SOURCE: Sedgwick LLP

July 15, 2014 13:23 ET

Product Liability Attorney Fern O'Brian Joins Sedgwick

Addition Bolsters Firm's Life Sciences and Product Liability Practices

WASHINGTON, DC--(Marketwired - Jul 15, 2014) - Sedgwick LLP announces the addition of Fern P. O'Brian as a partner in its Washington, D.C., office. Joining from Thompson Hine LLP, O'Brian focuses on regulatory matters involving product liability and toxic torts, as well as health-effects litigation.

With a resume spanning 30 years, O'Brian counsels and litigates on behalf of clients in matters involving: liability prevention; regulatory and liability-related transactional issues involving medical and pharmaceutical products; consumer products; and environmental exposures to heavy metals and chemicals. In addition, she represents emerging technology companies and research organizations involved in the development and commercialization of innovative products.

"Sedgwick has a long and storied history counseling and defending members of the pharmaceutical and medical device industry," said Sedgwick Chair Michael Tanenbaum. "Fern's deep regulatory knowledge and expertise before the FDA and courts on behalf of pharmaceutical and medical device companies adds to that history, deepens our bench, and gives our clients additional boots on the ground in Washington, D.C., to help them navigate the complex regulatory environment. We are thrilled that Fern decided to join our Life Sciences team and we look forward to growing our practices together."

O'Brian practiced with Arnold & Porter LLP from 1984-2010. She became a partner in 1991 and served as head of the firm's London office before returning to D.C. in 2003. Prior to joining Arnold & Porter, she served as a law clerk to The Honorable Kenneth W. Starr of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.

"Sedgwick is an outstanding firm and a great fit for my practice," O'Brian said. "This is truly an exciting opportunity for me to add legislative and regulatory depth to Sedgwick's phenomenal trial teams, and strengthen the services we are able to provide to our clients." 

Active in the community, O'Brian is on the board of governors for the University Club of Washington, D.C., and is a board member for the Tahirih Justice Center. She is chair of the Board of Overseers for the Searle Civil Justice Institute at George Mason University School of Law and on the advisory board of the NanoBusiness Commercialization Association. O'Brian is also a member of The American Law Institute.

She received her J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center (1983) and B.A. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (1978).

Sedgwick LLP provides trial, appellate, litigation management, counseling, risk management and transactional legal services to the world's leading companies. With offices in Austin, Chicago, Dallas, Fort Lauderdale, Houston, London, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Newark, Orange County (California), San Francisco, Seattle and Washington, D.C., and an affiliated office in Bermuda, Sedgwick's collective experience spans the globe and virtually every industry. For more information about Sedgwick, its lawyers and services, visit

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