Conna Weiner

Conna A. Weiner, Esq., FCIArb

JAMS Mediator, Arbitrator and Referee/Special Master

Case Manager
Kristen Schuck
T: 617-228-9121
F: 617-228-0222
One Beacon Street, Suite 2210, Boston, MA 02108


Conna A. Weiner, Esq., FCIArb brings to her U.S. and international mediation and arbitration practice a unique combination of litigation, transactional and in-house experience after roles with internationally known outside counsel and multinational life sciences (pharmaceuticals, medical device, diagnostics, vaccines and other therapeutics) and health care companies. She has extensive experience mediating and arbitrating (in-person and virtually) complex general commercial cases in the U.S. and internationally, as well as franchise and employment matters, and serves as a sole arbitrator, neutral party-appointed arbitrator on three member panels and as the chair of arbitration tribunals with many of the major ADR providers. Her experience in the pharmaceutical, medical device, diagnostic and other therapeutics industries is particularly unique and sought after in connection with dispute resolution clause requirements requiring therapeutics or related industry experience.

Although she has decades of experience in general commercial and employment matters representing both plaintiffs and defendants and is noted for her ability to help parties assess their positions before and after litigations or arbitrations are filed, Ms. Weiner’s extensive transactional and deal work over the years help her rapidly appreciate the core issues involved in business arbitrations and mediations and creatively assist parties in structuring an appropriate arbitration process or working out negotiated business solutions that help preserve relationships. Her inside counsel experience helps her understand and communicate with clients and maintain an objective perspective in connection with a wide variety of matters.

Ms. Weiner has special expertise in the full range of unique, complex legal issues and contractual arrangements prevalent in life sciences (such as intellectual property, licensing and acquisitions, supply agreements and the research, development and commercialization of pharmaceuticals, medical devices and diagnostics), health care (both payors and providers) and other technology arenas.  She is a Fellow in the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators and holds a number of leadership positions in legal and dispute resolution organizations. 

Details of her experience are set forth below.

Representative Matters

Ms. Weiner’s practice is split fairly evenly between arbitration and mediation, and she has gained extensive experience hosting both types of matters remotely (primarily on the Zoom platform.)  The list below is not all-inclusive; note that Ms. Weiner’s counseling/legal experience (discussed below) is significantly broader than the issues covered to date by her ADR practice:

Representative Life Sciences matters (pharmaceutical, device, diagnostics, vaccines), such as research, development, commercialization, manufacturing and intellectual property:

  • Neutral party-appointed arbitrator in ICC arbitration concerning early stage strategic research, development and commercialization of immuno-therapy drugs, including licensing obligations
  • Ad hoc, issues-based baseball arbitration involving dispute between synthetic biology investment fund and fund investors revolving around representations concerning likelihood of success regarding complex technologies
  • UNCITRAL ad hoc international arbitration between US pharmaceutical company and third party-distributor
  • Neutral party-appointed arbitrator in dispute over inventorship and other patent issues and allegations of misappropriation of confidential information.
  • Neutral party-appointed arbitrator regarding dispute over diagnostics joint development agreement
  • Successful fast-track, multiple session Zoom mediation resolving issues between founding stockholders of a diagnostic company (Delaware incorporated) prior to company acquisition
  • Neutral party-appointed arbitrator for tripartite panel in international arbitration regarding dispute over long-term supply and distribution agreements regarding blood plasma products between two pharmaceutical companies
  • Neutral party-appointed arbitrator for tripartite panel in international arbitration regarding dispute over earnout provisions of an acquisition agreement between two pharmaceutical companies requiring use of commercially reasonable efforts to achieve milestones targeted to increases in sales of a basket of acquired products
  • Sole arbitrator in connection with university hospital – pharmaceutical company dispute over scope of permissible scope of patents sublicensing rights and appropriate royalty rate
  • Sole arbitrator in connection with biological materials storage agreement dispute
  • Sole arbitrator in dispute over valuation of private shares in biotechnology company
  • Successful fast-track, multiple session Zoom mediation resolving issues between founding stockholders of a diagnostic company (Delaware incorporated) prior to company acquisition
  • International deal mediation involving mediator assistance with negotiation of patent license terms (royalties, etc.) resulting from patent litigation settlement
  • International mediation regarding disputes between global diagnostics company and privately held diagnostics development company related to diagnostics research, development and commercialization agreement, including allegations of failure to use commercially reasonable efforts to both develop and commercialize diagnostics products in context of significant long-term collaboration
  • International, multiple-party mediation of dispute amongst inventors, start-up company and research institution relating to inventorship, patent and commercialization rights and responsibilities with respect to psychiatric pharmaceutical product
  • Mediation of research university and pharmaceutical company licensee dispute regarding university’s entitlement to sublicensing income from pharmaceutical company sublicense to large pharmaceutical company
  • Mediation of university-based vaccines supplier dispute with pharmaceutical company over effects of termination of long term supply agreement in connection with flu vaccines
  • Mediation of patient/subject injury claims in context of clinical trial; disputes over informed consent, foreseeability of claimed injury, causation, damages
  • Mediation of dispute over inability of clinical research organization and university clinical trial site to enroll number of patients required by clinical trial protocol during COVID-19 pandemic.
  • International mediation of dispute over sale of products to pharmaceutical company and failures to achieve sales and revenue targets
  • Mediation involving university clinical trial compliance and data issues
  • Mediation regarding gene therapy research foundation contribution to academic medical center research which resulted in down-stream licensing deal
  • Mediation involving distribution and sales agency rights and obligations in connection with diagnostics products

