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OCBJ INSIDER

Legal Briefs

Latham & Watkins Partner Cary Hyden is best known locally for successfully defending Botox-maker Allergan from a takeover attempt by Valeant and activist investor Bill Ackman in 2014, but perhaps his skills could be better served representing some other types of drugmakers, outside the court room.

At a Jan. 14 surprise “Life After Latham” retirement party for Laguna Beach resident Hyden, who stepped down from the law firm at the end of last year, many observed the cheerful disposition of the honoree.

None said it better than litigation partner, Manny Abascal, who stated “Cary is like a walking anti-depressant.”

Investors in then Irvine-based Allergan certainly were cheered up by his M&A work nearly a decade ago.

The hostile takeover price from Valeant was initially about $46 billion. Some seven months later Allergan announced it would be sold for $73 billion to Actavis.

For his work on the hostile takeover defense and ultimate sale, Hyden was named American Lawyer’s M&A Lawyer of the Year.

There’s still life after Latham for Hyden, who says he continues to serve on five charity and community boards.

“I am continuing to be super involved with CHOC and am serving as chair of its $500 million comprehensive campaign with the goal of becoming the nation’s best children’s healthcare provider—literally aspiring to becoming the Mayo Clinic of children’s healthcare and having that right here in Orange County,” he said.

He’s also co-chairing the upcoming CHOC Gala to be held May 13. Earth, Wind & Fire are performing.

A series of IP-related legal wins have helped build Irvine health monitoring device maker Masimo (Nasdaq: MASI) into one of OC’s largest public companies. In the past two decades, Masimo, represented by Irvine’s Knobbe Martens, has successfully sued and won hundreds of millions of dollars from large multi-nationals like Royal Philips Electronics NV and Medtronic PLC.

Its latest win was earlier this month, when the U.S. International Trade Commission backed the company’s claim that some smartwatches made by Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL) violated a Masimo pulse oximeter patent. Knobbe’s Steven Jensen and Joseph Re represented Masimo in the Apple case, which is still in the early rounds and is being fought in several different venues.

The law firm, OC’s largest by lawyer count, had a loss of a different type this month, when co-founder Louis Knobbe died. He was 91. Fellow co-founder Don Martens died in 2019.

“Apple’s good at taking other people’s innovations and repackaging them,” Masimo CEO Joe Kiani said to a stunned Jim Cramer in a recent appearance on CNBC discussing his company’s recently released health monitoring watch, after the ITC court win.

Broadcom might be taking notes. Its shares took a hit about a week ago after reports that Apple plans “to dump the chipmaker’s products and replace them with in-house designed chips within the next two years.” Apple, with a new chip base taking shape in Irvine, is said to account for nearly 20% of Broadcom’s overall chip sales. See pages 6 and 17 for more on OC’s intriguing semiconductor scene.

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Mark Mueller
Mark Mueller
Mark is the Editor-in-Chief of the Orange County Business Journal, one of the premier regional business newspapers in the country. He’s the fifth person to hold the editor’s position in the paper’s long history. He oversees a staff of about 15 people. The OCBJ is considered a must-read for area business executives. The print edition of the paper is the primary source of local news for most of the Business Journal’s subscribers, which includes most of OC’s major corporate and community players. Mark’s been with the paper since 2005, and long served as the real estate reporter for the paper, breaking hundreds of commercial and residential real estate stories. He took on the editor’s position in 2018.
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