Merriann Panarella



Ms. Panarella has extensive experience in large and complex arbitral disputes as a sole arbitrator, panel chair, and panelist including, technology licensing and development agreements, life sciences, medical devices, patents, trade secrets, breach of fiduciary duty, software, and employment matters. At WilmerHale, Ms. Panarella litigated IP matters (domestic and international) including, licensing agreements, patent infringement and validity, technology joint ventures, trade secret misappropriation, breach of fiduciary duties, trademarks, copyrights, non-disclosure agreements, non-competition and unfair practices, Markman hearings, and injunctions. In the complex commercial area, her experience includes accounting, antitrust, breach of contract, commercial real estate development, deceptive trade practices, Delaware corporation law, derivative claims, energy, environmental, fiduciary duty, Generally Accepted Accounting Principles, misappropriation of corporate opportunity, fraud, franchise, injunctions, insurance, leaking underground storage tank liability, partnership, and closely held corporation disputes.

Work History

PanarellaADR, Arbitrator, Mediator, Dispute Resolution Consultant, 2007 – present. WilmerHale. LLP (previously Hale and Dorr, LLP) Litigation Partner (and Associate), Complex Commercial and Intellectual Property Practice Groups, 1980-2007. The Honorable W. Arthur Garrity. Jr., Law Clerk. The Brookings Institution, Economic Research Assistant.


Examples of cases include chair in a breach of a strategic collaboration and licensing agreement dispute involving drug development, commercialization and manufacture covering hundreds of licensed patents with multiple sublicenses; chair in a dispute over breach of fiduciary duties and legal malpractice for legal advice rendered to a newly former competitor who was formerly associated with an existing IP client; arbitrator in an alleged breach of a supply agreement and its multiple amendments; sole arbitrator in a dispute involving an agreement to develop and produce an integrated capillary electrophoresis system which would provide both the function of a standard thermal cycle device and a capillary electrophoresis instrument; sole arbitrator in a case involving an agreement to scale up and manufacture nanoparticles for clinical trials; sole arbitrator in a patent infringement matter involving three patents related to tools used to measure and calculate angles for precise cutting of materials; chair in a case involving a contract to provide an updated functionality and improvements in a software operating system used internationally; sole arbitrator in matter involving a contract for cloud-based business management services; arbitrator in an insurance dispute involving environmental contamination and clean-up; sole arbitrator in a claim for breach of an operating agreement involving an international marketing consulting firm; arbitrator in a claim alleging retaliatory termination for reporting a failure to comply with security regulations; and sole arbitrator in a case arising out of a patent license involving accelerated drying technologies.


Ms. Panarella’s dispute resolution trainings include the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators’s Accelerated Route to Fellowship (2011), the ICC’s International Commercial Arbitration Workshop (Florence 2014), AAA’s Fundamentals and Advanced Case Management Issues (2005), CCA’s Effective Advocacy and Management in Arbitration, and FINRA’s Basic Arbitration Training (2014). She has attended annual conferences hosted by Fordham International Conference on Arbitration and Mediation, the ABA, the New York State Bar Association, and the ICC, and regularly attends webinars hosted by many of the above organizations and local bar associations. Her training includes the Harvard Law School Program of Instruction for Lawyers Mediation Workshop, the World Intellectual Property Organization Mediation Training (Geneva), the ABA’s 12th Annual Advanced Mediation and Advocacy Skills Institute, and the American Health Lawyers Association Workshop on Mediating Health Care Controversies.


Admitted to the Bar: Massachusetts, New York, U.S. District of Massachusetts, U.S. Court of Appeals, First Circuit, U.S. Federal Circuit Court of Appeals.


University of Virginia, School of Law, J.D. Wellesley College, B.A. cum laude Economics, Phi Beta Kappa.


Recent publications include, co-author, Disclosure and Admission of Evidence in the International Arbitration of Intellectual Property Disputes in The Arbitration of International Intellectual Property Disputes, 2nd Edition, Thomas D. Halket, Editor, 2021; Enforcing International Arbitration Awards Rendered Under the ICSID Convention, NYSBA New York Dispute Resolution Journal Fall 2018, Vol. 11 No. 2; Business Essentials for Neutrals: Starting, Growing, and Sustaining Your Practice, NYSBA New York Dispute Resolution Journal Spring 2018, Vol. 11 No. 1; and Advocacy in IP/Technology Mediations: Design, Preparation, and Strategy in ADR Advocacy, Strategies, and Practices for Intellectual Property Cases, 2nd Edition, Harrie Samaras, Editor, August 2017.


Ms. Panarella is a member of the arbitration and mediation panels of many of the principal dispute resolution institutions including the American Arbitration Association (Commercial, Large and Complex Cases, Life Sciences, and Technology Panels), International Institute for Conflict Prevention and Resolution (Arbitration, Health Care and Life Sciences Panels), World Intellectual Property Organization, International Chamber of Commerce, Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, and the Tech List of the Silicon Valley Arbitration and Mediation.


Recent presentations include Arbitration Solutions for Life Science Problems, CIArbNY Members Program, April 2021; Virtual Hot Tubbing and Panel-Appointed Experts: Arbitrators Debate, You Decide, New York Arbitration Week, November 2020; Arbitrating Domestic and International Life Science Disputes (Including Pharmaceutical, Medical Device, and Biotechnology), AAA-ICDR, October 2019. Ms. Panarella taught the Accelerated Route to Fellowship Course in International Arbitration for the CIArb from 2015 – 2021, at the ABA’s Arbitration Institute 2022, and presented numerous best practices webinars on arbitration and mediation topics for the AAA.

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