N America News April 2017

28 NORTH AMERICA NEWS / APRIL 2017 , Tara Nealey talks about the lawfirmPolsinelli, as well as the industry itself, in the wake of winning Attorney of the Year –Missouri. Practical Legal Counsel When You Need It Polsinelli is an Am Law 100 firm with approximately 850 attorneys in 20 offices across the US, serving corporations, institutions, and entrepreneurs. Polsinelli recently ranked number 20 for Client Service Excellence among 650 US law firms in the 2017 BTI Client Service A-team Report, and has risen more than 50 spots in Am Law’s annual firm ranking over the past five years. Polsinelli attorneys provide practical legal counsel infused with business insight, and focus on health care, financial services, real estate, intellectual property, mid-market corporate, labor and employment, and business litigation, and Polsinelli attorneys have depth of experience in 100 service areas and 70 industries. Tara A Nealey is a patent attorney at Polsinelli. She tells us more about her current role and her career journey to date. “I advise many different types of clients on matters relating to patents, which include: preparing patent applications with inventors; negotiating with patent offices to obtain a patent grant; analysing technical disclosures in the relevant field to determine the likelihood of obtaining a patent; reviewing other party’s patents to determine potential exposure to a claim of patent infringement; and working with litigators in defending and enforcing patents. I also perform due diligence on patent estates and other IP such as trade secrets that are being transferred or sold. “Like many patent attorneys in the biotechnology and life sciences arenas, I started out in academic science. I reached the point of doing a post-doc at a well-known research university before deciding that I was more interested in a career in patent law than in running a lab.” Tara continues to explain that learning about cutting-edge technologies is one of her favourite parts of her role. “Our astonishingly smart and endlessly creative inventors have this infectious enthusiasm, and I get to learn about new discoveries before they are even published. I enjoy the process of analysing complicated documents to arrive at a clear conclusion that clients will find helpful in making important decisions. And I like helping younger colleagues work through all the nuances of the practice of patent law. There are always new challenges, whether from changes in the law, problems that clients are having with competitors, or simply from the time pressure of a deal in the works.” Tara likes to keep herself positive and motivated in order to ensure her success, and says: “I like a quote attributed to Robert Louis Stevenson: “Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds that you plant.” There is always the long game to keep in mind.” Recently, Tara was awarded the prestigious title of 2017 Attorney of the Year – Missouri, an accolade of which she is very proud. “I am truly grateful to be recognized for work that I love to do and find very engaging and always interesting, which is the real reward. It may seem clichéd, but it makes me think how lucky I am to work with some amazingly smart and genuinely good people at our firm and especially in our IP Department, whose hard work and dedication embody the ideal of “going the extra mile” by pulling together on a moment’s notice for urgent projects, picking up slack for each other, etc., and generally having each other’s back. We have a fantastic team and culture and I’m proud to be a part of it. “Given the high level of competence and dedication among my peers, I am frankly surprised and humbled to have received this award. None of us do what we do for any recognition except the benefit and satisfaction of our clients, which is always the ultimate test. Yet recognition from an outside observer focused on client service is truly encouraging because clients don’t always feel comfortable about communicating directly about whether they’re happy or unhappy with the service they are getting.” With regards to the future, Tara plans to help grow the firm’s Biotechnology and Life Science practice group in size and reputation so that it is synonymous with the most highly recognized, go-to firms in the field, as the firm’s Health Care practice currently is. “We will be adding more attorneys, patent agents and scientists, especially those with advanced degrees, to be even better positioned to serve our expanding Life Sciences and Biotechnology IP practice.” K Company: Polsinelli Name: Tara A. Nealey Email: [email protected] Web Address: www.polsinelli.com Address: 100 S. Fourth Street, Suite 1000 St. Louis, Missouri 63102, USA Telephone: +1 314 622 6630 1704CA22

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