(May 7, 2012, Philadelphia) – Reed Smith LLP, a leading global law firm, today announced the addition of Stephen J. McConnell as a partner in its Life Sciences Health Industry (LSHI) Group in the firm’s Philadelphia office.
He was formerly a partner in the Philadelphia office of Dechert, LLP.
“Steve is one of Philadelphia’s preeminent life science and health care attorneys,” said Mike Scott, a partner in Reed Smith's LSHI Group in Philadelphia. “He has earned a reputation as a top litigator in the pharmaceutical world and elsewhere, and is often sought after to take over important cases for trial. We have admired his work and his results for some time, and we share several common clients. We are thrilled he is now a part of the Reed Smith team.”
Mr. McConnell’s practice focuses on representing pharmaceutical and medical device companies, including extensive involvement in recent mass tort litigations regarding antipsychotics and diet drugs. He has also handled matters relating to tobacco trials, sales and advertising liability, and shareholder derivative litigation.
"For years, in-house lawyers I work with have been telling me that Reed Smith sets the gold standard for offering a client-centered approach. It's a great fit for me because in my practice, solving clients' problems is the top priority," Mr. McConnell said. " I have been on many cases with Reed Smith lawyers and have always been impressed by their strategic smarts, trial skills, and collegiality. I am thrilled to be working with such a great group of individuals."
Mr. McConnell received his J.D. cum laude in 1985 from The University of Chicago Law School, where he was a member of the Law Review and Order of the Coif. He received his A.B. from Harvard College in l981. Following graduation, he clerked for the Honorable William A. Norris, United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, joining Skadden Arps in Los Angeles after completing that clerkship.
In 1992, Mr. McConnell became an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Central District of California in Los Angeles. During his tenure in the U.S. Attorney’s Office, he investigated and prosecuted criminal cases in the Major Frauds Section involving savings and loan frauds, violations of the securities laws, wire and mail frauds, and money laundering. He also served as counsel to the Christopher Commission, an independent body that investigated the Los Angeles Police Department in 1991, and as deputy general counsel to the Kolts Commission, an independent body that investigated the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department in 1992.
Mr. McConnell has worked extensively in the area of liability for marketing practices and is a member of the Advisory Board of Villanova University's Center for Marketing and Public Policy. He has been selected among the Best Lawyers in America for product liability litigation since 2007. Mr. McConnell was a member of a Philadelphia-based team of attorneys honored as “Unsung Heroes” of 2012 by the Legal Intelligencer for the group’s pro bono work on civil rights cases protecting the privacy rights of children against random drug testing in schools.
“We at Reed Smith know Steve well,” said Ajay Raju, the firm’s Philadelphia Managing Partner. “There’s universal agreement by everyone who has seen him in action or worked with him previously that he is one of the best trial lawyers around. He will be a definite asset both to the firm's clients and to our lawyers in the high-stakes, bet-the-company litigation we handle.”
Reed Smith’s Life Sciences Health Industry Group comprises more than 250 professionals across diverse practice areas addressing and solving the problems of businesses operating in the health care, pharma, medical device and biotech sectors. The group currently represents 11 of the 12 largest global pharmaceutical manufacturers and 19 of the 20 world’s leading medical device manufacturers.
About Reed Smith
Reed Smith is a global relationship law firm with nearly 1,700 lawyers in 23 offices throughout the United States, Europe, Asia and the Middle East. Founded in 1877, the firm represents leading international businesses, from Fortune 100 corporations to mid-market and emerging enterprises. Its lawyers provide litigation and other dispute resolution services in multi-jurisdictional and other high-stakes matters; deliver regulatory counsel; and execute the full range of strategic domestic and cross-border transactions. Reed Smith is a preeminent advisor to industries including financial services, life sciences, health care, advertising, technology and media, shipping, energy and natural resources, real estate, manufacturing, and education. For more information, visit reedsmith.com.
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