United Kingdom > London > TMT (technology, media and telecoms) > Pharmaceuticals and biotechnology > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings
Index of tables
Pharmaceuticals and biotechnology
- Malcolm Bates - Taylor Wessing LLP
- Grant Castle - Covington & Burling LLP
- Ian Dodds-Smith - Arnold & Porter (UK) LLP
- Patrick Duxbury - Gowling WLG
- Penny Gilbert - Powell Gilbert LLP
- Marie Manley - Bristows LLP
- Charles Mayo - Simmons & Simmons
- Marjan Noor - Allen & Overy LLP
- Sophie Rich - Herbert Smith Freehills LLP
- John Wilkinson - Cooley (UK) LLP
Arnold & Porter (UK) LLP is ‘superb in every respect’ and is praised for its ‘highly effective management of litigation’. Regulatory and product liability experts Ian Dodds-Smith and Adela Williams advised InterMune on a judicial review application and injunction for an annulment of a decision of the European Medicines Agency (EMA). Other key figures include Lincoln Tsang, who advises on regulatory and compliance matters; ‘highly competent’ patent litigator Christopher Stothers, who defended AstraZeneca in a challenge to its European patent and in infringement proceedings; and competition expert Tim Frazer. Pfizer, Bayer, GlaxoSmithKline and Bristol-Myers Squibb are also clients.
Bird & Bird LLP fields an ‘excellent’ team that attracts praise for its ‘superb leadership’. Group head Mark Hilton continues to advise Actavis in a cancer drug patent dispute with Eli Lilly, and secured a declaration of non-infringement in the High Court. Neil Jenkins successfully argued before the Patent Court that two of Teva’s patents covering glatiramer acetate were valid. Patent litigator Morag Macdonald ‘has an excellent understanding of the industry’. Transactional IP lawyer Sally Shorthose is also recommended.
Bristows LLP has ‘quality at all levels, and partners are prepared to roll up their sleeves and get stuck in’. IP lawyer Sally Field heads the team, which includes ‘bright and conscientious’ patent litigators Brian Cordery and Robert Burrows; ‘first-class’ regulatory specialist Marie Manley; transactional lawyer Laura Anderson; and competition expert Pat Treacy. The firm is assisting Novartis with the defence of its patents for cancer drug Glivec, and represented Seattle Genetics in a dispute with the Austrian Patent Office regarding the duration of a supplementary protection certificate. AstraZeneca, Genomics England and Smith & Nephew are clients.
Covington & Burling LLP’s corporate group, which clients praise for its ‘Rolls-Royce service’, is very active in the sector. Daniel Pavin and the ‘extremely knowledgeable’ Lucinda Osborne are highly recommended, as is regulatory specialist and ‘wise head’ Grant Castle, who defended Roche in proceedings brought by the European Commission. Also recommended are ‘assured and judicious’ product liability specialist Brian Kelly, who advised Vitabiotics on nutrition claims, and patent lawyer Morag Peberdy, who is ‘a real expert and a pleasure to work with’. Other clients include AstraZeneca, Merck Sharp & Dohme and Novartis.
Simmons & Simmons ‘provides excellent service and always delivers on time’. Practice head Michael Gavey (who is noted for his ‘sound advice and understanding of risk’) advised GlaxoSmithKline on drug research collaborations with the Francis Crick Institute, Shionogi and Apollo Therapeutics. Marjan Noor’s* highlights included representing Eli Lilly in patent disputes with Actavis and Sanofi, and Charles Mayo advised the Department of Health on the launch of its Dementia Discovery Fund. Marc Döring* is recommended for IP work. Since publication, Marjan Noor and Marc Döring have joined Allen & Overy LLP.
Allen & Overy LLP’s ‘outstanding’ and ‘highly responsive’ team, headed by commercial lawyer Jim Ford and ‘bright, courageous and internationally renowned’ patent litigator Nicola Dagg, is noted for its ‘terrific industry knowledge and business acumen’. Ford advised GlaxoSmithKline on its entry into a strategic agreement with MolMed for the manufacture of viral vectors and gene therapy products, while Dagg’s highlights included assisting Warner-Lambert Company with the enforcement of its second medical use patent for the drug pregabalin. Neville Cordell is a ‘thoughtful and experienced litigator’.
Baker McKenzie LLP continued to advise CSL on its acquisition of Novartis’ global influenza vaccine business, and acted for Quest Diagnostics on the formation of a joint venture with Quintiles Transnational Holdings to form a global laboratory services business. It also defended Stryker in a product liability case concerning defective hip replacements and advised two generic pharmaceutical companies on “pay for delay” patent settlement cases. Patent lawyer Hiroshi Sheraton heads the practice in London and Jane Hobson is the global head of pharmaceuticals and healthcare. Julian Thurston is also recommended.
