WASHINGTON, DC (March 15, 2016) — McDermott Will & Emery announced today that distinguished life sciences lawyer Vernessa Pollard has joined the Firm as co-head of its Food and Drug Administration (FDA) practice in Washington, DC.
Ms. Pollard comes to McDermott from another AmLaw 100 firm, where she advised clients on regulatory, compliance, and legislative matters involving medical devices, pharmaceuticals, digital health applications, health information technology, and other products. She formerly served as Associate Chief Counsel for Enforcement in the Office of Chief Counsel at the FDA for six years.
At McDermott, Ms. Pollard will co-head the Firm’s FDA practice, a role in which she will be able to fully leverage her experience at the intersection of medical device, health IT and mobile technologies. She will also play a leading role in expanding the Firm’s capabilities in the areas of pharmaceuticals/biologics, consumer products, compliance and enforcement. Ms. Pollard will counsel consumer product companies and retailers on FDA-regulatory matters, including labeling, advertising and product safety
At her prior firm, Ms. Pollard regularly counseled companies on product approvals, Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) and Quality System (QS) requirements, advertising and promotion, adverse event reporting, FDA Warning Letters, FDA inspections, recalls, import detentions, and corporate compliance programs. She also represented companies and executives in FDA and Department of Justice (DOJ) investigations and enforcement matters.
During her tenure at the FDA from 2002 to 2008, Ms. Pollard represented the agency in a variety of major litigation matters, and advised agency clients on compliance and regulatory issues. In conjunction with the DOJ, she handled civil injunction and consent decree actions involving leading drug and medical device manufacturers. She obtained the FDA's first administrative civil money penalty (CMP) judgment for violations of the medical device report (MDR) requirements. She also handled defensive matters involving labeling, advertising and product approval issues arising under the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) and the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FDCA).
“Vernessa is a gifted leader who will help us take our FDA practice to a new level,” said Stephen W. Bernstein, partner and head of McDermott’s Health Industry Advisory Practice Group. “She has built a reputation as one of Washington’s most formidable FDA practitioners in just seven short years. She is a highly driven, highly effective advocate for her clients. Her enormous energy and experience will be major assets to the Firm.”
“We are delighted to have Vernessa with us,” added Peter J. Sacripanti, co-chair of McDermott Will & Emery. “She is a trusted advisor to some of the life sciences industry’s most significant players. As our clients move into new growth areas, such as mobile health products, Vernessa’s deep experience will be invaluable. She will play a leading role in helping clients navigate this new territory and the new opportunities it brings.”
“Vernessa is a perfect fit with our strategy,” added Jeffrey E. Stone, co-chair of McDermott Will & Emery. “Extensive FDA experience is increasingly vital to our clients, particularly for those who work with our core Health and White Collar practices. FDA knowledge is also often needed by our Corporate and IP litigation lawyers as they serve their clients in the life sciences industry.”
Ms. Pollard is recognized in Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business for Healthcare (2014-2015); LMG Guide, Life Science Star (2015); The Best Lawyers in America for FDA Law; and The National Law Journal’s “D.C. Rising Stars” (2014) and “Minority 40 Under 40” (2011). She is a recipient of the FDA Commissioner’s Award of Excellence (2008) and Outstanding Service Award for Outstanding Legal Representation and Dedication in Conducting Enforcement and Defensive Litigation (2005). Ms. Pollard chairs the FDA Regulatory Affinity Group of the American Health Lawyers Association, and is a member of the Food and Drug Law Institute (FDLI) Medical Devices and Diagnostics Committee.
About McDermott Will & Emery
McDermott Will & Emery is a premier international law firm with a diversified business practice. Numbering more than 1,000 lawyers, we have offices in Boston, Brussels, Chicago, Dallas, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, Houston, London, Los Angeles, Miami, Milan, Munich, New York, Orange County, Paris, Rome, Seoul, Silicon Valley and Washington, D.C. Further extending our reach into Asia, we have a strategic alliance with MWE China Law Offices in Shanghai.
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