Sandra A. Frantzen
McAndrews, Held & Malloy, Ltd.
Intellectual property
40 Under Class – 2014

Sandra Frantzen is making waves as a bright young attorney in the intellectual property arena.

Frantzen, 39, works at McAndrews, Held & Malloy Ltd. Her legal practice focuses on litigation and consulting in the medical device and pharmaceutical industries. She specializes in the complex, high stakes, and highly competitive field of patent litigation.

Frantzen graduated from the Iowa State University with high distinction and degrees in chemistry and environmental science. She received her law degree from The University of Chicago Law School, where she also graduated with honors.

John L. Abramic, of Steptoe & Johnson, is an intellectual property litigator, who represents companies in complex patent disputes. Abramic met Frantzen 15 years ago, when both were summer associates at the McAndrews law firm.

“Clients often have millions, many times hundreds of millions, of dollars at stake and entire product lines or technology groups are at risk,” Abramic said of intellectual property law, adding these clients often seek out the best of the best to represent them. “It takes a truly skilled and motivated individual to obtain substantial experience and succeed as a young patent litigator,” Abramic said. “Sandra has truly distinguished herself among her peers in the field.”

Abramic came to know Frantzen early in her career, while they were representing a very large client in a medical device litigation.

“Although Sandra was only a junior associate at the time, Sandra served as second chair of the case through the litigation phase, trial, and two Federal Circuit appeals,” Abramic said. “The results were a total success for the client.”

Abramic said Frantzen has handled numerous high stakes cases, and received exceptional results for her clients.

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“Sandra possesses all of the traits necessary for success as a patent litigator and a trial lawyer,” Abramic said. “Not only is she bright and well versed in the law, but she can quickly identify the key issues of a complex dispute that will drive an effective litigation strategy. She has a talent for presenting clear, understandable arguments, and is skilled at questioning witnesses and at oral argument.”

In addition to litigating disputes, Frantzen also assists clients in strategic intellectual

property procurement, due diligence, and licensing.  [SF2] She serves as chief intellectual property counsel for a company specializing in ophthalmic lenses and other novel technologies.

Frantzen often speaks on intellectual property topics. Recently, she gave a presentation on intellectual property issues at the request of the U.S. Department of State for the U.S. embassy in Jordan. She recently spoke on U.S. regulations and legal practice regarding biosimilars at conferences in in Istanbul, Turkey, and Dalian, China.

Jean Dudek Kuelper, who retired from McAndrews, said she worked with Frantzen after Frantzen graduated from law school, and was highly impressed with her abilities. Right off the bat, she asked Frantzen to go to Seattle for a six week trial.

“In the few weeks before we left, Sandra got up to speed on the issues in the case by reading every brief that she could get her hands on,” Kuelper said. “Far from being a green lawyer learning the ropes, Sandra became an indispensable member of my team.”

Kuelper said Frantzen has had a number of unique and exceptional results, including winning many summary judgment motions.

“Although hard working and brilliant, the skill that stands out the most is Sandra’s ability to quickly discern the key issue that will win the case,” Kuelper said. “That is no small thing in patent litigation.”

Frantzen is a member of her firm’s Recruiting and Diversity committees. She serves on the Board of Directors for the Arab American Bar Association of Illinois. She has been actively involved in Chicago Bar Association conferences relating to diversity. Frantzen is a pro bono volunteer with the Heartland Alliance National Immigration Justice Center.