CMS ‘is straightforward to work with, and has sufficient team strength to address every problem’. The firm’s clients include Abbott, the Wellcome Trust, DuPont, and Medtronic, which ‘absolutely amazing’ regulatory lawyer Shuna Mason represented in product liability litigation relating to cardiac implants. ‘Efficient and responsible’ commercial and IP lawyer Carina Healy is based in Glasgow and is also recommended.
DLA Piper’s practice is led by Bonella Ramsay, who advised Nexvet Biopharma on the restructuring of its R&D programme. Highlights for patent lawyer Adam Cooke included successfully representing the International Stem Cell Corporation before the CJEU in a case that concerned the patentability of embryonic stem cells derived from unfertilised human ova. Other clients include Pfizer, Shire Pharmaceuticals, Bayer and Smith & Nephew.
Fieldfisher has a ‘practical and technically strong team’ led by the ‘very knowledgeable’ Alison Dennis, who advises Align Technology on all European legal matters. Other key figures include regulatory lawyer Sarah Ellson, who acts for both the Human Tissue Authority and the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority; and Beatriz San Martin, whose IP expertise ‘gives the team the x-factor’. Abbott Laboratories, Eli Lilly and Genomics England are also clients.
The ‘exceptional’ Gowling WLG, formed by the February 2016 merger of Wragge Lawrence Graham and Gowlings, acts for a heavyweight roster of pharmaceuticals clients. ‘Very experienced’ practice head Patrick Duxbury assisted AstraZeneca with its $300m divestment of the drug Caprels, and Ian Piggin advised GlaxoSmithKline on the sale of its shareholding interests in Convergence Pharmaceuticals. ‘Effective communicator’ Paul Inman is recommended for his patent expertise, and acted for Fujifilm Kyowa Kirin Biologics and Coloplast.
Herbert Smith Freehills LLP’s pharmaceuticals and healthcare department is led by ‘hugely experienced’ patent lawyer Sophie Rich and M&A specialist Alan Montgomery. Rich acted alongside Sebastian Moore for Biogen, Roche and Genentech UK in patent actions against Celltrion and Hospira. Moore’s work for Gilead included handling global proceedings against Idenix that relate to a hepatitis C treatment. Product liability specialist Howard Watson acts for Diageo.
Hogan Lovells International LLP’s department ‘responds quickly and authoritatively to any enquiry’. It is headed by IP lawyer Stephen Bennett (who ‘has a fantastic nose for a case and a great manner with clients’), corporate lawyer Tom Brassington, commercial and regulatory expert Andrew Skipper and litigation lawyer John Meltzer. Bennett acted for Merck Sharp & Dohme in patent infringement proceedings brought against traders importing the client’s asthma medication from overseas. Other clients include Eli Lilly, Johnson & Johnson and Bristol-Myers Squibb.
Olswang LLP’s life sciences department is led by Stephen Reese and Robert Stephen. The former advised Fujifilm Kyowa Kirin Biologics on the establishment of a joint venture with AstraZeneca, while the latter represented Kymab in an appeal against Regeneron’s patent at the European Patent Office. Gareth Morgan defended Focus Pharmaceuticals in litigation against Novartis.
Specialist IP litigation firm Powell Gilbert LLP secured a victory in the High Court for Actavis in patent infringement proceedings brought by Pfizer over the drug Lyrica. Other recent highlights include defending Kymab in a patent infringement and revocation action relating to transgenic mice. Penny Gilbert heads the department, which includes Tim Powell, Alex Wilson and Tim Whitfield.
‘Excellent in all respects’, Taylor Wessing LLP’s life sciences team is headed by Malcolm Bates and regulatory specialist Tim Worden, and includes patent litigators Simon Cohen and Nigel Stoate, and corporate lawyers Mark Barron and David Mardle. The firm advised Kymab on a $50m fundraising and acted for the sellers on the sale of the entire listed share capital of Prosonix.
Ashurst fields ‘a strong team’ that is noted for its ‘good common sense’. IP and commercial lawyer Mark Lubbock heads the life sciences group and Anthony Clare heads the healthcare group. The firm advised J. P. Morgan Cazenove and Panmure Gordon as joint bookrunners on a share placing by Horizon Discovery Group and assisted Acacia Pharma with its proposed IPO. Other clients include NM Rothschild & Sons and GE Healthcare.
