McGuireWoods Bolsters Life Sciences Patent Litigation Team With Michael Nutter, Merritt Westcott

Accomplished Partners Excel in Pharma Patent Matters

September 7, 2022

McGuireWoods has expanded its life sciences patent litigation capabilities with the arrival of partners Michael K. Nutter and Merritt D. Westcott, accomplished trial lawyers and strategic advisers with a wealth of experience in pharmaceutical patent disputes.

Nutter joins McGuireWoods’ Chicago office, where he will lead the firm’s pharmaceutical and life sciences patent litigation group. Westcott is based in Houston. They both come to McGuireWoods from Winston & Strawn.

Nutter represents generic drug companies in patent infringement matters involving both Hatch-Waxman abbreviated new drug applications (ANDA) and FDA biosimilar applications. He helps companies craft legal and business strategies for developing and launching generic pharmaceutical products. In addition, he works closely with clients to resolve ANDA-related matters before the Food and Drug Administration, including labeling and active pharmaceutical ingredient issues, patent listing disputes, and issues involving new drug and marketing exclusivities. Since 2016, Nutter has been recognized annually in IAM Patent 1000, a guide to top firms and individuals in patent law.

Nutter graduated from Chicago-Kent College of Law and earned a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from the University of Illinois.

In addition to handling ANDA and biologics patent litigation cases, Westcott litigates patent disputes in other technologies, including medical and clinical devices, mass storage systems, computer software, cloud-based communications platforms, and oil and gas exploration technology. She represents clients in disputes before the U.S. Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) and provides IP counseling in business transactions. 

Westcott earned her J.D. from the University of Houston Law Center and a master’s degree in microbiology from the University of Texas at Austin.

“Mike and Merritt are talented and respected trial lawyers who strengthen our patent litigation bench in key markets,” said Dion Hayes, McGuireWoods’ deputy managing partner for litigation. “Their experience and industry knowledge will have enormous benefits for our clients.”

McGuireWoods’ intellectual property and patent litigation lawyers represent clients from virtually every sector of the global economy, providing comprehensive solutions to help individuals and companies develop and protect creative, technological and business innovations. The firm earned a Tier 1 national ranking for patent litigation in the 2022 edition of U.S. News-Best Lawyers’ “Best Law Firms.”

“Mike and Merritt are go-to trial lawyers for pharmaceutical patent disputes and will be outstanding additions to our Hatch-Waxman patent litigation practice,” said Dave Finkelson, chair of McGuireWoods’ IP Litigation & Transactions Department. “Both of them excel at helping companies devise strategies to navigate patent challenges and bring products to market.”

Nutter is the fifth partner to join McGuireWoods’ Chicago office this year, following the additions of antitrust litigator Holden Brooks, healthcare partner Rubin Pusha III, product liability litigator Patrick Clyder and deal lawyer Jason Griffith.

“Mike adds an important dimension to our litigation practice in Chicago and we are delighted to welcome him,” said Christina Egan, managing partner of the Chicago office.

Westcott’s arrival continues McGuireWoods’ growth in Houston and follows the recent addition of litigation partner Jeremiah Anderson. The firm has nearly 30 Houston lawyers practicing business and securities litigation, restructuring and insolvency, labor and employment, intellectual property litigation, healthcare, M&A, private equity and tax law.

“Merritt enhances our IP litigation capabilities and strengthens our reputation as a top-tier law firm,” said Yasser Madriz, managing partner of the firm’s Houston office. “Her addition is part of our firm’s unwavering commitment to growth in Houston and the rest of the Texas market.”

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