Life sciences and healthcare in London
Liz Cohen heads up the first-rate life sciences team at Bristows LLP, which has transactional, regulatory and technology expertise. Also notable is that the group is strong in IP and litigation work, and it has recently been sought out to advise on time-sensitive COVID-19 issues. The hugely experienced Brian Cordery handles some of the most critical patent cases, particularly those relating to biological medicines used in oncology, respiratory and immunology medicine. Alex Denoon is 'sharp, practical and shows a clear understanding of the issues'; he heads up the regulatory practice, advising on matters concerning advanced therapy products and medical devices, as well as newer technologies, such as those involving genomics, cell therapies and healthcare apps. Robert Burrows, who has a PhD in molecular genetics, undertakes technically challenging cases, one of which resulted in success at first instance and on appeal in relation to a blockbuster HIV treatment. Also recommended is Gemma Barrett, who has expertise in small molecule pharmaceuticals, molecular diagnostics, biologics and antibody technology. Another name to note is Greg Bacon, who advises on a blend of IP and regulatory matters. Marek Petecki is knowledgeable about finance, commercial contracts and M&A, and is a well-known name among global bio-pharma and technology companies. Matthew Warren leads on the firm's IP transactional work, which includes licensing and R&D collaborations. Claire Smith has an 'impressive understanding of the sector'. IP specialist Richard Dickinson joined from Arnold & Porter in January 2020.
Other key lawyers:
‘Bristows stands out among the many exceptional patent law firms in the UK. The attorneys pay great attention to detail, while also observing the big picture and giving spot on advice. They always had an open ear for my needs, were open for discussions and brainstormings and are very easy to work with.’
‘Good team with specialist life science expertise, brings commercial/IP and corporate side together well on transactions.’
‘Claire Smith is technically excellent and all over the detail of every transaction she works on. She has an impressive understanding of the Life Sciences sector, including the more operational aspects. As a result her work product always hits the mark. Her highly tailored approach stands apart from the more cookie-cutter attitude to drafting that you find at some other firms.’
‘In a regulatory and commercial environment fraught with uncertainty, the Bristows team help their clients navigate through issues in a practical way with a clear road map towards a solution which is in line with the client objective. They bring a strong risk management perspective to the advice that they provide.’
‘Liz Cohen is incredibly calm under pressure, a really good strategic thinker with an ability to develop litigation strategies that achieve her client’s commercial objectives, very effective team leader who knows when to delegate.’
‘Alex Denoon won the trust of our team from the outset. Sharp, practical and showing a clear understanding of the issues that our business was focused on and cared about. He took the time to understand how our business works and retained that information for future consultations. Alex is a good example of how external counsel can add true value to a business.’
‘Brian Cordery is the most knowledgeable UK patent lawyer I know. He is a standout. Cordery knows the pharma industry inside out and is very user-friendly.’
‘Rachel Mumby is a technically outstanding senior lawyer.’
Google and Deepmind
Johnson & Johnson Innovation (Janssen Sciences)
Genomics England ltd
Fresenius Kabi Deutschland GmBH
- Advised Boehringer on a variety of regulatory matters and associated commercial contracts (veterinary medicine requirements, and clinical trials, interactions with healthcare professionals, advertising) and on the enforcement of its patent portfolio relating to the blockbuster drug product SPIRIVA against potential infringement by generic pharmaceutical manufacturers.
- Reached a successful settlement for Vectura in relatively rare proceedings concerning “Arrow” relief and the validity of five of its EP (UK) patents and their infringement by GSK’s blockbuster series of Ellipta inhaler products. Also, achieved a resounding victory for Vectura in one of the largest passing off cases in recent times, a dispute between GSK and Sandoz.
- Advised Syncona on the corporate and IP aspects of the £32m Series B financing of Azeria Therapeutics, the world’s first pioneer factor drug discovery company.
CMS 'is certainly one of the strong club of healthcare practices who know what they are doing'. It offers a full service to its clients, and is particularly strong in matters where technology intersects with life sciences and healthcare. The firm handles a blend of transactional, regulatory, IP and disputes matters for its healthcare clients. It covers a wide range of matters relating to the NHS, and acts for hospitals, clinics, care homes and their investors. In addition, it also advises pharma sector clients on matters concerning gene and cell therapy, immune-oncology and CBC products. Sarah Hanson, who is 'a fantastic client care partner', handles a wide range of transactional and regulatory matters. Also recommended is the 'pragmatic and realistic' Robert Stephen, whose work covers IP infringements, oppositions and appeals, which frequently involving biotech clients. In addition, he is also active in matters relating to the evolving digital health sector. Warren Taylor has a strong track record acting for investors in the healthcare sector. The 'superb' Shuna Mason combines regulatory expertise with product liability matters. Gareth Morgan focuses on IP, litigation and regulatory issues.
