Former FDA Regulator Joins McDermott’s Healthcare Practice

Former FDA Regulator Joins McDermott’s Healthcare Practice


International law firm McDermott Will & Emery is pleased to announce that Heili Kim has joined as a partner in its Healthcare Practice Group in Washington, DC. Heili focuses her practice on US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulation with a particular emphasis on the food, dietary supplement, cosmetic and consumer products industries.

“Over the last decade, McDermott has built a top-tier FDA practice capable of counseling clients across the healthcare and life sciences industry,” Jerry Sokol, McDermott’s Global Head of Healthcare said. “Heili’s significant experience in the areas of food and dietary supplements complements our existing strengths in drugs and medical devices, enabling us to offer a one-stop shop to virtually any client with FDA regulatory needs.”

With more than two decades of experience navigating complex issues for FDA-regulated companies, Heili combines a deep knowledge of the FDA with business pragmatism to solve real-world challenges faced by her clients. Heili has also guided food, dietary supplement, cosmetic and medical device companies on matters involving product safety, regulatory compliance, evaluating new ingredients, advertising claims, product complaints, recalls and FDA enforcement actions.

“Heili’s prior experience as FDA regulatory counsel provides unique and valuable insight into the workings of the Agency as well as its interactions with other state and federal agencies,” Vernessa Pollard, co-chair of McDermott’s global Life Sciences practice and head of its FDA practice noted.

“McDermott’s FDA team has earned a well-deserved reputation in the industry for its deep regulatory knowledge, its ability to effectively navigate the Agency and its skill at securing positive outcomes for clients,” Heili added. “I’m thrilled to bring my experience to that distinguished group, and I look forward to helping a broader array of clients achieve their business objectives.”

Prior to joining McDermott, Heili was a partner at Faegre Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP. She received her BS from the University of California at Riverside, her JD from the American University Washington College of Law and her MPH from the University of California, Los Angeles.

Heili is the most recent addition to the Firm’s health practice, following the arrival of partner Denise Burke and senior counsel Lester Perling last month.

McDermott is the nation’s leading health law firm and the only health practice to receive top national rankings from U.S. News – Best Lawyers “Best Law Firms,” Chambers USA, The Legal 500 US and Law360. The practice was also recognized by Chambers as “Healthcare Team of the Year” in 2010, 2013, 2017, 2019 and 2022. McDermott has also held the top spot in PitchBook’s League Tables as the most active firm for healthcare private equity since 2017.

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