Representative Health Care Matters (such as managed care, payor-provider, physician practice issues)

Ms. Weiner has applied her years of substantive, hands-on experience to help parties in connection with a wide range of ADR matters. Representative of her active ADR practice are the following:

  • Chair of tripartite arbitration panel assessing out-of-network emergency room reimbursement dispute between health plan and hospital system provider involving thousands of claims; ad hoc  
  • Sole arbitrator of significant dispute between health plan and its pharmacy benefit manager regarding appropriate basis for determining rebate payments due health plan after adjustments for modified AWP calculations.
  • Sole arbitrator in connection with payor-provider dispute centering around appropriate reimbursement of bundled incidental charges 
  • Neutral party-appointed arbitrator in connection with payor-provider dispute over reimbursement of thousands of out-of-network claims
  • Emergency arbitrator appointed to assess applications for emergency relief in connection with termination of health providers from health plan 
  • Neutral party-appointed arbitrator for tripartite panel in hospital/physician compensation dispute (complicated by potential Stark Law issues)
  • Chair of tripartite panel in physician partnership dispute involving allegations of failure adequately to compensate departing/retiring disabled partner
  • Sole arbitrator payor-provider coverage dispute regarding appropriate level of reimbursement for inpatient and outpatient mental health treatment of potential suicide risk patient
  • Sole arbitrator in connection with ambulance services and managed care provider reimbursement dispute 
  • Mediation of dispute involving SaaS for health care claims administration software and customer over software data migration and implementation issues
  • Mediation of dispute regarding sourcing of KN95 face masks under FDA Emergency Use Authorizations for hospital use
  • Mediator in connection with termination of medical supplies agreement by hospital chain in connection with acquisition by chain of community hospitals
  • Mediation of university-based vaccines supplier dispute with pharmaceutical company over effects of termination of long term supply agreement
  • Mediation of pharmaceutical company false advertising/trade defamation federal litigation involving cross claims with respect to accuracy of respective ad campaigns
  • Mediation of complex dispute between health system and therapeutic hardware/software supplier in connection with long term collaboration on cancer radiology therapy and associated software

Representative Employment matters

  • Sole arbitrator in connection with workplace retaliation claims for reporting safety violations
  • Sole arbitrator in hostile work environment and retaliation matter involving employee allegations of widespread harassing and male-dominated culture at company resulting in discrimination and a conspiracy among management employees to retaliate against female employees; assessment of extent of permissible me-too discovery in connection with same.
  • Neutral party-appointed arbitrator for tripartite panel in dispute over denial of severance benefits under an ERISA plan in connection with change of control
  • Sole arbitrator in connection with FLSA, discrimination and retaliation claims brought by terminated employee
  • Neutral party-appointed arbitrator for tripartite panel in connection with breach of partnership agreement and fiduciary duty by law firm partner
  • Sole arbitrator in connection with age discrimination claims in connection with reduction in force at community hospital associated with acquisition of community hospital by national hospital organization
  • Charges of defamation on social media and other platforms

International and Domestic Franchise Arbitrations

Ms. Weiner has extensive international and U.S. experience as a sole arbitrator in franchise termination arbitrations, having arbitrated over 50 cases involving a number of different franchisors, including food service and hair salons

Attorney-Client Disputes

Ms. Weiner has arbitrated a number of disputes between attorneys and their clients, including fee and malpractice disputes, including as chair of tribunals.