‘Extensive pharmaceutical expertise with advice always provided in a business context. They understand our business and what we are trying to achieve with our IP strategy.’
‘Led by the superb Shuna Mason, CMS is one of the strongest city firms in this sector. They have real and deep rooted expertise in regulatory Issues and in litigation involving medical devices. They deliver a Rolls-Royce service to some of the world’s most successful life sciences companies – many of whom they have deservedly achieved coveted “trusted adviser” status. They are one of the elite departments in this field. It is unsurprising that they have such a loyal client base.’
‘CMS are certainly one of the strong club of Healthcare practices who know what they are doing. This is where CMS sets itself apart from other firms in my opinion. They have strength in depth across procurement, construction and real estate to handle the largest construction projects in the NHS.’
‘The CMS Life Sciences team is incredibly responsive to their clients’ needs and provide solid commercially sound advice.’
‘Shuna Mason leads from the front. Hugely experienced and indefatigable, she uses her excellent judgement to guide her clients through the pitfalls of both regulation and litigation. She has recent experience of both coroners inquests, high-value product liability civil claims and group litigation – and is wonderfully accomplished and sure-footed in each forum.
‘Sarah Hanson is a fantastic client care partner and is able to quickly connect you with the relevant specialist.’
Abbey Care Homes
Aurora Care & Education
British Medical Association
Cindat Capital Management
Civitas Social Housing
General Optical Council
Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children NHS Trust
Johnson & Johnson
Moorfield Eye Hospital NHS Trust
NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde
NHS National Services Scotland
Omega Healthcare Investors
Outcomes First Group
Primary Health Properties
Public Health England
South Central Ambulance NHS Trust
The Medical Defence Union & The Dental Defence Union
The Wellcome Trust
- Representing GlaxoSmithKline as the lead appellant in the paroxetine case the first ever reference to the European Court of Justice by the Competition Appeal Tribunal.
- Advised Spire Healthcare on the disposal of two cancer centres and the establishment of an innovative partnership with GenesisCare, completing the first step in a major joint venture between Spire Healthcare and GenesisCare to create a national end-to-end private cancer care pathway and forming the template for future partnerships.
- Acting for Teva in a case at the European General Court against the European Medicines Agency and the European Commission relating to cabazitaxel (oncology drug). This case is the first challenge to regulatory data protection where the generic marketing authorisation application has been assessed by the EMA (rather than be rejected without assessment).
Covington & Burling LLP
Covington & Burling LLP garners praise across the market for the depth and breadth of its life sciences offering. The practice in London is led by 'top-class player' Grant Castle, who has extensive expertise in complex regulatory regimes relating to pharmaceuticals and medical devices. In addition, he has a longstanding interest in digital health technology and he is also advising clients on a wide range of COVID-19-related matters. The firm generates mandates from national and multinational pharmaceutical, biotechnology, diagnostic, medical device and consumer product manufacturers and start-up companies. Solicitor-advocate Brian Kelly is knowledgeable about regulatory regimes relating to both food and drugs, and product liability and safety. Paul Claydon is 'incredibly knowledgeable, experienced, commercial and calm under pressure'. He acts for clients on M&A, private equity and venture capital transactions. Claydon is ably assisted by associate Sarah Turner. Newly promoted partner Sarah Cowlishaw focuses on regulatory and commercial law issues, such as collaboration agreements, clinical trials, and manufacturing and supply agreements. Daniel Pavin and Morag Peberdy have IP expertise.
Other key lawyers:
‘Experts in Life Sciences transactions and Digital Health. ‘
‘The team are experienced and understand their client’s businesses and sector well. They offer commercial sensible advice and solutions to issues. They are quick to respond and proactive in offering advice which they think relevant to changes in legislation.’
‘Grant Castle is a top class player.‘
‘Paul Claydon – incredibly knowledgeable, experienced, commercial and calm under pressure.’
‘Sarah Turner – a rising star, and go to associate when the partner is not available.’
Horizon Discovery Group plc
Johnson & Johnson
Oxford BioMedica plc
Merck Sharpe & Dohme
Novartis International AG
ReNeuron Group plc
- Advising PTC Therapeutics on their procedural rights when faced with requests to the European Medicines Agency for access to their clinical trial data. Advocate-General Hogan handed down his Opinion in September 2019, agreeing with most of the arguments and recommending that the case should be referred back to the General Court.
