one of the country's preeminent life sciences IP attorneys" by legal publisher Chambers & Partners. She focuses on patent litigation and has represented some of the largest pharmaceutical and biotechnology firms in the world, including Pfizer, Genentech and DuPont, among others.

Ms. Ben-Ami recently represented Genentech and Astellas in Osi, Genentech v. Mylan, in which she successfully defended against Mylan's attempts to launch a generic version of Tarceva. She has tried numerous cases on behalf of Pfizer including, most recently, Pfizer v. Teva Pharmaceuticals USA, a case in which she successfully defended Pfizer's patents on Celebrex®.She is currently lead counsel representing DuPont against Monsanto's claims of patent infringement related to Roundup Ready seeds as well as lead counsel for Butamax in a series of patent litigations against Gevo in the field of biofuels.

Ms. Ben-Ami's work has been recognized by The American Lawyer, which named her one of "45 Under Forty-Five: The Rising Stars of the Private Bar," and The National Law Journal, which featured her jury trial verdict on behalf of ARIAD Pharmaceuticals against Eli Lilly in its annual "Defense Hot List." She has also been recognized by Chambers USA, America's Leading Lawyers for Business, The Legal 500 U.S., The International Who's Who of Life Sciences Lawyers and Intellectual Asset Management (IAM) Life Sciences 250 — The World's Leading Life Sciences Lawyers.

Prior to joining Kaye Scholer, Ms. Ben-Ami was a partner at Clifford Chance, where she was chair of the global intellectual property group and a member of that firm's board. Earlier, she clerked for Senior Circuit Judge Philip Nichols, Jr., of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. Ms. Ben-Ami serves on the board of the New York Intellectual Property Law Association, and served on the faculty of the Sedona Conference for Patent Litigation in 2011. She earned a law degree from the State University of New York at Buffalo and a bachelor's degree from the State University of New York at Stony Brook.

"Kirkland's existing IP practice, which is consistently recognized as one of the best for high-stakes IP litigation, is a strong fit for our practice. We look forward to working closely with our new partners," said Ms. Ben-Ami.

Mr. Fleming has significant experience in IP litigation and has tried cases in the areas of biotechnology, pharmaceuticals and chemical products, as well as in the areas of wireless technology and telecommunications. He has litigated matters for clients including DuPont, Pioneer Hi-Bred, Roche, Genentech and ARIAD Pharmaceuticals, among others. Mr. Fleming has argued before the Federal Circuit on behalf of clients such as Sunbeam. He recently was lead counsel for DuPont in a major patent license arbitration, and also in a complex patent and trade secret action related to polymer technology, Invista v. DuPont. He also advises Fortune 100 companies on the intellectual property aspects of licensing and deal-related matters. The Legal 500 U.S. called Mr. Fleming "particularly gifted in IP trial work." Mr. Fleming holds a law degree from Brooklyn Law School, magna cum laude, and a bachelor's degree from New York University.

Ms. Carson focuses on patent litigation and patent counseling matters, including IP due diligence and licensing in a variety of fields such as pharmaceutical, biotechnology, chemical, medical device and consumer health care. Ms. Carson recently acted as lead counsel for Pfizer in Pfizer v. Watson, and defended the company against Watson's attempt to launch a generic version of Rapamune®, a drug used to prevent organ rejection in transplant patients. Earlier in her career, she represented Wyeth in a landmark victory in Wyeth v. Kappos, a case in which she successfully challenged the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office's interpretation of the statute designed to compensate patent holders for loss of patent term due to delays in processing applications.

Ms. Carson has been recognized in The National Law Journal's "Defense Hot List" feature and by  Intellectual Asset Management (IAM) Life Sciences 250 — The World's Leading Life Sciences Lawyers. Ms. Carson holds a law degree from Fordham University School of Law, a Ph.D. in microbiology and immunology from Temple University School of Medicine, and a bachelor's degree from Rutgers University. She devoted several years to postdoctoral studies at the Medical College of Virginia and the National Institutes of Health.

Mr. Jagoe focuses on patent litigation related to chemical, pharmaceutical and biotechnology matters. He has represented clients such as Roche, ARIAD Pharmaceuticals, Pioneer Hi-bred and DuPont. Prior to his career in law, Mr. Jagoe held senior scientific positions in the pharmaceutical industry. He is a named inventor on patents and an author of scientific publications in organic and medicinal chemistry. In addition to counseling on patent prosecution, intellectual property enforcement and freedom to operate, Mr. Jagoe has advised clients in mergers, acquisitions and licensing matters. Mr. Jagoe earned a law degree from Fordham University School of Law, a Ph.D. in organic chemistry from Boston College and a bachelor's degree from the University of Connecticut.

"We are thrilled that this team of top tier IP litigators, who have had some of the largest and most significant verdicts in the pharmaceutical and life sciences area, have joined Kirkland and we look forward to working side by side with them," said Greg Arovas, partner in the IP practice of Kirkland's New York office.

Kirkland & Ellis' Intellectual Property Law Practice is one of the oldest such practices in a full-service firm in the country, having been an integral part of Kirkland since 1925. The Firm has more than 260 intellectual property lawyers who are experienced in a variety of technical disciplines and registered to practice before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Approximately 75 percent of the lawyers are engineers and scientists trained with degrees and professional backgrounds in technical areas.

Kirkland's representations in the biotechnology, pharmaceutical and life science industries range from some of the world's largest pharmaceutical companies to biotechnology companies still in the development stage, as well as private equity and venture capital investors.

Kirkland & Ellis LLP ( is a 1,500-attorney law firm representing global clients in complex intellectual property and technology, litigation and dispute resolution/arbitration, corporate, tax and restructuring matters. The Firm has offices in New York, Chicago, Hong Kong, London, Los Angeles, Munich, Palo Alto, San Francisco, Shanghai and Washington, D.C.