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Industry focus: Healthcare and life sciences in France

Allen & Overy LLP

Allen & Overy LLP's multi-disciplinary offering in the healthcare sector acts for leading international pharmaceutical companies, technology and biotech players, and industry associations. Co-head of the global life sciences group and IP litigator Laëtitia Bénard jointly leads the Paris team alongside counsel Eveline Van Keymeulen, who is the global head of the regulatory life sciences sub-group. On the contentious front, Novartis appointed the firm to handle a nullity and infringement action brought by Teva regarding a fixed-dose combination patent for the treatment of hypertension, and the group remains Merck Sharp & Dohme's counsel for all patent litigation in France. Bénard and Van Keymeulen are currently collaborating to assist GSK with strategic EU data exclusivity and cross-border pricing and reimbursement issues. Also notable on the regulatory side is the firm's work in relation to new product launches, market access and research agreements. Other key clients include Bayer, Pfizer and Pierre Fabre.


Clients value CMS' 'relationship-oriented approach' and the team's 'outstanding knowledge' of their business. The practice recently added to its existing capabilities in the regulatory, antitrust, tax and corporate areas with the arrival of IP expert Jean-Baptiste Thiénot, who joined from Bird & BirdArnaud Hugot led the advice to Ramsay Générale de Santé regarding its acquisition of 100% of Hôpital privé de l'Est Lyonnais from the NOALYS group, and Bernard Geneste represented French and European health industry unions in their appeal to the Conseil d'Etat for the revocation of certain regulatory requirements for the launch of medical devices in France. On the contentious front, Anne-Laure Villedieu advised on a number of product liability claims and Thiénot assisted a major global pharmaceutical company with regulatory and antitrust issues raised with the authorities by a competitor. Jean de la Hosseraye heads the product liability sub-team and the main names in Lyon are Laurent Stamm and Laurent Romano.

Dechert LLP

Dechert LLP's team 'has all and any capabilities clients could possibly require' and its lawyers 'are totally dedicated to their clients, always willing to help, challenging ideas and available whenever needed'. The firm's enviable client base includes names such as Roche, which recently instructed a team led by Mélanie Thill-Tayara and supported by Sophie Pelé and associate Marion Provost to advise on antitrust proceedings pertaining to the off-label use of its drug Avastin. Corporate experts Isabelle Marguet and the 'tremendously experiencedAlain Decombe acted for private equity fund Astorg on its acquisition of Compeed assets from Johnson & Johnson, while Jacques Sivignon is leading the advice to a pharmaceutical company on a dispute arising from the brutal termination of a distribution agreement. For intellectual property work, clients can rely on the 'technically excellent, creative and always availableMarie Fillon, who 'has the amazing ability to listen to the client and understand not just the context but also the specifics of every case'. Marianne Schaffner departed for Dentons.


The 'involved' healthcare offering at Dentons is noted by clients for its 'responsiveness and accuracy', especially in the area of 'regulations and compliance issues'. Practice co-head Pascale Poupelin 'knows exactly what in-house lawyers expect' and is distinguished by her 'pertinent legal advice regarding market access for drugs'. In recent highlights, team co-head Jean-Marc Grosperrin collaborated with tax expert Sandra Hazan and IP specialist David Masson to advise Servier on several investment ventures with startups operating in the connected devices space; the team also acted for Servier in a strategic partnership with Swiss biotech company GeNeuro to develop and commercialise products to treat MS. On the M&A front, François Vignaud represented longstanding client Pfizer in the sale of its global infusion therapy business to ICU Medical. Marianne Schaffner recently joined the firm from Dechert LLP with counsel Pierre-Olivier Ally to strengthen the intellectual property and contentious offering.

Hogan Lovells (Paris) LLP

Hogan Lovells (Paris) LLP fields a cross-disciplinary team with a strong offering in the areas of competition, regulation, intellectual property, IT and litigation. Mikael Salmela is the key name. The group is currently acting for the defendant in a high-profile global product liability claim regarding the allegedly improper certification of a medical device; Charles-Henri Caron is involved in this matter. On the employment side, Muriel Pariente and Dominique Mendy are currently representing Johnson & Johnson in litigation proceedings arising from the closure of its plant in Auneau. Notable patents work included Stanislas Roux-Vaillard's advice to Icos on a nullity claim against its patent for its urology blockbuster, Cialis. Clients can also rely on IT and data protection specialist Winston Maxwell, competition partner François Brunet and counsel Patrice Navarro. Other noteworthy clients include Abbott, Daiichi Sankyo and TUV Rheinland.

