Akin Gump Expands Litigation Practice With Accomplished Trial Lawyers

(Washington, D.C.) – Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP will expand its intellectual property litigation practice on February 16 with the addition of three partners in Philadelphia.  Joining Akin Gump are Dianne B. Elderkin, Barbara L. Mullin and Steven D. Maslowski.  The lawyers previously practiced at an IP boutique in Philadelphia. 

David L. Comerford, a co-leader of Akin Gump’s litigation practice and the partner-in-charge in the firm’s Philadelphia office, noted, “Any time we can complement our capabilities with additional top-notch litigators who are seasoned in high-stakes litigation, it is a great day for our clients and for the firm.” 

Steven M. Zager, leader of Akin Gump’s intellectual property litigation practice, added, “We have a strong IP litigation group, and the addition of Dianne, Barbara and Steve and their life sciences practice is another step in meeting the growing demand from our clients for IP litigation representation.  We are very pleased to welcome these accomplished trial lawyers to Akin Gump.”

Ms. Elderkin added, “Akin Gump’s reputation in high-profile litigation is first-rate. We are thrilled to be joining a nationwide practice with such great depth.”

Most recently, this group and their team won what Bloomberg called “the largest patent verdict in U.S. history”: a June 2009 $1.67 billion award to Johnson & Johnson’s Centocor unit in a patent-infringement case against drug maker Abbott Laboratories. 

For more than two decades, Ms. Elderkin has litigated and tried patent infringement cases nationwide involving a wide range of technologies, including biologic therapeutics, pharmaceuticals, surgical and dental instruments, orthopedic implants, blood glucose monitoring devices, plasma sterilizers, consumer products and building materials.  As noted in the 2009 edition of Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business, Ms. Elderkin “attracts plaudits for her work in biomedical and pharmaceutical patent litigation.” 

Before entering private practice, Ms. Elderkin worked for nine years as in-house patent counsel at the DuPont Company.  A fellow in the American College of Trial Lawyers, she is a trustee and the treasurer of the American Intellectual Property Law Education Foundation and the vice chair of AIPLA’s Patent Litigation Committee.  She received her B.S. from Bucknell University and her J.D. with high honors from George Washington University.

Ms. Mullin tries cases in federal courts and before arbitration panels in such diverse technological fields as recombinant antibodies, medical devices and methods, pharmaceuticals and semiconductor wafer processing.  She received her B.S.N. cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania and her J.D. cum laude from Villanova University.

Mr. Maslowski’s practice focuses on patent litigation in a wide range of technologies, from highly complex biological and chemical inventions such as monoclonal antibodies and polymer compositions to mechanical and electrical devices such as ultrasonic dental tools, blood glucose monitoring devices and LED semiconductor chips.  An adjunct professor at Temple University Law School, he received his B.S. from the Pennsylvania State University and his J.D. from George Washington University.

Founded in 1945, Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP, a leading international law firm, numbers more than 800 lawyers in the United States, Europe, Asia and the Middle East.  Akin Gump has a national litigation practice of more than 250 litigators supported by an extensive infrastructure of paralegals and cutting-edge technology.  The litigation practice has broad and deep experience handling litigation matters in both federal and state court at the trial and appellate levels as well as in arbitrations and other alternative dispute resolution proceedings.  Akin Gump’s litigators are equally comfortable representing plaintiffs or defendants and are accustomed to handling matters of exceptional complexity, such as intellectual property matters, nationwide class actions, parallel civil and administrative proceedings, and nationwide and multidistrict litigation.

# # #