- Represented GE Healthcare in proceedings before General Court of the European Union in seeking an annulment of the European Commission’s decision to suspend its marketing authorization for GEHC’s gadolinium contrast agent, Omniscan. Also represented GEHC in its related application for interim (injunctive) measures and throughout the earlier procedures and appellate processes conducted by the European Medicines Agency, the PRAC, CHMP and Member State committee representatives.
- Advising Novartis before the Court of Appeal regarding a judicial review involving the Secretary of State and 12 Clinical Commissioning Groups relating a recommendation to prescribe and dispense an unlicensed medicine in the treatment of blindness in the elderly over the client’s NICE approved drug Lucentis.
Herbert Smith Freehills LLP
Alan Montgomery, who is the global co-head of the life sciences and healthcare practice at Herbert Smith Freehills LLP, brings corporate and M&A expertise to the group’s big pharma, biotech and medtech clients. The team comprises many practitioners with science backgrounds. It provides a comprehensive range of services to clients, including advice on early-stage financing, corporate and regulatory assistance, and patent litigation. In addition, on the contentious side, the group acts for clients in disputes relating to competition, employment, product liability and EU law generally. Also notable is that it represents major pharmaceutical companies in patent litigation; it acts exclusively on an innovator basis in this space, including in matters concerning the protection of biological products against biosimilars. Elsewhere, the firm provides commercial advice to generics, including those based in Japan and India. Sophie Rich has extensive experience of undertaking advisory work and litigation for global pharma and biotech companies. Sebastian Moore has a strong track record in high-profile patent litigation, while Jonathan Turnbull assists global pharma companies with areas such as R&D and the commercialisation of blockbuster drugs (both small molecule and biological medicines). A strong team of senior associates provides an equally broad range of expertise.
‘A strong, well-balanced, well led and harmonious team that is thorough, thoughtful and a pleasure to work with.’
‘Sebastian Moore – he really takes the time to get completely on top of his cases, and runs a well-organised team who plainly love working for him.’
‘Andrew Wells – he not only has the ability and dedication to do the work of an associate extremely well, but also has the strategic ability that will surely make him a partner soon.’
‘The team is very good at M&A and general matters. It’s Russian and Malaysian partners are extremely client-focused and solution-oriented and very pro-active like Alan Montgomery, the account partner is exceptional with the client both in terms of resolving the queries both in terms of speed and quality. He is available at any given point of time and connects well with other firms where HSF doesn’t have a presence.’
‘HSF and more so Alan is very client-focused and cost-conscious in their support and billing.’
F. Hoffman-La Roche
Gilead Sciences, Inc
Strides Pharma Science Limited
- Advising Lupin on the sale of its entire stake in its Japanese subsidiary, Kyowa Pharmaceutical Industry Co., Ltd. to Unison Capital for JPY 57.4bn (c.US$525).
- Representing Gilead in UK proceedings and advising on and coordinating Gilead’s response to parallel proceedings brought by ViiV in a number of other EPC jurisdictions. The proceedings relate to Gilead’s HIV integrase inhibitor, bictegravir (which forms part of Gilead’s anti-HIV regimen BIKTARVY®).
- Advising F. Hoffmann La-Roche AG and Roche Products Limited (Roche) in a significant High Court victory against Pfizer, in an action concerning Avastin®, Roche’s blockbuster treatment for various forms of cancer. The action centred on whether a UK court should grant a form of negative declaratory relief known as an “Arrow declaration” in circumstances where our client had no relevant patent rights in the UK, and the claimant (Pfizer) intended to use the declarations and judgment solely for the purposes of influencing foreign courts.
At Hogan Lovells International LLP, Stephen Bennett and Matthew Felwick jointly lead the high-performing and sizeable team. Felwick is experienced in leading teams in large-scale, high-profile litigation, including cases relating to product liability/medical devices. In one highlight, he led a group which acted for Eli Lilly in a landmark Supreme Court case arising from generic attacks on its oncology product. John Meltzer, who is 'the doyen of life sciences disputes' is also a well-known name in the field of product liability. Jane Summerfield’s practice focuses on regulatory regimes related to clinical trials, digital health, medical device software, cannabis-based products, and cell and gene therapies. Partner Daniel Brook and counsels Penny Powell and Caroline Moore are other highly-rated members of the group. It collectively provides a full complement of services to clients, ranging from patent litigation and commercial disputes to competition, transactional and data protection advice. Its legal expertise is enhanced by a team of PhD scientists. The firm is also home to a cross-practice global digital health team.
‘The Hogan Lovells team in London has great knowledge of the life sciences industry, and a very practical and business-oriented approach to legal questions.’
