Companies across a broad range of industries – and, in particular, in the medical device, biotechnology, and life sciences sectors – have trusted Shannon Hampton Sutherland to assist them with complex issues, such as commercial and business disputes, restrictive covenants, trade secrets, and business torts. She is a noted strategic thinker, practical advisor, and sharp trial lawyer, who is well versed in advising cross-functional teams, with a particular emphasis in helping companies avoid and navigate disputes arising out of contracts, confidential information, trade secrets, goodwill, unfair competition, and customer, consultant, and employee relationships.

Ms. Sutherland has represented clients in business, non-compete, and trade secret litigation across the country, and has obtained and successfully defended temporary restraining orders and preliminary and permanent injunctions across the country.

Ms. Sutherland has also represented several public entities in litigation and counseling roles. 

Ms. Sutherland is the Co-Chair of the Duane Morris Non-Compete & Trade Secrets practice group and a member of the Firm’s Trial, Commercial, Securities and Antitrust, and Life Sciences and Biotechnology practices. She is a frequent contributor to the Duane Morris Non-Compete and Trade Secrets Law Blog

Areas of Practice

  • Breach of contract claims
  • Injunctions
  • Declaratory judgment actions
  • Complex commercial and business disputes
  • Restrictive covenants – drafting, counseling, and litigation
    ◦ Non-competition agreements
    ◦ Non-solicitation agreements
    ◦ Confidentiality, non-disclosure, and invention agreements
  • Distributor agreements – drafting, counseling, and litigation
  • Business tort and statutory claims, including, for example:
    ◦ Trade secrets, Uniform Trade Secrets Act, and Defend Trade Secrets Act
    ◦ Unfair competition
    ◦ Tortious interference
    ◦ Breach of fiduciary duty/duty of loyalty
    ◦ Fraud
    ◦ Computer Fraud and Abuse Act
  • Zoning matters

Representative Industries

  • Medical devices and life sciences, with particular experience with implantable device, biologics, and healthcare services companies
  • Facilities management services
  • Chemical
  • Paper/packaging
  • Software
  • Franchise
  • Construction

Representative Matters

    Restrictive Covenants, Trade Secrets, and Business Torts

  • Defeated injunction and obtained dismissal of trade secret, tortious interference, and conspiracy claims against medical device company and its employees.
  • Won a temporary restraining order to prevent senior executive of food and facilities management services company from working for competitor.
  • Won a temporary injunction and preliminary injunction on behalf of a healthcare services company against a former employee and her new employer, enforcing a non-compete agreement; obtained court order requiring employee to resign from new employment.
  • Obtained a preliminary injunction on behalf of a medical device and biologics company against its former product manager who went to work for a competitor.
  • National counsel to medical device manufacturers for complex matters involving commercial disputes, distributorship agreements, restrictive covenants, confidentiality obligations, trade secrets, and employment matters.
  • National counsel to a Fortune 500 provider of document-management, office-equipment, and facilities management services and solutions for matters involving restrictive covenants, confidentiality obligations, and trade secrets. Served a year-long secondment in a counseling and litigation role, focusing on trade secret, fiduciary duty, and restrictive covenant matters and commercial contract disputes. Litigated temporary restraining order, preliminary and permanent injunction proceedings, and contract claims in federal and state courts across the country.
  • After mounting a vigorous defense, convinced the plaintiff to dismiss all claims for misappropriation of trade secrets claims against the client in the health care reimbursement industry.
  • After mounting a vigorous defense, obtained a complete voluntary dismissal by the plaintiff of all claims, including breach of restrictive covenants, misappropriation of trade secrets, tortious interference with contract, tortious interference with business relationships, and breach of fiduciary duty, against medical device company.
  • Defeated former employee’s motion for summary judgment on claim for breach of non-compete agreement in automotive industry.
  • Defeated defendants’ motion for summary judgment on misappropriation of trade secret claims for automotive industry client.
  • Successfully moved to dismiss claims for tortious interference with employment contract for medical device industry client.
  • Represented the advisory board of a venture capital fund, with a total investment in excess of $100 million, in the investigation of the fraudulent activities of the general partner and litigation against the general partner's counsel for fraud and attorney malpractice, with an ultimate recovery in excess of $5 million.
  • Obtained a temporary restraining order and injunction on behalf of a genetic biosciences company to protect its rights in a genetic profile that it marketed for use in customizing cosmetics and nutritional supplements. Recovered the client's financial losses and attorneys' fees.
  • Represented food marketing executives and company in connection with negotiation of favorable restrictive covenant terms.
  • Represented the former director of a public company in a lawsuit by the minority stockholders for breaches of fiduciary duty in connection with a merger.
  • Other Complex Contract and Commercial Matters