McDermott Will & Emery AARPI

Emmanuelle Trombe and Anthony Paronneau are the senior names to note in McDermott Will & Emery AARPI's Paris-based multi-faceted healthcare offering. With particular strength in the corporate and commercial space, the group recently advised Bioprojet SCR on the acquisition by Harmony of the exclusive US right to develop, register and market Pitolisant, and Trombe assisted Poxel with its strategic partnership with Sumitomo for the development and commercialisation of Imeglimin in Asia. Other highlights included the negotiation of R&D agreements, licensing contracts and funding facilities. Counsel Anne-France Moreau and the recently promoted partner Laura Morelli are also key contacts.


The key name to note at SEA AVOCATS is Alain Gorny, who continues to defend a leading medical device manufacturer in longstanding product liability claims. A retailer also appointed the group to conduct a regulatory analysis of frontier products with regard to promotional purposes. Donatienne Blin and Stéphanie Oudard were recently promoted to partner and are also key names. Diane Bandon-Tourret recently left the practice to join LexCase.

Simmons & Simmons

Simmons & Simmons is 'one of the best law firms in the life sciences space', according to one client; the Paris team is 'truly great and shares a fantastic spirit'. Along with its established place in the product liability arena, the group also handles commercial litigation and competition, regulatory, intellectual property, real estate and tax mandates. Corporate expert Christian Taylor assisted Wright Medical with the acquisition of French software company Imascap. Marina Cousté and her intellectual property team - including François Jonquères - joined from Reed Smith and are currently handling a number of patent disputes. Alexandre Regniault heads the international life sciences offering with the support of France head Jacques-Antoine RobertCharlotte Damiano was recently promoted to of counsel and is also a key name to note.

August Debouzy

While the main bulk of the healthcare and life sciences work at August Debouzy is driven by the patents and intellectual property group led by François Pochart and Grégoire Desrousseaux, the practice has substantial experience advising across the full life cycle of products. On the contentious front, Marie Danis is leading the advice to a pharmaceutical company in international arbitration proceedings brought by a competitor on the grounds of a licensing issue, and Alexandra Cohen-Jonathan is representing 500 victims of a faulty breast implant product in a class action against the party which certified it. In other highlights, labour partner Emmanuelle Barbara is advising on the reorganisation, transformation and digitalisation of a major pharmaceutical client, and Florence Chafiol acted on data protection mandates. Counsel Mathilde Rauline plays a key role within the intellectual property department and is also a name to note. Other significant clients include Ferring Pharmaceuticals, Essilor and Sofibel.

Baker McKenzie

The dedicated life sciences team at Baker McKenzie is headed by Julie Yeni, who handles both litigation and advisory matters for a varied and top-notch client list. Among recent work highlights feature the group's advice to Servier regarding its acquisition of Shire's global oncology business. Other highlights included the negotiation of R&D contracts, regulatory compliance advice, licensing agreements with local startups, the launching of new connected and e-health devices, and corporate restructurings. Associate Chloé Cornet is also a key name to note alongside data privacy expert Yann Padova.

Bird & Bird

Bird & Bird's team consists of 11 partners and covers the intellectual property, corporate, data protection, commercial, employment and tax aspects of the healthcare and life sciences sector. Recent intellectual property highlights include Yves Bizollon's advice to Actavis regarding a patent revocation claim against Servier, andspan class="legalease-display-reference" data-type="contact" data-id="130007" data-parent-type="account" data-parent-id="12385" data-disabled-flag="FALSE">Anne-Charlotte Le-Bihan's work for a medical device manufacturer in the context of two multi-jurisdictional patent infringement actions. Clients such as Enterome instructed experts such as Emmanuelle Porte and Anne-Cécile Hansson to act on significant corporate and financing mandates, while Ariane Mole has been advising a leading global pharmaceutical company on a host of regulatory issues including market access and GDPR compliance. The tax front is covered by Laurence Clot and Alexandre Vuchot is the main name in the commercial sub-group.