‘It seems like life sciences and healthcare is in the blood for the Hogan Lovells team.’
‘From the quality of the clients and work to their leading role in working with the sector globally, the Hogan Lovells team is outstanding. The unique specialist science unit provides the Hogan Lovells team with a degree of in house resource that allows them to be on the front foot in responding to claims. Expert issues are at the core of the defence of product liability claims and Hogan Lovells is hugely skilled and experienced in developing the most effective expert evidence.’
‘John Meltzer remains the doyen of life science dispute lawyers in London. He has unsurpassed experience and skill in dealing with life science claims and is innovative in his approach and thinking.’
‘There isn’t much that John Meltzer hasn’t seen. He is calm and authoritative – a grandmaster tactician and a fantastic figurehead for the team. He has particular experience in complicated and complex group litigation.’
‘Matthew Felwick now co-leads the life sciences team and has particular strength in the pharmaceutical and medical devices sectors.’
‘Matthew Felwick is John’s litigation protégé. He is the inspiration behind the specialisation and life sciences. He is hugely experienced in both litigation and regulatory matters. And is able to provide his clients with advice which benefits from his broad product liability experience and niche knowledge.‘
‘Caroline Moore knows the sector and her clients inside out and her judgment is outstanding. The Hogan Lovells life sciences team is stellar. It deserves its enviable reputation as one of the top practices in London.‘
Merck Sharp and Dohme
- Representing MSD in the UK, the Netherlands, the US and Japan in actions challenging the validity of certain Pfizer patents in relation to MSD’s proposed pipeline vaccine product, V114.
- Advised Swiss pharmaceuticals company Novartis as it founded the Novartis AI innovation lab, and selected Microsoft as its strategic AI and data-science partner in the initiative. The new lab aims to boost Novartis’s AI capabilities from research through commercialisation, and help accelerate the discovery and development of transformative medicines for patients worldwide.
- Acting for Zimmer Biomet and various European subsidiaries in relation to personal injury claims concerning Biomet’s metal-on-metal prosthetic hip replacements.
Allen & Overy LLP's team demonstrates 'a high degree of business acumen combined with legal expertise'. Jim Ford is the global co-head of the life sciences and healthcare sector groups and he also leads the London IP practice. His expertise encompasses a wide range of IP-related transactions. Marjan Noor is well known for her successful IP litigation practice; she has handled a number of the most complex cases involving blockbuster drugs or biologics. On the transactional side, Matthew Appleton’s varied workload includes handling M&A, joint ventures and restructurings for life sciences and healthcare companies. Partners Neville Cordell and Marc Döring, and senior associate Rafi Allos, are notable patent litigators in the team. Allos is also highly-rated for his regulatory expertise.
‘The standard of the work carried out by the A&O team is the absolute highest. They are working at the highest level for the busiest and most interesting of clients. The life sciences patents practice here, headed by the wonderful Marjan Noor, is second to none.’
‘The entire team has been extraordinarily responsive to every request. There is a high degree of business acumen combined with legal expertise that is difficult to be found otherwise in that specific combination. The global approach of the entire firm makes the client benefit from international synergy in multi-national litigation matters.’
‘Marjan Noor is THE life sciences litigator. She is the complete package: a skilled and experienced tactician; a thoughtful and intelligent lawyer; and a warm and thoroughly human client adviser.’
‘Rafi Allos – is a litigator wise beyond his years. Sharp and thorough with an extraordinary command of factual detail; he is already making waves and surely destined for great things.’
‘Rafi Alos has managed to become a trusted business and legal advisor in essentially no time, which is hard to be found amongst lawyers. One can truly judge his combined legal and business assessment.’
‘Marc Doring is one of the few individuals that you can be sure that any word spoken by him could be submitted and printed right away. He hardly leaves room for any improvement in his professional assessment and the conclusions and augmentations derived therefrom.’
Premaitha Health plc (now Yourgene Health)
- Represented Eli Lilly & Company in a High Court patent action against Genentech in relation to Eli Lilly’s anti-IL-17 antibody, Taltz.
- Advised BTG plc, a global healthcare company, on all aspects of the recommended offer by Boston Scientific Corporation.
- Advised on Grünenthal’s licensing, development and collaboration agreement with Mesoblast, in relation to a Phase III cell therapy candidate for the treatment of chronic lower back pain.