ADR Experience and Qualifications

Ms. Weiner began her career as a general commercial litigator at Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison. She then moved on to leadership roles in-house with multinational firms such as Novartis, where, in addition to all of the work required of an in-house corporate generalist, she gained hands-on experience in the full range of unique legal issues facing life sciences and healthcare companies, including every phase of discovery, research, development and commercialization. She has worked for branded and generic, human and animal pharmaceutical, vaccine and device manufacturers and has collaborated extensively with their business partners, including providers (such as hospitals, physicians, academic medical centers and universities), payors (such as health plans/insurers and managed care entities), contract manufacturers and suppliers, software companies, clinical research organizations and state and federal governmental entities.

Her transactional, counseling and litigation experience includes:

  • Negotiation and drafting of complex commercial transactions, such as licensing technology (in and out), asset purchases and divestures (including voluntary and government agency-driven acquisitions and divestitures), mergers and acquisitions and global research, development and commercialization collaboration agreements
  • Hands-on management of complex litigations, investigations and arbitrations, including cases involving alleged securities law violations, disputes over purchase price adjustments, trademarks/Lanham Act, loan guarantees, crude oil transshipment, biotechnology supply, antitrust (including In Re Brand Name Prescription Drug Litigation, a multi-district litigation involving Robinson–Patman and Sherman Act claims in the pharmaceutical industry), False Claims Act, the exercise of a material adverse event clause in the context of a government agency–driven product divestiture, federal agency lawsuits (including suits under the Administrative Procedure Act against regulatory agencies), government contractor pricing audits, product liability matters, cross-border jurisdictional and discovery issues
  • Regulatory, including product research (such as research subject protection) and development, product approval, labeling and launch requirements in pharmaceuticals and devices, federal and state law government affairs issues involving drugs and devices, pharmaceutical and device sales and marketing practices including advertising, promotional and anti-kickback/anti-bribery counseling (including FCPA), False Claims Act counseling and corporate integrity agreements, OIG compliance guidances, advisory opinions and company policies, Sunshine Act, securities law disclosures regarding business operations, privacy, government pricing and reimbursement, legislation drafting and analysis
  • Customer purchase and distribution contracting (including with retailers, wholesalers, hospitals and hospital buying groups, specialty pharmacy, managed care organizations), including pricing and reimbursement questions (e.g., federal government contracting, Medicare and Medicaid, requiring an understanding of regulatory and operational issues of diverse customer base such as government programs, hospitals, physician groups and managed care organizations) and AWP litigation
  • Research and development–related counseling and contracting, including clinical trials, clinical research organization agreements, sponsored research, material transfer agreements and related agreements
  • Intellectual property, including licensing and acquisition issues, patent/Hatch–Waxman litigation and patent department management, copyright and trademarks, and trade secrets
  • Antitrust and trade association counseling, including Sherman Act, Clayton Act and Robinson–Patman Act (and state analogues)
  • Supply chain issues, such as procurement practices, global supply and manufacturing agreements, product shortages, quality issues, recalls and GMPs
  • Numerous therapeutic areas and technologies, including transplantation and immunology, drug-coated stents, epilepsy, oncology, vaccines, ophthalmics, companion and farm animal diseases and pest control, orphan drugs (such as lysosomal storage disease therapies), radiology, vascular interventional, small molecules, biotechnology, generics and devices
  • Compliance policies, procedures and investigations
  • International
    • As an advocate in an ad hoc arbitration concerning a complex international commercial dispute involving crude oil long-term supply and transshipment agreement
    • Involvement as an advocate in significant ICC arbitrations
    • Latin-American compliance/legal investigations
    • Switzerland-based, global experience as a general counsel and litigation manager, including oversight of a global patent, trademark and copyright function as part of responsibilities as General Counsel and Global Compliance Officer for Novartis Animal Health; training and experience as required by issues arising in practice with local country laws outside the U.S. and European Union laws/directives (such as competition law, privacy); and direct global compliance officer experience and Ex-Americas global litigation and alternative dispute resolution management experience, including Sarbanes–Oxley–related issues
  • Available to resolve disputes remotely through a number of videoconferencing options

Completed Virtual ADR training conducted by the JAMS Institute, the training arm of JAMS.

