Kay Chandler was a partner at the law firm of Cooley LLP, based in San Diego, practicing with the firm for 35 years before retiring at the end of 2023. She co-chaired Cooley’s global life sciences industry practice and the firm’s Women’s Initiative. Kay specialized in representing public and private life sciences companies in a wide range of commercial and corporate matters critical to their businesses. She counseled biotechnology, biopharmaceutical, diagnostic, and device companies on complex U.S., global and regional transactions, including technology and product licenses, acquisitions, and divestitures; research, development, and commercial collaborations; supply, distribution, and manufacturing agreements; and profit-sharing and co-promotion arrangements.
Kay serves on the Leadership Council of the University of Michigan Life Sciences Institute and the External Advisory Board of Michigan Drug Discovery. She is also a member of the Board of Directors of Thirona Bio, Inc., a private drug development company focused on fibrotic diseases. Until the end of 2023, she served on the Emerging Companies Section governing board of the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO).
During her career as a lawyer, Kay was recognized as a leading lawyer in the nation. In 2019, she was selected as an honoree for the Women, Influence & Power in Law awards in the collaborative leadership category. She has been recognized in Chambers USA 2009-2022 editions in the category of Life Sciences: Corporate/Commercial (Nationwide and California). She has been recognized by Legal 500 as a key lawyer in Healthcare: Life Sciences. She has been named to the 2006-2013 and 2016 editions of Best Lawyers in America in the category of Biotechnology Law and was named San Diego Biotechnology Lawyer of the Year by Best Lawyers of America in 2011. She has also been recognized in the 2007-2009 and 2011-2019 Southern California Super Lawyers list in the category of Securities & Corporate Finance and by Lawdragon as one of 500 dealmakers in America in 2007. She received an Athena Pinnacle Award in the service category in 2004 in recognition of her efforts toward the development and promotion of skilled and talented women in the San Diego technology business community.
Kay received her undergraduate and juris doctor degrees from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. She and her family and friends have been deeply affected by cancer in various forms, and she is committed to doing all that is possible professionally and personally to help and support those impacted by cancer and find and fund treatments and cures.