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Aus firm nabs team of 8 to launch new practice

An Australian law firm has announced it has poached a team of eight from a rival firm to launch a new national practice and bolster its position in one particular market.

user iconEmma Musgrave 07 February 2017 Corporate Counsel
John Nerurker
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Mills Oakley has revealed it has launched a new national intellectual property (IP) practice after recruiting two leading IP partners from Piper Alderman and their team of six staff.

The two partners have been named as Dr Teresa Nicoletti and James Lawrence, who started their new roles yesterday, bringing with them extensive experience advising on a broad range of matters across the IP sector.

In addition to Ms Nicoletti and Mr Lawrence, Mills Oakley has welcomed Julian Grover as special counsel, Sabrina Chan as a senior associate, Leonora Tyers as an associate, Sebastian Tonkin as a lawyer, Elizabeth O’Farrell as a legal assistant and Helaena Short as a casual paralegal.


The team will join forces with current Mills Oakley partner Blair Beven and his team to create a combined specialist IP team of 11 lawyers and staff.

The new practice will focus on the life sciences, pharmaceutical, medical devices, biotech, cosmetics, food and FMCG industries.

Mills Oakley CEO John Nerurker (pictured) said the new appointments will enhance the firm’s IP capability and provide exposure to new industry sectors.

“Teresa and James are acknowledged market leaders in the health and life sciences space,” Mr Nerurker said.

“The loyalty of their client following is demonstrated by the consistently strong growth the practice has enjoyed for many years.”

Ms Nicoletti specialises in regulatory, reimbursement and IP advice covering medicines, medical devices, cosmetics, food and agrochemicals. She actively engages with regulatory authorities at state and federal level and represents her clients in both contentious and non-contentious matters.

In addition to her legal practice, Ms Nicoletti has been a member of the Administrative Appeals Tribunal for the past 10 years, and currently hears matters in the general, commercial and tax divisions as a part-time senior member.

She was also took out the Partner of the Year Award in the health category at Lawyers Weekly’s inaugural Partner of the Year Awards in 2016.

Mr Lawrence has extensive experience in managing IP disputes across the entire spectrum of IP litigation, including patents, copyright, trade marks/brand protection and misuse of confidential information.

Mr Lawrence has a strong life sciences focus and also has a keen interest in cutting-edge areas such as the regulation of unmanned aerial vehicles. He is recommended for IP matters in both the peer-reviewed Best Lawyers 2017 list and The Legal 500 Asia-Pacific 2017 directory.

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