Selected Appointments and Memberships

  • Vice Chair, Boston International Arbitration Association, Inc. 
  • ABA Health Care Section Leader: for the 2018-19 Bar Year - Vice Chair, ADR & Conflict Management in Healthcare
  • Vice Chair, USCIB/ICC Arbitration Northeast Subcommittee
  • Fellow of the International Chartered Institute of Arbitrators
  • Named on the Silicon Valley Arbitration & Mediation Center’s List of the World’s Leading Technology Neutrals in 2016
  • Appointed to World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) Panel of Neutrals
  • Available for American Arbitration Association and International Centre for Dispute Resolution cases through party or neutral appointment. Previously served on the American Arbitration Association’s (AAA) arbitration and mediation panels, including its commercial, large complex cases, health care and joint venture and mergers and acquisitions specialty panels, and the AAA's international affiliate, the International Centre for Dispute Resolution (ICDR) 
  • American Bar Association (Section on Dispute Resolution; appointed co-chair, Women in Dispute Resolution Committee 2015–2018; Section of Litigation; Commercial and Business Litigation Section, appointed chair of ADR subcommittee; Health Law Section, appointed to ADR Task Force)
  • New York City Bar Association
  • New York State Bar Association (Dispute Resolution Section)
  • Women’s Bar Association (Massachusetts), Co-Chair, ADR Committee
  • Massachusetts Bar Association (appointed to Dispute Resolution Council)
  • American Health Lawyers Association (appointed to panel of neutrals)
  • International Institute for Conflict Prevention and Resolution (appointed to Distinguished Panel of Neutrals, including to specialty health care and life sciences and technology panels)
  • Association of Corporate Counsel
  • Licensing Executives Society
  • Boston Bar Association

Publications and Materials

  • Conna Weiner & Bennett Picker, “Commercial Mediation Practice Guide: A Practical Handbook for Lawyers and their Business Clients, Third Edition”, American Bar Association, January 27, 2023
  • “Mediating Complex Business Disputes Before Litigation: Making the Most of the Moment,” The Resolver, Spring 2018, Federal Bar Association
  • “Reassessing Commercial Arbitration: Making It Work for Your Company,” with Steven M. Greenspan, American Corporate Counsel Docket magazine, March 2017
  • Case Note, New York State Bar Association Dispute Resolution Lawyer, Spring 2015: Second Circuit Refuses to Enjoin Subsequent Arbitration Based Upon All Writs Act: Citigroup, Inc. v. Abu Dhabi Investment Authority
  • “Striving for the ‘Bulletproof’ Mediation Settlement Agreement,” with Edna Sussman, April 2015
  • Outlines, Materials and Forms for Mediation Convening and Intake Best Practices, with Nancy Greenwald, 2015 ABA Section on Dispute Resolution Annual Meeting Program
  • Foundational materials and bibliography for presentations regarding “Beyond ADR: Managing Conflict with External Partners Before and After the Contract Is Signed,” selected for CLE presentation at the February 2016 Annual Meeting of the Association of University Technology Managers in San Diego

Selected Speaking/Teaching Engagements and Panel Presentations

  • June 2022: Mediator, Introduction of the Moot Trial, 8th Annual World Life Sciences Conference
  • May 2018: Panelist, Arbitration Best Practices Tips, American Bar Association Section of Litigation National Annual Meeting
  • May 2018: Organizer and Panelist: Managing Dispute Risk in Business Agreements: How Transactional Lawyers and Litigators Can Work Together
  • April 2018: Panelist, Cutting-Edge Issues in Commercial Arbitration, New York Law School
  • February 2018: Organizer and Panelist, How Experience Lawyers Can Hone Their Mediation Advocacy Skills, American Bar Association Corporate Counsel CLE Program
  • April 2017: Organizer and Panelist Special Issues in Health Care Arbitration, Boston Bar Association
  • Organizer and Panelist: Essentials of Mediation and Arbitration, Massachusetts Bar Association 2017-2018
  • January 2017: Co-Chair and Panelist, New York State Bar Association Dispute Resolution Section Annual Meeting
  • October 2016: Organizer, Moderator and Panelist: Reassessing Commercial Arbitration in 2016: Making It Work for Business, New England Legal Foundation
  • July 2016: Seminar, Dispute Risk Management in External Alliances, Association of Strategic Alliance Professionals
  • May 2016, Speaker, Negotiation and Conflict Resolution, Women Who Build: Leadership and Networking Summit Construction Institute of the University of Hartford
  • April 2016: Speaker, Unpacking, Mapping and Evaluating Conflicts: Analytical Tools for Resolving Complex Disputes and Enhancing Your Practice, ABA Section on Dispute Resolution Spring Meeting
  • February 2016: Organizer, Moderator and Speaker, Beyond ADR: Managing Disputes with External Partners Before and After the Contract Is Signed, Annual Meeting of Association of University Technology Managers
  • February 2016: Organizer, An Insider’s Look at Alternative Dispute Resolution, Women’s Bar Association ADR Committee
  • November 2015: Organizer and Speaker, What Every Litigator Needs to Know About ADR to Be Competitive in Today’s Marketplace, ABA Women of the Section of Litigation
  • October 2015: Speaker, What Lawyers Need to Know About Dispute Resolution Methods and Drafting, D.C. Bar Association
  • 2015: Organizer, Moderator and Speaker: The Alternative Dispute Resolution Continuum: Ombuds, Early Neutral Evaluation and Med-Arb, Arb-Med, New York State Bar Association Dispute Resolution Fall 2015 Meeting
  • 2015: Organizer, Moderator and Speaker: Mediation Convening and Intake Best Practices, ABA Section on Dispute Resolution Annual Meeting
  • 2015: Speaker, High-Technology ADR, ABA Section on Dispute Resolution Annual Meeting
  • 2015: Speaker, ADR in Intellectual Property Cases, CPR Annual Meeting
  • 2014: Speaker, Managing Disputes in Life Sciences Collaborations, Association of Strategic Alliance Professionals
  • 2014: Semifinal Judge, ABA National Mediation Competition
  • 2014: Speaker, Dispute Resolution: Managing Your Exposure and Avoiding Your Day in Court (And What to Do If You Can’t Avoid It), New England Corporate Counsel Association
  • 2013: Speaker, ADR and Business Disputes, Massachusetts Law Weekly
  • 2013: Speaker, Arbitration Evolution, ExecuSummit on ADR
  • 2013: Speaker, What Clients Are Looking for in Arbitration, ABA Section on Dispute Resolution Annual Meeting