Arnold & Porter's group is widely acknowledged for its 'unparalleled grasp of international, EU and UK regulatory regimes'.The 'impressive' Ian Dodds-Smith and Jacqueline Mulryne are among the key practitioners at the firm. The team handles all aspects of pharmaceuticals, medical devices, food and CBD medicines, both in the context of advisory work and in disputes. It also has a wealth of product liability, IP, competition, data protection and transactional experience. Adela Williams has expertise in regulatory matters and product liability claims, and is knowledgeable about pricing and reimbursement issues. Beatriz San Martin, who joined from Fieldfisher in October 2019, advises on IP matters. Another name to note is Ewan Townsend, whose work includes licences, collaborations and clinical trial agreements.
‘Essentially from a transactional, regulatory and scientific perspective very much one of the go to teams in London and the east coast.’
‘Unparalleled grasp of international, EU and UK regulatory regimes; a first point of contact for navigating breakthrough legal solutions to new challenges. Many partners have life science degrees and have worked for both both EMA and MHRA which enhances their ability to understand client problem in the bio-pharmaceutical space.’
‘Ian Dodds-Smith is the dean of regulatory.’
‘Adela Williams is a qualified doctor with deep experience in market access and pricing issues.’
‘Ian Dodds-Smith and Jacqueline Mulryne are both impressive.‘
Santen Pharmaceuticals (One of the world’s largest cannabis companies)
Global Pharma Company
Global Originator Pharmaceutical Company
Roche Diagnostics Limited
Richford Family – Pro Bono Clinical Inquest
- Acting for Orion Corporation for several years defending the regulatory data protection period that Orion believes attaches to one of its important products, Dexdor, which is used as a sedative in intensive care. In particular, a reference for a preliminary ruling was made to the CJEU from the Danish court (questions still being finalised) and proceeding commenced in the General Court in relation to a centralised marketing authorisation granted to a generic company. Litigation continues in a number of countries in the EU.
- Advised GMP-Orphan on its application to the European General Court for the annulment of a decision of the European Commission to grant a marketing authorisation for the client’s drug Cuprior – which treats Wilson’s Disease.
- Acting for Intercept Pharma and Intercept Pharmaceuticals v European Medicines -Agency – a precedent-setting appeal case before the European Court of Justice which raises important cross-border legal questions.
At Baker McKenzie, the chair of the London healthcare and life sciences practice is IP specialist Hiroshi Sheraton, who has a focus on pharmaceuticals and related regulations. Jane Hobson is the head of global transactional healthcare and the London private M&A practice. Both Sheraton and Hobson work with specialists in a broad cross-section of disciplines. The firm is able to offer the expertise of practitioners active in commercial and corporate deals, IP, finance, tax, disputes, data protection and employment. The team handles contentious issues around clinical trials, UK and EU regulatory regimes, including those relating to global supply chains, as well as patent protection cases. The offering in London is complemented by the firm's global network of offices; a good deal of its work is cross-border. Other core team members include Phelim O’Doherty (M&A/transactional work) and senior associates Julia Gillert (life sciences regulatory) and Iona Siverman (IP).
- Advised GSK on its joint venture with Pfizer’s Consumer Healthcare business to create the world’s largest over the counter healthcare business with combined sales of approximately £9.8bn ($12.7bn). The transaction is expected to lead to GSK being separated into two separately listed UK-based global companies.
- Acted as lead counsel to Galapagos NV, a Belgian clinical-stage biotech focused on the discovery and development of small molecule drugs, listed on Euronext Brussels, Euronext Amsterdam and NASDAQ, on its 10-year global research and development collaboration with Gilead Sciences, Inc. involving the issue of shares and warrants.
- Acted for GlaxoSmithKline in selling two global travel vaccines businesses to Danish listed company, Bavarian Nordic for up to approximately $1bn. The deal involved the divestment of Rabipur (Rabavert), used for the prevention of rabies and Encepur, used for the prevention of tick-borne encephalitis.
Noted for its 'incredible pedigree' in life sciences, the Bird & Bird LLP team is jointly led by 'heavyweight, astute life sciences litigator' Mark Hilton in London and Marc Martens in Brussels. Hilton is involved in a number of complex patent infringement and regulatory cases, while Martens’ work includes advising on complex regulatory matters. Sally Shorthose and Morag MacDonald have extensive expertise in IP transactions and regulatory regimes, and in cross-border IP litigation respectively. The group, which is part of a strong international offering, acts for clients such as big pharma, biotech and medical devices companies, as well as investors.
‘Without question, one of the top European teams. Bird & Bird have incredible pedigree, particularly in the life sciences sector.’
‘Rob Williams has an up-to-date knowledge of the legal framework of a case and more than average understanding of the technologies behind it. He always puts a great team together and as a person is very nice to work with.’
‘Mark Hilton is a heavyweight life sciences litigator. He is strategic, astute, pragmatic and fearless. An excellent choice.’
