Charleen O’Keeffe


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Charleen is a Partner in William Fry's Litigation & Dispute Resolution Department and a member of its Life Sciences Group, specialising in intellectual property and regulatory law.

Charleen is a skilled commercial litigator, with extensive experience in complex, multi-jurisdictional intellectual property disputes. Her patent litigation experience ranges from pharmaceutical and biologics to a wide range of technologies including hi-tech and medical devices.

She advises in the areas of pharmaceuticals, biotechnology and medical devices, covering every phase of a product's life cycle from product development, clinical trials, data exclusivity, regulatory approval to commercialisation and product safety/recall/liability.

Recent significant cases include representing:

  • Genentech Inc in Commercial Court proceedings against Amgen relating to Amgen's product Mvasi®, a biosimilar of Genentech's leading cancer drug Avastin®.
  • Eli Lilly in complex multi-jurisdictional patent revocation proceedings against Eisai R&D Management Co (relating to the treatment of Alzheimer's disease). 
  • Boehringer Ingelheim in the defence of patent and SPC revocation proceedings brought by Teva Pharmaceuticals.
  • GlaxoSmithKline ("GSK") in Commercial Court patent infringement proceedings against Pfizer (relating to GSK's MenB vaccine, BEXERO).  
  • GSK in its trade mark and passing off action against Rowex Limited involving the Seretide Inhaler, one of the all-time best-selling prescription drugs.
  • BSA | The Software Alliance, the leading advocate for the global software industry, in its role as an amicus curia in the ongoing ground-breaking "Schrems II" litigation relating to the legality of the EU standard contractual clauses. 

Charleen is recognised as a 'Next Generation Partner' (Legal 500 EMEA 2022), she is been ranked by WTR 1000 2022: The World's Leading Trademark Professionals by WTR 1000 2022 and is also ranked as a "Notable practitioner" and 'Rising Star' (Managing Intellectual Property IP Stars 2022 and 2020).

Charleen receives great praise from clients: 

Legal 500 EMEA 2022

  • "I’ve worked with Charleen O’Keeffe over a number of years, she is an experienced partner, personable, reliable, practical, focused, gives honest advice with strong, detailed legal guidance. Shows a true passion and commitment for each case, and is always a pleasure to deal with.’
  • "Charleen O’Keeffe is a highly recommended partner"
  • "Charleen O’Keefe is an enthusiastic, energetic partner who demonstrates strategic thinking and a keen interest in ensuring that her clients prevail in their litigation. She is sure to be a star of the future in Irish life sciences patent litigation."
  • "Charleen O’Keeffe is a very bright IP lawyer" 

IAM Patent 2022

  • Charleen O’Keeffe "is well equipped to tackle IP and regulatory disputes at all stages of the pharmaceutical product lifecycle".  

Charleen is described as ‘an original thinker’. Legal 500 EMEA 2018


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