Bar Admissions

  • New York, 1987
  • Massachusetts, 2013
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern and Southern Districts of New York, 1989
  • Independent Mediator, Arbitrator and Consultant, 2013–2018
  • General Counsel, North America, Mylan, Inc., 2010–2012
  • Vice President and Lead Counsel, Shire Human Genetics Therapy, 2009–2010
  • U.S. and global roles, Novartis, 1993–2009
    • Head of Litigation, Ex-Americas, 2009
    • Global General Counsel and Global Compliance Officer, Novartis Animal Health, Inc., 2007-2008
    • Vice President, Legal, Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation, 2004–2007; specific roles included U.S. Legal Head of Transplant, U.S. Legal Head of Ophthalmics, Legal Head of U.S. Managed Markets and work in oncology and epilepsy
    • Executive Director and Section Head, 1996–2003
  • Litigation Associate, Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison, 1987–1993
  • J.D., University of Chicago Law School, 1986
  • B.A., With Highest Honors, Oberlin College, 1983

Counsel Comments

    •  “I served on a panel of neutral arbitrators with Conna Weiner in a complex biotechnology licensing dispute. Her contributions on procedural, legal and technical issues were most helpful. She is bright, conscientious and fair-minded. It was a pleasure working with her.”
      - Prominent Arbitrator
    • “We worked closely with Conna on a complicated royalty/contract dispute. There was a high degree of suspicion between the parties; the technical issues were complex and dense; and the legal disputes were difficult to unwind. Through her smarts and engaging personality, Conna won the confidence of everyone, parties and attorneys alike, and patiently stayed with the process for months. She was instrumental to reaching a fair and comprehensive resolution of a difficult multi-layered dispute.”
      - Health Care Litigator
    • “My institution had reached a total impasse with one of our licensees regarding a license dispute. In the hopes of avoiding litigation, both sides agreed to try mediation and we all agreed that we needed to find a mediator with extensive pharma/biotech licensing experience. We found just the right person with Conna Weiner. Although the two sides were very far from agreement at the outset, Conna patiently and professionally got us to a mutually agreeable outcome. She was very knowledgeable, professional, responsive, and practical. I would definitely seek her out again.”
      - General Partner, Life Sciences
    • “Conna is the whole package. She is collaborative, patient and listens carefully to all the parties. Her role as In-House Counsel as well as a former litigator allows her to understand both perspectives very well."
      - General Counsel: Health and Life Sciences
    • "Conna Weiner provided non-binding deal mediation for a complex, multinational negotiation requiring input and approval from our venture-backed tech company's founders, board, and investors. She was able to help us reach an agreement that left all parties better off and that improved the company's growth potential. Conna was incredibly communicative and adaptable throughout the process, digging deeply to fully understand the psychological and commercial needs of all parties so that we could devise a process we were all comfortable with and ultimately reach an agreement that we could all support."                                     - CEO Life Sciences Start Up



Practice Areas

  • Business & Commercial
  • Employment Law
  • Health Care
  • Intellectual Property
  • International & Cross-Border
  • Life Sciences
  • Pharmaceuticals/Mass Tort
Available nationwide


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