Cooley (UK) LLP provides ‘outstanding service and quick response times’. Nicola Maguire advised numerous high-profile clients on fundraisings, investments, and the creation of joint ventures. John Wilkinson is ‘technically skilled, very bright, and a formidable negotiator’. His highlights included advising Bavarian Nordic on the granting of an exclusive option to licence and commercialise patents relating to a prostate cancer drug to Bristol-Myers Squibb. Other clients include the Wellcome Trust and Bavarian Nordic.
The ‘excellent’ DAC Beachcroft LLP acts for defendants in high-profile product liability cases, including those pertaining to the anti-psychotic drug Seroquel and silicone breast implants manufactured by PIP. Consultant Simon Pearl heads the team, which includes associate Olya Melnitchouk and Alison McAdams, who ‘provides quick responses and personal service’. AstraZeneca, Novartis and GlaxoSmithKline are clients.
At the ‘excellent’ Eversheds LLP, Adrian Toutoungi advised Cell Therapy Catapult on a joint venture with Cancer Research Technologies and the University of Birmingham to develop a cancer immunotherapeutic. Practice head Simon Crossley helped Mylan to develop a defence strategy for the promotion and marketing of the asthma drug Sirdupla. Other clients include Roche, Wockhardt, and Diurnal.
Notable lawyers at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP include Jennifer Bethlehem, who handles M&A and capital markets transactions, corporate lawyer and London managing partner Julian Long, and Jonathan Isted, who handles health and safety and product liability cases. Clients have included AstraZeneca, Novartis and Cancer Research UK.
Key figures at King & Wood Mallesons include Cameron Firth, Stephen Kon and the Brussels-based Christophe Humpe, who represented Actavis and Mylan in patent settlement cases in which the authorities alleged that generic manufacturers were paid to delay entry. Andrew Shindler advises clients such as Nicox and Metabolic Explorer on commercial agreements. In May 2016, David Rose moved to Mishcon de Reya LLP and Campbell Forsyth joined Dentons.
Linklaters LLP advised Takeda on the sale of its global respiratory products portfolio to AstraZeneca, and acted for Atos Medical in an investigation by the Competition and Markets Authority into its acquisition of Countrywide Supplies. Other clients include Johnson & Johnson, Sanofi and Bayer. Jonas Koponen, Aisling Zarraga and Marly Didizian head the practice.
Marks & Clerk Solicitors has a ‘really excellent’ team of ‘very capable litigators’, including practice head Mike Gilbert, who ‘has a wealth of experience and strategic insight’. He continued to act for Genentech in proceedings brought by a company hoping to launch a similar version of the client’s breast cancer drug Herceptin. Other key figures include Will James and associate Chris Pratt. Pfizer, AstraZeneca and Daiichi Sankyo are also clients.
Mills & Reeve LLP’s team ‘invariably provides outstanding service together with intellectually robust, commercially driven advice’. Key figures include IP lawyer Alasdair Poore, who heads the practice, and venture capital specialist Zickie Lim, who advised Mercia Investments on 15 portfolio investments in the life sciences sector. NHS Blood & Transplant Services, AstraZeneca and Bicycle Therapeutics are clients. Isabel Napper left the firm in March 2015 to establish a marketing company.
Nabarro LLP’s work for GlaxoSmithKline included a reverse patent settlement competition investigation in which competition lawyer Brian Sher led the firm’s advice. Sher heads the practice jointly with IP lawyer Guy Heath. The firm advised Cantel Medical Corp on its acquisition of Medical Innovations Group, and assisted the British Heart Foundation with a number of IP matters.
Norton Rose Fulbright’s department is headed by patent litigator Huw Evans and includes Mike Knapper, who leads the IP practice and advised GlaxoSmithKline on research collaboration and funding agreements connected with its Bioelectronics Innovation Challenge. The firm also advised ViiV Healthcare on agreements pertaining to its acquisition of HIV research assets from Bristol-Myers Squibb. Other clients include Pfizer, Shire and Reckitt Benckiser.
Pinsent Masons LLP ‘has a formidable reputation’, thanks in no small part to ‘absolute star’ and practice head Clare Tunstall. She and the ‘hugely experienced’ Charlotte Weekes are representing Teva in a challenge to the validity of a supplementary protection certificate held by Boehringer Ingelheim. Transactional lawyers Allistair Booth and Charles Waddell are also recommended.
Redd is a specialist IP firm that handles a wide range of patent-related work as well as trade mark and design matters for pharmaceutical clients. It also advises on competition issues. Duncan Ribbons and Rebecca Lawrence are recommended. Clients include Gilead Sciences, Sun Pharmaceuticals and Consilient Health.
