Search Team

Search by Last Name

John C. Adkisson

Principal, President-elect and Chief Executive Officer

Minneapolis, MN
[email protected]
Download vCard
John C. Adkisson Photo


John C. Adkisson is the President-elect and Chief Executive Officer, responsible for the firm’s strategic direction. He has a reputation for his in-the-trenches work ethic and passion for promoting Fish’s culture of innovation and teamwork. His priorities include expanding the firm’s global reach and continuing to offer extraordinary value to every client in every matter. Mr. Adkisson has been a member of the firm’s Management Committee since 2017 and served as the Managing Group Leader for the firm’s 200-plus lawyer litigation group since 2017.

In addition to serving as President-elect and CEO of the firm, Mr. Adkisson has 20-plus years of experience as a patent infringement litigator. Over the past decade, Mr. Adkisson has focused on high-stakes pharmaceutical cases, including representing clients in Hatch-Waxman and the rapidly emerging field of biosimilar litigation. Mr. Adkisson has also acted as lead counsel in numerous post-grant proceedings before the United States Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB).

Some of Mr. Adkisson’s high-profile cases include helping Repligen Corp. and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology win a $65 million settlement from ImClone Systems. He was on the team that represented Coherus BioSciences Inc. and succeeded in getting three key patents covering AbbVie Inc.’s arthritis medication Humira® — the world’s best-selling drug — invalidated by the PTAB in 2017.

As the Managing Group Leader for the firm’s litigation group, Mr. Adkisson played a pivotal role in investing in and shaping the firm’s next generation of trial lawyers.  He is a strong proponent of Fish’s 1L Diversity Fellowship program, which awards scholarships and Summer Associate positions to diverse first-year law students.

Mr. Adkisson’s contributions to the field of intellectual property law have been widely recognized. In 2020, Law360 featured Mr. Adkisson in his new role as CEO of Fish & Richardson. In 2015, The National Law Journal profiled his long-standing successful work on behalf of 3M Company. He has also been named a Minnesota Super Lawyer for the past six years and has been included in Best Lawyers in America® every year since 2015.


University of Wisconsin, Madison 1996
​​Wisconsin Law Review​​
cum​ laude

University of Nebraska 1993
​cum laude


  • Minnesota 1996
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota

Memberships & Affiliations

​Member of the American Bar Association
Federal Circuit Bar Association
American Intellectual Property Law Association (AIPLA)
Minnesota Intellectual Property Law Association

Other Distinctions

Named a 2020 “Healthcare/Life Sciences Trailblazer” by The National Law Journal
Named a 2018 “Attorney of the Year” by Minnesota Lawyer (Individual & Group Award Recipient)
Named a 2018 and 2019 “Life Sciences Star” by LMG Life Sciences 
Selected as a 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019 Super Lawyer
Selected as a 2015-2020 Best Lawyer


Speaker, July 2019 Fish & Richardson Webinar, “Biosimilars: 2019 Mid-Year Update” (with Tasha Francis and Jenny Shmuel)

Speaker, January 2019 Fish & Richardson Webinar, “Biosimilars: A Year in Review” (with Tasha Francis and Jenny Shmuel)

Speaker, January 2018 Fish & Richardson Webinar, “Biosimilars: A Year in Review” (with Tasha Francis and Jenny Shmuel)

Lecturer, 2017 Midwest IP Institute, “After TC Heartland: Venue Considerations for Practitioners.”

Speaker, Fish & Richardson Boston Seminar Series, August 9, 2017, “Biosimilars Litigation: A Midyear Review” (with Jenny Shmuel)

Lecturer, 2016 AIPLA Spring Meeting, “U.S. Patent Litigation Five Years After The America Invents Act”

Lecturer, 2014 Midwest Intellectual Property Institute, “Post Grant Challenges at the PTO: Process and Strategy” (with Dorothy Whelan)



“If You Snooze, Do You Lose Your Right To Sue?” National Law Journal, October 19, 1998. (with Ronald J. Schutz).


view all

“John Adkisson is the trial supremo… Adkisson focuses on big-ticket pharmaceutical cases in district courts, although he also has ample post-grant lead counsel experience.”

— Client testimonial, 2019 IAM Patent 1000

“John Adkisson is very, very good. He’s unflappable in negotiations, he doesn’t bang his shoe on a podium, he comes across well and he’s persuasive to folks on the other side. He always takes a thoughtful approach, he’s not emotional, and he’ll say why if he disagrees.”

— Client testimonial, 2017 Chambers and Partners

What's trending with John