Clifford Chance

Market access, pricing policies, competition, public procurements, intellectual property, compliance and corporate matters all fall within the expertise of Clifford Chance's cross-disciplinary offering. Reinforced by the arrival of antitrust expert David Tayar from Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP, the team recently advised on the breakup of a joint venture between two leading global pharmaceutical players for the distribution of over-the-counter products; Tayar is also representing Teva in an investigation by the European Commission regarding a patent settlement with Cephalon. Thomas Baudesson and senior associate Gaëlle Merlier teamed up to defend a major pharmaceutical company against a series of product liability claims, including criminal charges. On the corporate front, Laurent Schoenstein assisted Synlab Labco with its acquisition of Seldaix, while regulatory expert Olivier Gaillard continues to advise on new anti-gift and transparency regulations. Other key clients include Pfizer, GSK and Novo Nordisk.

De Gaulle Fleurance & Associés

De Gaulle Fleurance & Associés recently acted for Icade on the contractual and regulatory aspects of its telemedicine project - particularly with regard to GDPR compliance - and an international medical device manufacturer instructed the group to negotiate several public tender offers with French entities for the supply of its products. Louis de Gaulle is currently handling litigation pertaining to the alleged unfair termination of a distribution contract, while Blandine Fauran and Francine Le Péchon-Joubert are jointly handling a matter arising from claims of misleading advertising. Other key names to note include Jean-Marie Job and Cécile Théard-Jallu, who advises an enviable client roster on a wide array of issues including R&D agreements, licensing arrangements and technology-related matters.

DLA Piper

Headed by Sonia de Kondserovsky, the dedicated healthcare and life sciences team at DLA Piper is comprised of five partners, including intellectual property expert Karine Disdier-Mikus, who recently teamed up with de Kondserovsky to advise Pierre Fabre on its long-term R&D agreement with Foresee for the development of oncology products. Also notable is Disdier-Mikus' work in the patent litigation space. On the data side, Denise Lebeau-Marianna, Jonathan Rofé and associate Yaël Hirsch - who recently arrived from Simmons & Simmons - collaborated to advise on a number of GDPR compliance programmes. Marine Gicquel is the name to note for employment issues while private equity specialist Xavier Norlain and Jeremy Scemama advise on corporate matters.


Fieldfisher's 'outstanding' life sciences practice is headed by regulatory expert Olivier Lantrès, who is currently acting on a number of sensitive international disputes pertaining to the sale of medical devices and trade mark issues. On the advisory side, he teamed up with Franck Veisse to assist a major international pharmaceutical player with the revision of the contractual framework of its commercial policy; he also collaborated with the corporate department to handle the sale of a particular branch of same client's business. Other key names include Samuel Pallotto, who specialises in capital markets matters, and of counsel Sébastien Pradeau.

Gide Loyrette Nouel A.A.R.P.I.

Gide Loyrette Nouel A.A.R.P.I.'s Dimitri Dimitrov is currently advising Danish medical device company Coloplast on its acquisition and vertical integration of French distributor Lilial, while Grégoire Triet and the recently promoted Jean-Hyacinthe de Mitry are representing Celltrion in a number of patent revocation claims. The multi-disciplinary offering also includes Pierre Karpik, who is assisting Doctolib with a round of equity financing from Eurazeo, and practice head Matthias Grolier, who specialises in corporate matters. On the intellectual property side, Raphaëlle Dequiré-Portier is also a key name to note.

HBC Avocats

HBC Avocats' true strength in the healthcare sector lies in its corporate expertise and its proficiency in contractual law. Jonathan Burnham is the founding partner and acts for names such as Valneva, Xoma and Cytoo. He has advised on licensing agreements, the setting up of joint ventures for the development and commercialisation of pharmaceutical assets, and the creation of new companies.

Véron & Associés

Following its merger with Véron & Associés, the healthcare and life sciences team at HOYNG ROKH MONEGIER counts Sabine AgéAnne ServoirAmandine Métier and Florence Jacquand among its number. Ferring Pharmaceuticals recently appointed the team to assist with a number of matters, including patent drafting, freedom-to-operate and non-infringement reviews, and intellectual property due diligence. In other highlights, the practice advised on regulatory and competition issues pertaining to the launching of new products and patent litigation under the supervision of Benoit Strowel.

