Global Life Sciences Partner Joins Wilson Sonsini (San Diego)

Watanabe Nason is pleased to announce that John Wehrli has joined Wilson Sonsini’s technology transactions practice as a partner in the San Diego office. Mr. Wehrli was a partner with Jones Day in San Diego.

Mr. Wehrli represents life sciences companies in structuring and negotiating complex and strategic intellectual property transactions and licensing, including strategic alliances, joint ventures, global partnering deals, collaborations, spinouts, and strategic mergers and acquisitions. He also represents financial institutions as lead intellectual property advisor, and conducts and defends scientific, business, and intellectual property due diligence for life sciences public and private financings and merger and acquisition transactions.

He has more than 34 years of life sciences industry experience in law, business, and science. The deals on which he’s worked have an aggregate value of more than $100 billion. Two deals for which he served as lead counsel have won the California Life Science Association’s Pantheon award for outstanding partnering deal of the year and another was named by the Financial Times as one of the four most innovative deals of the year.

Clients have included Eli-Lilly, Genentech, Takeda, Chugai, Kyowa-Hakko, Nycomed, Allergan, Boehringer-Ingelheim, Impax, Intuitive Surgical, Accuray, Beckman-Coulter, Geron, Plexxikon, Kythera, Alios Biopharma and Epirus. His investment banking clients have included Goldman Sachs, CitiGroup, Credit Suisse First Boston, Barclays, Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley, JP Morgan, Oppenheimer, US Bankcorp Piper Jaffray, Cantor Fitzgerald, AG Edwards & Co., Jeffries & Co, Pacific Growth, CIBC World Markets, UBS Securities, SG Cowen and Deutsche Bank.

Mr. Wehrli has been recognized as one of the top 25 biotech lawyers in California by the Daily Journal and is listed in Chambers USA, which described him as “very skilled and very smart” and is also listed in Chambers “Leaders in Their Fields.”
He received his J.D. from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law and an M.B.A. from the University of California, Berkeley Haas School of Business, in 1998. He completed the University of California, Berkeley’s Management of Technology program, College of Engineering, in 1997. He is currently writing his dissertation for a Ph.D. with a focus on computational and behavioral neuroscience.

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