Life sciences partner leaves Morrison & Foerster for Perkins Coie

March 11, 2016

LOS ANGLES DAILY JOURNAL

By Joshua Sebold

Morrison & Foerster LLP is losing life sciences partner Mark R. Wicker to Perkins Coie LLP.

Wicker, who starts in the San Diego office on Monday, represented Symphogen A/S in its $1.775 billion deal to create cancer drugs in collaboration with Baxalta Inc., an agreement which was finalized in January.

Wicker leaves Morrison & Foerster after spending more than a decade with the firm. He joined after his previous firm, Gray Cary Ware & Freidenrich, entered a three-firm merger with DLA LLP and Piper Rudnick LLP to form DLA Piper in 2005.

He was co-chair of Gray Cary’s life sciences group and said at the time that conflicts prevented him from staying with his colleagues after the merger.

Wicker said he often represented emerging life sciences companies, which didn’t jive with DLA’s larger institutional clients in the same sector, as it could have put the firm on both sides of the same deals.

Representatives for Perkins Coie did not provide comment. Wicker said he was busy with client calls Thursday afternoon and couldn’t comment.

Wicker has represented Adicet Bio Inc. and in January, MoFo handled the company’s $51 million Series A financing round and its acquisition of Israeli biotechnology company Applied Immune Technologies Ltd.

He specializes in joint ventures and other collaborations such as the Symphogen deal, which are becoming increasingly common in the life sciences sector. Wicker also represents technology, chemical and materials sciences companies.

Legal recruiter Larry Watanabe handled Wicker’s initial move to MoFo and his upcoming jump to Perkins Coie.

MoFo lost two intellectual property partners, M. Andrew Woodmansee and Cary Miller, from its San Diego office earlier this year to Jones Day. Tech transaction partner Russell G. Weiss also left the Los Angeles office in January for Sidley Austin LLP.

A spokesman for Morrison & Foerster wished Wicker well on behalf of the firm.

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