Furthering efforts to expand its clinical trial agreement capabilities, Faber Daeufer & Itrato PC welcomed the addition of two new team members, each with extensive domestic and global clinical trial experience. Nirosha Sithirapathy and M. (Max) Masaya Seltzer recently joined the talented group of Faber lawyers, bringing highly skilled industry-side knowledge to the firm’s pharma, life science and emerging technologies clients.
“The firm is hiring and training more lawyers and contract specialists to support our clients’ clinical trial contracting needs for large, complex, multi-center, global clinical studies,” explained firm principal Sumy Daeufer. “Both Max and Nirosha have in-house legal experience directly relevant to clinical trial contracting. Max brings many years of experience handling clinical trial and other human research related contracts for the NYU School of Medicine, one of the premier institutions in the United States. Nirosha, who is based in the UK, brings European clinical contracting experience from her work with several contract research organizations.”
According to Sithirapathy, her decision to join the Faber team was driven by the firm’s unique business model. “I wanted to work alongside intelligent and talented individuals who act with integrity and truly care – they all care about their clients and the work they do, care about the community and care about each other.” She also spoke about the valuable contributions that the professionals of Faber provide to their vast array of life science clients. “Working alongside individuals who have worked in industry means they truly understand their clients and provide pragmatic legal advice without compromising on quality. Each member of the firm is generous with their time and skills, donating efforts to various projects in the community and around the world.”
Sithirapathy’s global experience includes working with various contract research organizations in the UK and Switzerland, covering clinical trial contracting activities in more than 50 jurisdictions worldwide. “I hope to be able to share my knowledge and experience in supporting the firm’s efforts,” she said, adding that she wants to play a role in the expansion of Faber’s work globally, as well as the firm’s philanthropic endeavors.
Faber’s track record of philanthropy was a major asset, as Sithirapathy considered joining the firm. “I wanted to find a firm that has high quality, rewarding work and truly supports giving back to the community. Faber aligned perfectly with these values and goals. It has the small family feel of an in-house structure that creates a positive, fluid working environment coupled with the focus on high quality work, service and delivery of a law firm.”
The firm’s culture also appealed to Seltzer, who says he was drawn to the deep well of incredibly accomplished attorneys who make up the skeleton of Faber’s foundation. “I was interviewed by a lot of different people at Faber. Every conversation I had was really great and I came away thinking, ‘That's a really interesting person.’ [I needed] to meet so many people because it's an obvious and important organizational ideal that the people who work there share a similar, compassionate viewpoint. I had 10 or so interviews and every single one reiterated this point to me. I could tell that good people - people who want to be good and do good work - work at Faber. It's a small firm and everyone obviously cares about the other people with whom they work. That's of fundamental importance and it's the single overriding message I heard.”
Seltzer’s work in an academic medical setting has provided him with valuable insight about clinical trials. “I'm intimately acquainted with clinical research in a variety of areas dealing with global health and treatments. I have worked with medical professionals and research institutions all over the world and have a wide perspective. Having worked from within a complex healthcare research organization, my deep understanding of the arcane complexities of research bureaucracies will enable Faber to be aggressive and efficient in meeting our clients' important needs for getting research up and running and producing data in a timely manner.”
Having lived and traveled throughout the world, Seltzer recognizes the personal connections needed to successfully conclude clinical contract negotiations. “The better the person with whom you're negotiating gets along with you, the more amenable they are to helping you achieve your goals,” explained Seltzer, “and the better you are at communicating with people, the more quickly you can relay information, resolve issues and eliminate the barrier intrinsic to the contract negotiation process. Over five years as a young lawyer in a large academic medical center taught me a lot about the mechanics of contract negotiation. I also learned a lot about clinical research - both about the thicket of bureaucracy under it and the web of regulation over it.”
Seltzer says that he is looking forward to making contributions to Faber’s future successes while also taking part in the exciting possibilities of life sciences. “I am looking to the next several years as an opportunity for learning and moving myself from being an expert in a few things to having a broad expertise in handling corporate and transactional matters for the biotech and health sciences industries. This is a new frontier in terms of the future of society and humanity. The future has a lot in store for humanity and the development of therapies and innovations for care and treatments. It's going to be a fascinating time for me to be taking this great step with the great people at Faber.”
According to Daeufer, Faber’s expansion addresses the needs of the firm’s client base, as they expand their international interests. “In order to meet patient population and enrollment targets, our clients are contracting with an increasing number of clinical study sites in countries outside the United States. To support this expansion efficiently and effectively, it’s important that lawyers and contract specialists are trained in the issues and have practical experience.”
With their unique backgrounds and global experiences, Seltzer and Sithirapathy will surely be valuable contributors to these efforts and Faber’s continued growth.