Managing IP is part of the Delinian Group, Delinian Limited, 4 Bouverie Street, London, EC4Y 8AX, Registered in England & Wales, Company number 00954730
Copyright © Delinian Limited and its affiliated companies 2023

Accessibility | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Modern Slavery Statement

Five minutes with ... Arlene Chow, partner at Latham & Watkins


Each week Managing IP speaks to a different IP lawyer about their life and career

Welcome to the first instalment of Managing IP’s new series, ‘Five minutes with’, where we learn more about IP lawyers on a personal as well as professional level. First up is Arlene Chow, partner at Latham & Watkins in New York and global vice chair of the firm’s healthcare & life sciences industry group.

Someone asks you at a party what you do for a living. What do you say?

I litigate pharma and biotech patents.

Talk us through a typical working day.

I get up at 6.30am and do the first walk with our golden doodle, Evie. I return to our apartment, wake up the kids for school, glance through email over breakfast and provide direction to team members. I then combine walking my youngest daughter to school with bringing Evie to the Madison Park dog run. When I return, I take a morning workout class (cardio dance or spinning) and once I'm at a stopping point with email, I walk to our midtown office.

There are far better food options at or near work than home, so I use lunch as an incentive to get into the office. I also really like working at the office. I like chatting with folks in-person at the office. 

I leave work at 6pm, cook dinner for the family, and after dinner I am typically on my laptop again for a while. My husband takes care of the final evening walk with Evie, so I watch Netflix or Rakuten Viki (for Asian dramas) until I sleep.

What are you working on at the moment? Does one big piece of work usually take priority or are you juggling multiple things?

I am always juggling multiple pharma or biotech matters that are at different stages. Currently, I have matters at pre-litigation due diligence, fact discovery, and expert reports. If I have a matter closer to trial or a hearing, that takes priority over other matters.

What is the most exciting aspect of your role and what is the most stressful?

I love going to trial, and I love preparing a case for trial.  Everything comes together and it is so satisfying to see how a case ultimately plays itself out. The most stressful aspects of my job tend to be juggling urgent questions from clients who understandably need feedback/input “now” or ASAP to provide to their superiors or CFOs.

Tell us the key characteristics that make a successful IP lawyer.

The ability to simplify with direct messaging and effective graphics. I truly believe in keeping it simple.

What is the most common misconception about IP?

That you need to know the science inside out to litigate it well. Yes, having a scientific background is helpful, but I rely on team members, including Latham’s PhD/JDs and technical analysts, to truly dissect the science. I need to know enough of the science to litigate it effectively.

What or who inspires you?

My husband. He is super smart, an amazing spouse and a wonderful father. We have been together for over 25 years, and I continually admire how he maintains the right balance of career and personal life.

If you weren’t an IP lawyer, what would you be doing?

I would be a surgeon. I have pretty good hands and like making decisions under pressure; so using my hands just to type on a keyboard all day sometimes seems to be a waste.

Any advice you would give your younger self?

Relax more. Play a lot more tennis, get a net game, master a backhand slice, and have a varied serve.

more from across site and ros bottom lb

More from across our site

Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas has hired former Anand & Anand partner Swati Sharma and hopes to compete with specialist IP firms
Rapporteur-Judge András Kupecz ruled that education and training weren’t legitimate reasons for a member of the public to access documents
Searches for comparison prior art will be a little easier, but practitioners will have to put more thought into claim construction and design patent titles
The Helsinki local division rejected AIM Sport’s request for a preliminary injunction in a dispute with rival Supponor
We provide a rundown of Managing IP’s news and analysis coverage from the week, and review what’s been happening elsewhere in IP
The FTC’s plans to scrutinise improperly listed Orange Book patents could make these listings more important in litigation, but firms should be looking at this anyway
Counsel at Debevoise & Plimpton explain how they helped food delivery business Grubhub avoid a preliminary injunction at the Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
European lawyers tell Managing IP how the legal market is reacting to the first few months of the UPC and why cases are set to take off
The ban could be extended or cancelled, depending on whether Judge Pauline Newman cooperates with an investigation, the Judicial Council of the Federal Circuit stated
Sources say some China-based lawyers are prepared to take large pay cuts to join stable practices, but most firms are sceptical about new hires