Fisher & Paykel
The Broad Institute
- Successfully acted for Takeda in relation to their biologic treatment, Entyvio®, in a patent infringement and revocation action against F. Hoffmann-La Roche AG in the UK High Court.
- Advising Sandoz/Hexal in a judicial review against the European Medicines Agency following a decision to refuse their application for a generic marketing authorisation.
- Advised Chiesi Farmaceutici S.p.A. on the €93m in-licence of the rights to Raxone® from Swiss group Santhera Pharmaceuticals Holding AG .
At Gowling WLG, Patrick Duxbury heads up the multidisciplinary life sciences team, while Robert Breedon leads the health and care group. The firm has lawyers with additional qualifications in areas such as biochemistry, molecular biology, microbiology and genetics. It serves clients in the big pharma, health and social care sectors, and also in the digital health field. The team’s clients include the likes of AstraZeneca and biotech companies, as well as various NHS trusts. It acts on research collaborations, cross-border licensing deals, patent protection and care home investments, in addition to advising on regulatory issues and broader corporate work. Paul Inman handles patent litigation, while Luke Kempton focuses on biotechnology and pharmaceuticals. Jenny Davies undertakes both transactional and contentious matters in the patents field, and has a specialism in biochemistry. The team has been boosted by the arrival of IP specialist Huw Evans and Jon Ball from Norton Rose Fulbright.
‘Patrick Duxbury has been a very important contributor. I especially value Pat’s ability to offer legal advice tempered with a good sense of the business needs or requirements. It makes working with Pat very focused and time efficient.’
‘Robert Breedon is outstanding.’
‘The team has in an-depth understanding of a very complicated IP situation which is reflected in all our transactional work. Their ability to appreciate the concerns of the other side and clearly address these concerns has been a key in achieving the success that we have. We also do quite a bit of international work and their access to international associates that can provide specific advice has been very helpful.’
‘With the recent move of Huw Evans, and serval others, from Norton Rose Fulbright to Gowling, they have an almost unmatched technical patent litigation team.’
Black Belt Therapeutics Limited
Epidarex Capital LP
Montreux Healthcare Fund
- Acted for GSK in the UK arm of an international dispute concerning technology for making very fine powders for use in certain inhaler products, which form an important part of GSK’s portfolio.
- Advised longstanding client AstraZeneca on a $6.9bn cancer drug collaboration agreement with Daiichi Sankyo Company Limited.
- Advised longstanding client Sosei Heptares on a drug research collaboration and license agreement with Takeda. The deal is estimated to have a potential value of more than $1.2bn.
Simmons & Simmons
The Simmons & Simmons team is particularly strong in pharmaceutical patent infringement cases, cross-border IP transactions, collaborations and complex disputes within the life sciences and health sectors. It also demonstrates expertise in digital health issues. Alexandre Regniault in Paris heads up the international practice, while Michael Gavey leads the UK team. Noted for his focus on IP, Garvey acts for clients such as GlaxoSmithKline and ViiV Healthcare. He also advises on the full range of commercial agreements, such as collaborations and related regulations. Patent litigator Scott Parker acts for both pharma and biotech companies. Charles Mayo is a seasoned corporate adviser to life sciences and healthcare clients. Managing associate Lydia Torne handles IP transactions and regulatory compliance issues for medical devices, dentistry and consumer health clients.
‘Simmons are a real team outfit – between partners and from partner to associate. This means their output is very joined up and strongly thought out.’
‘Scott Parker is an excellent litigator and Andrew Hutchinson is developing well as a partner.’
‘I have always been impressed by the depth of Simmons’ expertise concerning digital health businesses.’
The Institute of Cancer Research
- As long-term legal advisers to GSK, advised on a range of cutting-edge transactions and its strategic research collaborations.
- Advising the Institute of Cancer Research for several years on its business-critical IP partnerships, including its licensing and commercialisation arrangements with pharmaceutical companies and healthcare organisations, as well as the monetisation of blockbuster royalty streams.
- Acting for Boston Scientific in a long-running, multi-jurisdictional patent dispute against Edwards Lifesciences to protect patents concerning transcatheter aortic replacement (TAVR) technology.
Clyde & Co LLP offers a broad range of expertise in product liability, medical negligence, transactions in the pharma, biotech and veterinary fields, and patent disputes. Ralph Cox acts for generic pharma companies, with a specialism in the veterinary field. Simon Gamblin handles corporate matters, while Claire Petts specialises in product liability, clinical negligence, pharma and medical device-related transactions, and related regulatory regimes and IP. Gemma Brannigan has a background in clinical evaluations and specialises in medical malpractice, and coronial cases. The practice also covers consumer care products.