  • Secured a $41 million award for breach of contract against an international defense contractor in connection with a joint venture to provide international security to the U.S. government. Secured a complete victory in defending the client against complex counterclaims for breach of contract, fraud, and rescission.
  • Obtained jury verdict for defense on two claims for breach of distributor contract and defeated fraud claims before trial.
  • Obtained summary judgment on all of distributor's $4+ million claims in connection with medical device manufacturer's termination of distributorship agreement.
  • Defeated a request for interim measures, and subsequently obtained a complete defense victory, on behalf of the owner's representative in a $4+ million construction payment and delay dispute before the American Arbitration Association.
  • Obtained a ruling from the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania denying a petition for allowance of appeal from the order of the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania affirming the trial court's complete defense verdict in favor of our clients on breach of contract and unjust enrichment claims.
  • Obtained at trial, and successfully defended on appeal to the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania, and on a petition for appeal to the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania, a complete defense verdict in favor of a public authority on $1 million in claims related to the transfer of real property, as well as an award of attorneys' fees and costs for client in connection with the plaintiff's vexatious and obdurate litigation conduct.
  • Obtained a directed verdict on behalf of a public authority on breach of contract claims involving software sale and implementation.
  • Represented a nonprofit research institute in a dispute over payment of royalties for use of a cell line in the development of a major vaccine.
  • Representation of Public Entities

  • Represented Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Department of Labor and Industry, in a breach of contract and fraud case against IBM over failed software implementation impacting unemployment compensation.
  • Obtained a ruling from the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania denying a petition for allowance of appeal from the order of the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania affirming the trial court's complete defense verdict in favor of public authority client on breach of contract and unjust enrichment claims.
  • Obtained at trial, and successfully defended on appeal to the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania, and on a petition for appeal to the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania, a complete defense verdict in favor of a public authority on $1 million in claims related to the transfer of real property, as well as an award of attorneys' fees and costs for client in connection with the plaintiff's vexatious and obdurate litigation conduct.
  • Obtained a directed verdict on behalf of a public authority on breach of contract claims involving software sale and implementation.
  • Represented venture capital fund advisory board (which included public pension funds), with a total investment in excess of $100 million, in the investigation of the fraudulent activities of the general partner and litigation against the general partner's counsel for fraud and attorney malpractice, with an ultimate recovery in excess of $5 million.
  • Municipal zoning hearing board solicitor.

Admissions

  • Pennsylvania
  • New Jersey
  • Supreme Court of Pennsylvania
  • Supreme Court of New Jersey
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania
  • U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey

Education

  • The American University, Washington College of Law, J.D., cum laude, 2002
    - Phi Delta Phi Legal Ethics Fraternity, Kennedy Inn, Clerk
  • Temple University, B.A., summa cum laude, 1997

Experience

  • Duane Morris LLP, Philadelphia, PA
    - Partner, 2011-present
    - Associate, 2002-2010
    - Law Clerk, 2001

  • Flott & Co, P.C., Alexandria, VA
    - Law Clerk, 2001-2002

  • Maryland State’s Attorney’s Office, Montgomery County, MD
    - Law Clerk, 2000

  • Prior to her legal career, Ms. Sutherland managed exports in the paper and chemical industries.

Professional Activities

  • Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas Landlord-Tenant Appellate Mediation Program, Mediator
  • Eastern District of Pennsylvania Prisoner Civil Rights Panel, Service as Court-Appointed Counsel
  • Leadership Council on Legal Diversity Law School Mentoring Program, Mentor
  • Nether Providence Township Zoning Hearing Board, Former Vice Chair and Board Member

Honors and Awards

  • Listed in Pennsylvania Super Lawyers Rising Stars, 2013-2015

Civic and Charitable Activities

  • Women's Leadership Committee, City Year Philadelphia
  • Volunteer, Media Little League 

Selected Publications

Selected Speaking Engagements

  • Speaker, "Protecting Your Business with Employment Agreements," Duane Morris' Developments in Workplace Law and Practice, Philadelphia, May 7, 2019

  • Presenter, “Are You Up-to-Date on Key Provisions and Confidential Information Protections in Term Sheets, MOUs and Letter Agreements?” Duane Morris Commercial Contracts Checkup Series, Webinar, June 21, 2018

  • Co-author and presenter, “Before Definitive Agreement— Effective Use of Contract Term Sheets and MOUs/Letter Agreements, and Confidentiality Provisions and Trade Secret Protections,” Contracts Checkup Series Webinar, June 21, 2018

  • Co-author and presenter, “Confidentiality Considerations for Board Members and Employees,” Client Board Series, June 20, 2018

  • Co-author and presenter, “Non-Compete Agreements: A Sword and A Shield,” Association of Corporate Counsel of Greater Philadelphia Litigation Institute, February 15, 2018

  • Co-author and presenter, “Cross-Examination of Expert Witnesses,” Client CLE Boot Camp, February 6-7, 2018

  • Co-author and presenter, “The Federal Defend Trade Secrets Act-One Year Later,” Business Law Institute 2017, Pennsylvania Bar Institute, PBI No. 2017-9849 (2017)