Thought Leader Law Firms of 2016

Life Sciences Law Firm Index | Q4 Update

Cooley, Fenwick & West and WilmerHale are among the top firms recognized for thought leadership, according to the latest findings of the Life Sciences Law Firm Index.

The Index identifies the most active and relevant law firms for life science companies. Throughout the year, rankings are published, focusing on different practice areas.

The Index uses criteria that matters most to healthcare innovators. In collaboration with our research partners at Breaking Media, the publishers of leading industry sites MedCity News and Above the Law., Lake Whillans collects data in three practice categories—corporate, intellectual property and regulatory—and incorporates information on the firms’ work with startup companies and thought leadership efforts.

This list is not a “ranking” but rather an alphabetical listing of firms awarded a maximum rating for the Thought Leadership component of our Index formula. The Thought Leadership ratings incorporated elements including the publication of white papers, contributions to third-party media, blogging and social media and speaking and/or teaching engagements.

The top 10 firms in the Thought Leadership category are:

Arnold & Porter
Covington & Burling
Fenwick & West
Goodwin Procter
Mayer Brown
McDermott Will & Emery
Reed Smith
Wilson Sonsini

A Note on Methodology

Our rankings methodology is designed to reflect a holistic view of the role of a law firm throughout the life cycle of a life sciences company: from inception through clinical trials.

In each category of practice, we identified the relevant, quantifiable factors. For example, under the Corporate category, our review included — but was not confined to — public and private financings, IPOs and M&A activity. For the Patent category, we included factors such as number of patents issued, “allowance rate,” and successful patent defenses. Among the items in the Regulatory category are clinical trials, commercialization and approvals. The Thought Leadership ratings incorporated, among other things, the publication of white papers, contributions to third-party media, blogging and social media, as well as speaking or teaching engagements.

Within each category, firms were organized into tiers based on the complexity, value, variety and reach of their practice and scores were apportioned accordingly. Our rankings formula is as follows:

  • Corporate: 40%
  • Patent: 20%
  • Regulatory: 20%
  • Start-up work: 10%
  • Thought leadership: 10%

To complement our comprehensive review of all publicly available information, we invited firms to complete a questionnaire detailing their life science practices.

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