As an intellectual property lawyer for Minneapolis-based Fish & Richardson, Teresa Lavoie represented startup clients in two of the largest biopharma acquisitions of the past decade: Pfizer’s $11.4 billion acquisition of Boulder, Colorado-based Array Biopharma and Eli Lilly’s $8 billion acquisition of Stamford, Connecticut-based Loxo Oncology.
Lavoie originally planned to become a biochemist. But while pursuing her Ph.D. in biophysical chemistry at Princeton University, “I realized that while I really loved learning about science, I didn’t like focusing on one particular problem, which is typically what you do for a Ph.D. And, at the time, there was a big need for IP attorneys.”
While working as a patent agent, she began attending Suffolk Law School in Boston in 1998. In 2000, Lavoie and her husband moved to Minnesota, and Lavoie transferred to the University of Minnesota Law School, graduating in 2002. She joined Fish & Richardson as a summer associate in 2001, and then joined the firm full time.
Practicing IP law, Lavoie said she enjoys “seeing the most cutting-edge biopharma and biotech breakthroughs on a daily basis, representing clients who are working on life-altering and life-saving medicines, and helping them succeed.”
In biopharma law, “the stakes are so high,” with millions riding on client companies’ ability to protect their intellectual property using the patent system.
Having technical expertise is essential for attorneys representing bioscience firms, she noted. “We have recruited a really talented team of people, almost all of whom have Ph.D.s in some biotech area, such as organic chemistry, gene therapy or cellular science. Having that technical understanding enables us to provide best the exclusivity for those clients.”
Read more about Minnesota Lawyer’s superb class of Attorneys of the Year for 2019 here.
Gain access to all of our great content with a month-to-month subscription. Start your subscription here.