Jones Day

The healthcare and life sciences team at Jones Day consists of a corporate group with M&A, private equity and capital markets capabilities and a litigation and regulatory sub-team. In recent highlights, Gaël Saint Olive assisted Sanofi with the sale of its infectious disease unit to Evotec as well as the €158m sale to an affiliate of the Cooper-Vemedia Group of a portfolio of over-the-counter pharmaceutical brands. Linda A Hesse acted for Mainstay Medical on a financing matter, and Geoffroy Pineau-Valencienne advised HRA Pharma on its acquisition of Lysodren from Bristol-Myers Squibb. Notable contentious work included Thomas Bouvet's defence of Naos in three separate patent infringement actions brought by Beiersdorf and Derma Concept; he also provided advice on regulatory issues such as market access. Françoise Labrousse and Renaud Bonnet jointly head the practice.

Reed Smith

Reed Smith's healthcare team provides regulatory advice on transparency obligations, advertising, market access, distribution and clinical trials. Marc Lévy and Natasha Tardif regularly represent healthcare and life sciences clients in competition litigation. Other names to note are Isabelle MacElhorne and Daniel Kadar, who has been assisting clients in the sector with a wide array of issues, including data protection compliance, corporate transactions and internal investigations. Marina Cousté and her intellectual property team have departed the firm to join Simmons & Simmons.

Viguié Schmidt & Associés

Etienne Gouesse and Iñaki Saint-Esteben jointly head the healthcare offering at Viguié Schmidt & Associés, which is particularly strong on the contentious side of the sector. With a focus on regulatory, commercial, antitrust and product liability issues, the team represents some leading names in the pharmaceutical industry.

Winston & Strawn LLP

Winston & Strawn LLP's lawyers are 'quick, smart and efficient', and they have 'developed a very thorough and specific knowledge of the sector'; the healthcare and life sciences team is 'the best on the French market', according to one client. The group comprises five partners including practice head Gilles Bigot, who 'truly helped shape the market into what it is today through amazing work locally and internationally'. In recent highlights, Anne-Carine Ropars-Furet and the newly promoted Julie Vern Cesano-Gouffrant advised on the negotiation of a joint venture in the medical biology sector and the structuring of a healthcare network. Clients also appointed the group to handle fundraising, real estate transactions and contentious issues such as the termination of commercial relationships and disciplinary proceedings.

Adaltys Avocats

The members of Barbara Bertholet's healthcare and life sciences team at Adamas 'are very responsive, responsible and close to their clients'. Distinguished by its 'detailed knowledge of the key topics on the market', the group is currently representing a pharmaceutical company in a criminal investigation pertaining to an alleged violation of anti-gift and antitrust legislation. In other highlights, clients instructed Bertholet and her team to advise on a digitalisation project, the reorganisation of a distribution network following the integration of a new business, and patent issues. Associate Rachel Devidal recently joined the firm from Ernst & Young Société d'Avocats following the departure of Jean-Baptiste Chanial and two other associates, who entered the ranks of clients as in-house counsel.


The healthcare and life sciences product liability team at Altana represents pharmaceutical companies in domestic and international litigation, M&A transactions and intellectual property matters. Three partners - Armand AvigesJean-Nicolas Soret and Frank Valentin - jointly lead the practice, which is currently handling patent litigation pertaining to inventor rights. Soret advised Safe Orthopaedics on the signing of an exclusive marketing agreement, and led the advice to DocteGestio regarding its takeover of three private healthcare facilities. In other highlights, corporate partner Gilles Gaillard recently acted for Europharma on its acquisition of a majority stake in a subsidiary of a leading global pharmaceutical company and its industrial partnership with the latter.

BCTG Avocats

BCTG Avocats' team is made up of 'real experts in their field who show diverse capabilities to match any and all requirements clients may have'. With particular strength in the competition and distribution space, the group assists major clients in the pharmaceutical and healthcare sector with the definition of their commercial policies and the negotiation of the full gamut of contracts. 'True expertHugues Villey-Desmeserets leads the department and recently advised Caudalie on two major cases pertaining to the non-renewal of selective distribution contracts and the definition of its strategy for the sale of products online. Also notable is Gaëlle Bloret-Pucci, who heads the IT and intellectual property group.

