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K&L Gates Expands Health Care Capabilities With Strategic Addition of Firm's First Senior Scientific Advisor

4 June 2024

Washington, D.C. – Global law firm K&L Gates LLP welcomes Peter Coneski, Ph.D., to its Health Care and FDA practice as the firm’s first senior scientific advisor. The innovative position combines science, business, and law, and will further strengthen the firm’s capabilities in matters where scientific knowledge, particularly in chemistry, is essential. Coneski joins the firm’s Washington, D.C., office from Keller and Heckman LLP.

David Wochner, managing partner of K&L Gates’ Washington, D.C., office commented: “It is a time of transformation for law firms. As the regulatory environment becomes increasingly challenging to navigate, it is critical to have a scientist on staff to conduct the kind of complex scientific analyses that are integral to the chemical, regulatory, and compliance issues our clients face.”

With more than a decade of experience, Coneski provides technical assistance in determining the regulatory status of food additives and food packaging materials and in the preparation of related agency filings. He has a technical background in polymer synthesis, materials research, and analytical chemistry and frequently works with clients throughout the supply chain, including raw material suppliers, resin and polymer manufacturers, converters, food companies, and trade associations in identifying and negotiating complex regulatory challenges. Coneski aids clients in obtaining the necessary clearances to bring their products and technologies to market and assists clients with complementary services, such as performing Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) audits and in developing GMP manuals.

In addition to his work in food additives and food packaging materials, Coneski provides technical skills in the use of novel, sustainable chemistries for the development of functional polymeric materials and maintains a particular interest in exploring the effectiveness of recycling processes and the resulting purity implications for a circular economy. He has extensive experience in developing quantitative exposure models and performing risk assessments required for evaluating the compliance of consumer products under the requirements prescribed by California’s Proposition 65.

“Pete’s chemistry experience will be invaluable to other K&L Gates practices, including litigation,” stated Melissa Tea, a leader of the firm’s global Litigation and Dispute Resolution practice. “The regulatory environment is evolving rapidly with respect to emerging contaminants and other alleged toxins, and Pete’s experience working on many of these compounds will complement and strengthen our ability to support clients as they navigate the related risks, including consumer class actions and securities litigation.”

“Pete’s experience complements and strengthens the firm’s capabilities in the area of food-contact materials and further enhances our ability to support clients with related regulatory questions in the United States and internationally,” said Michael Scanlon, a leader of K&L Gates’ global Policy and Regulatory practice area. “His breadth of knowledge increases our FDA regulatory offerings and our ability to provide strategic counseling to clients navigating regulatory requirements, particularly environmental and international trade issues, in a global marketplace.”

Lawyers in K&L Gates’ Health Care and FDA practice have decades of experience effectively addressing the issues and problems that arise for growers, manufacturers, associations, cooperatives and technology providers. The team also provides crisis management in recall situations, as well as counsel on ingredient, labeling, and advertising matters. Additionally, they provide regulatory strategies for conventional food, functional food, dietary supplements, and medical food. The firm’s lawyers help clients comply with dietary supplement GMPs, provide representation in enforcement proceedings, and provide a comprehensive range of other services for the food sector.

Coneski’s arrival follows the addition of several other new lawyers and policy professionals to the Washington, D.C., office during the last year, including international trade partners Nate Bolin and Dave Allman, former US Department of Justice lawyers Varu Chilakamarri and Michael Culhane Harper, antitrust partner Vishal Mehta, insurance litigator Geoffrey Greeves, public policy of counsel Joseph Trahern, as well as government affairs advisors Ryan Carney and John Northington Jr.

K&L Gates is a fully integrated global law firm with lawyers located across five continents. The firm represents leading multinational corporations, growth and middle-market companies, capital markets participants and entrepreneurs in every major industry group as well as public sector entities, educational institutions, philanthropic organizations and individuals.

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