Slaughter and May’s ‘exceptional’ practice assisted Shire with its agreed combination with Baxalta. The ‘bright, hardworking and perceptive’ Susie Middlemiss advised GlaxoSmithKline on the divestment of its rights in ofatumumab to Novartis, and represented clients in patent litigation. Corporate and commercial lawyer David Johnson is also recommended.
Squire Patton Boggs advises some of the world’s leading pharmaceutical companies on transfers of rights and manufacturing agreements. Group head Andrew Wilkinson and consultant Adrian Spooner are recommended. Clients include Santen, Purdue Pharma and Olympus.
Carpmaels & Ransford LLP attracts praise for its ‘fantastic blend of first-rate patent attorneys and excellent litigators’. Key figures include the ‘hugely experienced’ David Wilson and the ‘extremely astute’ Camilla Balleny. The firm is representing Merck & Co in High Court patent litigation relating to its Cubicin product.
Clyde & Co LLP’s team is led by Simon Gamblin and was strengthened by the arrival of patent specialists David Wilkinson from Stevens & Bolton LLP in June 2015 and Ralph Cox from Fasken Martineau LLP in February 2016. Claire Petts is known for product liability work.
Dechert LLP ‘provides an excellent level of service’. Highlights for the team, which includes corporate lawyer Graham Defries, included advising AM-Pharma and its shareholders on the sale of a minority interest in the company to Pfizer, and assisting the shareholders of XO1 with its sale to Janssen Pharmaceuticals.
Denoon Legal is ‘an outstanding boutique’ that represents clients in major disputes and provides day-to-day regulatory, licensing and commercial advice. Alexander Denoon has ‘great insight into the practical issues that affect the industry and a canny ability to translate and explain complex legal issues’. Julian Hitchcock is also recommended.
At the ‘excellent’ Keystone Law, ‘knowledgeable and quick’ IP specialist Vicky Clark advises clients on licensing and commercial agreements. Commercial and regulatory lawyer Paul Ransom joined from Pinsent Masons LLP in May 2015.
Latham & Watkins’ practice is led by Gail Crawford and corporate lawyers Michael Bond and Robbie McLaren. The firm represented Sorin in its merger with Cyberonics to create LivaNova, and advised Allergan on the sale of its generic pharmaceuticals business to Teva.
Mishcon de Reya LLP’s practice is led by Martyn Hann, who focuses on patent disputes. His clients include Perrigo, Dermal Laboratories and Pharmasol. David Rose joined from King & Wood Mallesons in May 2016.
Key lawyers at Morgan, Lewis & Bockius UK LLP include Timothy Corbett and Tom Cartwright. The firm advised the owners of Auden McKenzie Holdings on its £306m sale to Actavis and acted for Perrigo Company on the acquisition of the US rights to AstraZeneca’s drug Entocort. Other clients include Sanofi and Allergan.
Highlights for Osborne Clarke included advising Takeda Ventures on its investment into the Dementia Discovery Fund and into Belgian biotech company Univercells. Other clients include the shareholders of drug discovery company Adorial Technologies, which the firm advised on the company’s acquisition by C4X Discovery Holdings. Janita Good heads the team, which includes Lorna Brazell and Ben Goodger.
RPC’s ‘experienced’ team is ‘particularly strong when it comes to medical devices’. Practice head Dorothy Flower ‘brings energy and penetrating analysis to her role’. Flower defends manufacturers in product liability cases.
Sidley Austin LLP’s ‘very efficient and responsive’ practice is noted for its ‘strong industry knowledge and insight’. The firm handles major corporate transactions for clients in the sector; recent highlights include Thomas Thesing’s work for Sigma-Aldrich on its sale to Merck. William Long ‘provides sure-footed advice’ on issues such as data protection, privacy and e-commerce.
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (UK) LLP’s practice is led by Lorenzo Corte, who advised Mylan on its $1.6bn acquisition of Agila Specialties Private. The firm also advised Merck Group on its $17bn acquisition of Sigma-Alcrich. Other clients include Pfizer, Bayer and NPS Pharmaceuticals.
The ‘excellent’ Stephenson Harwood has a ‘thorough and well-managed practice’ led by Andrew Edge and the ‘extremely clever’ Alexandra Pygall. They advised the management of XO1 on its acquisition by Johnson & Johnson. In addition to handling transactional matters, the firm assists clients with IP and licensing issues.
Highlights for Stevens & Bolton LLP included advising a global healthcare provider on an intra-group reorganisation and acting in an arbitration for the UK subsidiary of an international life sciences company. Senior associate Charlotte Tillett heads the practice.