Other key lawyers:
‘Very sound firm, very safe pair of hands. They know what they are talking about. Excellent value for money.’
‘Ralph Cox was a biologist, and so has a proper understanding of the underlying science behind the cases. He works very hard indeed on behalf of his clients in order to give them a superb services – going far beyond what a usual solicitor would do.‘
CNA Hardy / ITH Pharma Ltd
The Doctors Laboratory Ltd / TDL Genetics Ltd
- Defending ITH Pharma in the product liability claims brought against it alleging contamination of the baby food it manufactures.
- Defending GlaxoSmithKline in a product liability claim arising from historic exposure to Myodil (a viscousiodine-containing oil injected by lumbar puncture for screening for pathology of the spinal cord).
- Representing The Doctors Laboratory and TDL Genetics in a long-running series of patent infringement and validity proceedings (first instance and appeals) relating to prenatal genetic testing (in particular for Down’s Syndrome).
Cooley (UK) LLP advises pharma and biotech companies on a full range of corporate matters, such as acquisitions, sales and joint ventures. In addition, it fields practitioners with bank finance and capital markets expertise. Nicola Maguire and John Wilkinson, who are the joint heads of the team, assist clients with complex licensing and collaboration agreements in order to develop and commercialise drugs. They also advise on distribution and supply agreements, and related disputes. The group works closely with colleagues in the USA, Europe and elsewhere on cross-border transactions. Stephen Rosen acts for high growth companies, investors and management teams on company sales, M&A and private equity deals, and venture capital financings. Recent work included advising the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness on a partnering agreement with a biotech company over the commercialisation and funding for the development of vaccines for infectious diseases with major unmet needs.
Other key lawyers:
‘The depth of expertise is greatly admired. The individual partners’ diversity of knowledge and virtuosity is and should be admired industry-wide. The Cooley team’s ability to be present in the moment and focus on the challenges at hand as they were an integrated part of our team is unprecedented. Its EU and US coverage makes it an ideal partner for our company with presence in both geographies.’
‘Responsive, pragmatic, value for money, nice people to work with, real technical strength in their area as well as being good at providing advice on what is marketable or not.’
‘They have drive, the ability to deliver, knowledge of the sector/industry, and are easy to get hold of for discussions.’
‘Nicola Maguire is extremely knowledgeable of the life sciences/biotech industry, discreet, professional, patient and knows when to dip in and out of the project. She is accessible, approachable and really easy to work with.’
‘Associates I have worked with in the practice clearly have great drive and mentorship. They are comfortable to take a lead on workstreams and get things done.’
Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness (CEPI)
CRT Pioneer Fund/Six Element Capital
Pharming Group BV
Realm Therapeutics plc
- Advised Bavarian Nordic, an international speciality pharma company developing and manufacturing novel cancer immunotherapies and vaccines for infectious diseases, on its acquisition of the manufacturing and global rights to two commercial vaccines – Rabipur/RabAvert (for rabies) and Encepur (for tick borne encephalitis) – from GlaxoSmithKline.
- Advised Clinigen Group on its agreement with Novartis to acquire the US rights to Proleukin. Proleukin is indicated for metastatic melanoma and metastatic renal cell carcinoma in the US. Through the agreement Clinigen will be the exclusive global owner of the licensed version of this drug. Novartis had appointed Prometheus (a subsidiary of Nestle) as its distributor for the product in the US and the transaction also included the termination of this arrangement.
- Advised Therachon, a clinical-stage biotechnology company focused on rare diseases, on its agreement to sell the company to Pfizer for up to $810m. As part of the transaction, Therachon transferred its apraglutide development program into a separate, independent company.
DAC Beachcroft LLP
DAC Beachcroft LLP's practice offers combined expertise in product liability, regulatory regimes, IP-related commercial contracts, finance and tax. It acts for both public organisations, such as the NHS, as well as private/corporate clients in the healthcare sector. It has been involved in cases concerning HIV Haemophilia, medicinal cannabis and the Hepatitis C litigation. Alison McAdams handles disputes concerning medical devices and clinical trials regulations, while Simon Pearl has a strong track record in product liability litigation. They both acted for Novartis and Sandoz in various personal injury claims arising from patient participation in clinical trials. IP specialist Andrew Allan-Jones has expertise in pharmaceuticals and medical devices, while Hamza Drabu acts for health and social care providers on commercial and public law matters.
‘Immediate availability and ability to respond urgently when required. Strong inter-department linkages providing rapid access to a comprehensive legal spectrum.’
