Porzio, Bromberg & Newman Expands Services to Puerto Rico
Looks to Work with Life Sciences, Pharma and Medical Device Clients
Although New Jersey-based Porzio, Bromberg & Newman (PR) opened its doors in Puerto Rico in 2019, the law firm’s plans were soon after hindered by the novel coronavirus and the health-safety restrictions that ensued to try and curb its spread.
“I do not think I would call it a relaunching so much, but rather that the things we were planning to do were delayed. … So we did launch in 2019; we were down here [in Puerto Rico] twice in 2019 but did not get to move forward the way we had planned because of the pandemic,” said PBN Managing Principal Vito Gagliardi.
In an interview with Caribbean Business, Gagliardi said the initiative in Puerto Rico is not limited to “just the law firm,” as it also includes the work of its Life Science subsidiary, which currently represents more than 250 pharmaceutical and medical device clients around the world.
Porzio Life Sciences offers a portfolio of products and services to help companies remain compliant with complex state, federal and global regulations governing marketing and sales in the industry. The subsidiary provides commercialization and compliance solutions for companies at all stages of development.
A Stateside Connection
Earlier this year, Francisco Colón joined the local PBN team. Colón is working together with attorney Luis Rivera Marín who had joined the team last year.
PBN Principal Bill Hughes told Caribbean Business that the “plan and our goal is to build this office to make this a Puerto Rican law firm that has a connection to the mainland U.S.”
“And not be a U.S. mainland law firm that has two Puerto Rican lawyers, that is not what is happening here,” Hughes said, adding that “Francisco and Luis are driving the bus,” at the local office.
Rivera Marín pointed out that the firm has a variety of specialty areas and that some of its clients include pharmaceutical companies.
“And it is natural for a law firm to grow in this area and what Porzio is doing is growing in that area and we also want to grow in other areas in the life sciences, where our family of companies can truly serve Puerto Rico with what it is experiencing now with regard to the reconstruction process, moving economic development forward and bringing back manufacturing to make sure that the incentives that are in place in Puerto Rico work, and Porzio has identified and wants to be part of that future growth of the island,” the lawyer said.
Gagliardi added that the firm has been blessed to have already found “two good people” to join its team on the island.
“And we expect to continue to grow the office. This is not an experiment, this is a commitment. And, I am very happy that we have hooked up with such good people,” the managing principal said. “I am flattered to be chosen to handle something of such significance for the commonwealth of Puerto Rico and whether it is in the life sciences field or education field, as these are two of our, I would say, flagship practices. We hope to continue to grow.”
Rivera Marín said the firm also sees a future with regard to Puerto Rico’s continued growth in the aerospace, intellectual property, pharmaceutical and medical device sectors.
“These are areas where our practice not only covers the legal side but also the compliance area. And, what is happening around the world, but especially in Puerto Rico, is that compliance is certainly an area that needs to be applied by not only the private sector, such as the financial, insurance and the healthcare sectors but also by the government,” he said, stressing that those sectors must comply with regulations if they expect to thrive globally.
Hughes pointed out that although there are stateside based law firms doing business in Puerto Rico for the commonwealth government, “for companies that are located in Puerto Rico and for various agencies, they don’t have a physical presence here. You have no midsized full-service law firm that has a physical presence here. And under Vito Gagliardi’s leadership and Luis Rivera Marín’s leadership we have set up to create a Puerto Rican law firm that is tied to more specialties back in the mainland. This provides us with a unique opportunity for Porzio and for Puerto Rico.”
The firm’s principal said that because of the Porzio “family of companies,” in particular the Porzio Life Sciences subsidiary, “utilizing the opportunity in Puerto Rico as a center for pharmaceutical and medical device compliance in Latin America and bringing our experience and our ties to the industry and phasing that out of Puerto Rico is huge.”
Hughes added that Puerto Rico “has a tremendous opportunity in redomesticating pharmaceutical manufacturing in the United States. It is best-suited out of all 50 states as it has the infrastructure, it has the experience and it has the tax structure in order to do it. It also has an existing supply chain capability but it could be stronger and it could be better and it can be done for instance through Aguadilla.”