Delsol Avocats

Delsol Avocats has 'perfect knowledge of the sector, its regulatory environment and its evolution'. Known for its 'transparent and proactive day-to-day relationships with clients, its pragmatic approach, dynamic internal co-operation and strong connections in the industry', the team is jointly headed by Jeanne Bossi Malafosse - who recently arrived from DLA Piper - and the highly recommended Thomas Roche. The firm's recent caseload includes advising on GDPR regulations, assisting industry players with contentious issues arising from clinical trial drug controls, and intellectual property disputes.

Ginestié Magellan Paley-Vincent

Ginestié Magellan Paley-Vincent's Catherine Paley-Vincent advises clients on corporate matters such as partnerships, regulatory mandates such as labelling, and contentious issues arising from disciplinary hearings or product liability. Also notable is the group's criminal litigation work; a recent example pertains to the unauthorised importation, possession, use and prescription of a pharmaceutical product. Recently promoted partner Agathe Lévy-Sébaux supports Paley-Vincent on the contentious front.


Intuity's Christophe Hénin advises a wide range of clients including laboratories, startups and pharmaceutical companies on regulatory issues, product liability litigation, and competition and antitrust law.

K&L Gates LLP

K&L Gates LLP's healthcare and life sciences offering covers corporate, IT, intellectual property and regulatory mandates within the sector under the leadership of Jean-Patrice Labautière. He recently assisted Axonics with its €35m fundraising from Gilde Healthcare and represented a bidder in the sale of a business division by a leading global healthcare company. While Nicola Di Giovanni focuses on corporate and private equity mandates, Claude-Etienne Armingaud collaborated with Labautière to advise a heavyweight healthcare player on the implementation of a startup acceleration programme for the development of new technology.

Lerins & BCW

Lerins & BCW's Luc Castagnet handled the creation of a healthcare complex in Paris on behalf of a mutual insurance group for both its member and non-member patients, and advised two public hospitals on their acquisitions of private clinics belonging to Ramsay Générale de Santé. Bertrand Vorms is the name to note on the regulatory front; he assisted with the restructuring of a healthcare network with respect to competition regulations, and collaborated with public law expert Bruno Lorit to advise an operator wishing to take up ophthalmic surgery in France on a civil, disciplinary and administrative dispute with a regulatory body.

Lmt Avocats

Lmt Avocats regularly handles contentious matters arising from antitrust issues, regulatory violations or product liability. Olivier Samnyn and Antoine Lemétais have acted for clients in a number of false and misleading advertising claims, and assisted with the negotiation of patent licensing agreements, corporate transactions and the expansion of international distribution networks.

Mercure Avocats

The lawyers at niche business law firm Mercure Avocats 'listen to their clients' needs and adapt themselves to the new trends'; 'they have great expertise in French life sciences law but they can still navigate in an international environment and deal with international matters'. Agathe Simon advised United Petfood and its investment fund Waterland Private Equity on their acquisition of specialised pet food company Crusty Food, and assisted with the regulatory aspects of a proposed telemedicine and e-health project. She co-heads the department with François-Maxime Philizot, who assisted a biotech company with fundraising matters, and acted for Biogaran on the licensing and supply aspects of its R&D activity. The team was recently strengthened by the arrival of associates Juliette Fresneau and Contance Hars.

Norton Rose Fulbright

Norton Rose Fulbright fields a multi-disciplinary healthcare and life sciences team which includes competition expert Marta Giner Asins and corporate specialist Stéphane Sabatier. Also notable is of counsel Arnaud Sanz, who supports Giner Asins on the competition side of the sector.

Squire Patton Boggs

Squire Patton Boggs' activity in the healthcare space is focused on product liability litigation on behalf of pharmaceuticals and medical device manufacturers. The team is jointly led by head of dispute resolution Carole Sportes and Valérie Ravit, who specialises in risk management, insurance and liability issues. Assisted by associates Nora Mazeaud and Stéphanie Simon, the pair are currently handling a longstanding mass litigation action on behalf of a leading pharmaceutical company and its insurer, and Sportes is representing HDI Global and Takeda in claims filed by patients allegedly suffering side effects from their drugs.

Taylor Wessing

Evelyne Friedel heads the dedicated healthcare department at Taylor Wessing and represents an enviable client roster in a variety of matters including product liability litigation. She recently advised Agilent on the regulatory aspects associated with a medical software and assisted Biotest with the launch of several market studies in France as well as their validation under advertising regulations. Other highlights included the negotiation of distribution and R&D agreements.