Zoetic International PLC
Insurer clients specialising in insureds in the life sciences sector include HDI, Zurich, Chubb, Allianz, QBE, XL Catlin, Newline, CNA Hardy, Hiscox, RSA.
- Advised on a Field Safety Notice published in June 2019; the use and regulation of products, the implementation of the Medical Devices Regulations, training for healthcare professionals, ongoing patient monitoring and liability exposure, the ABHI code of practice, general MHRA advice, disclosure queries and compliance. Provides extensive commercial support across its life sciences operations, and has assisted in documenting its appointment of authorised representatives under the EU regulatory regime for medical devices.
- Acting for Optegra in multiple claims regarding surgical implantation of an intraocular lens (IOL) manufactured by Oculentis that numerous claimants allege was defective and required subsequent explanting and revision surgery.
- Long-term representation of the Blood Service and all NHS Trusts in respect of product liability claims arising from blood and blood products allegedly contaminated with HIV, Hepatitis C and other viruses. An independent public statutory inquiry was announced by the Prime Minster in July 2017 into the use of infected blood within the NHS.
Housing teams in London and Cambridge, Goodwin has expanded its UK presence considerably. Graham Defries heads up the practice, which demonstrates strong capabilities in M&A, finance and capital markets transactions in connection with life sciences and related fields impacted by technology, particularly healthcare. Defries is a key practitioner who advises biotech and pharmaceutical companies and investors on private equity and venture capital investments, while Malcolm Bates specialises in the commercialisation of IP assets, including licences, collaborations, manufacturing, and R&D. David Mardle has expertise in assisting emerging biotech companies with their growth plans, while Tim Worden is another of a number of lawyers who joined from Taylor Wessing LLP. Sophie McGrath is another key practitioner.
‘The individual partners and team members across all departments seem to be at the top of their game and work together seamlessly. The client experience is excellent. Solid technical lawyers with broad experience – able to react fast and effectively to a broad range of life sciences transactions.’
‘One of the UK’s leading teams, if not the pre-eminent team, for life science and healthcare investments – their sector experience and knowledge from spin-out to late-stage VC and beyond is excellent.’
‘David Mardle is excellent – his knowledge and experience means he’s someone you want on your side.’
‘The guidance provided by the team was pragmatic, commercial but aimed at getting the deal done in a sensible manner and not scoring points with the other side for the sake of it. They are easy to get on with and you can talk to them as real humans unlike some other law firms.’
‘I worked mainly with Tim Worden. He was all the things I mentioned above, pragmatic, commercial and helped us get a deal done which we wanted to do. He got into the weeds when necessary as well as providing the high level strategic legal advice we were looking for.’
Avacta Life Sciences Limited
Seroba Life Sciences
- Advised Achilles Therapeutics Limited on the completion of a £100m series B tranched financing led by RA Capital Management and the existing founder investor Syncona Portfolio Limited, along with participation from a syndicate of external investors including Forbion Capital Partners, Redmile Group, Invus and Perceptive Advisors.
- Acted for Oxford Biomedica on the collaboration and licence agreement with Novartis pursuant to which Oxford Biomedica will receive ongoing royalties from sales of Novartis’ product Kymriah – the first CAR-T cell therapy to be approved by the FDA and its further extension by 5 years.
- Advised on a $50m Series B extension and Series C for Quanta Dialysis.
At Kirkland & Ellis International LLP, Nicola Dagg is the well-known head of the IP litigation team, while Emma Flett leads on technology and IP transactions. The group handles critical, high-stakes patent litigation for US and European big pharma and biotech companies. Flett’s expertise covers IP and technology transactions involving product acquisitions, licensing, R&D and supply and distribution agreements. She advises corporates and private equity houses. Litigator Jin Ooi has a pharmacology background and handles cross-border IP-related cases for a wide range of pharma clients. Katie Coltart is another key team member.
‘Kirkland’s IP team fully deserves the recognition in the industry as a leading, cross-border transactional and litigation experts. The team is not only at the cutting edge of legal practice but also is deeply knowledgeable about the industry of their clients. This combination of industry knowledge and legal expertise was impressive as well as their fluidity and efficiency with which the team was able to manage and handle complex, multi-jurisdictional matters. Their rates are high, but this is expected when retaining such a robust and sophisticated team.’
‘Kirkland and Ellis is nowadays certainly in the first league when it comes to litigation issues and infringement questions, last but not least also in the life science field. The extremely open-minded, effective and co-operative team has a great reputation as being collegial coordinators of international litigations and disputes and the team is characterized by its sharp and focused partners and associates.’
‘This is a young and relatively small but high-powered team, recently founded but led by one of the profession’s best known senior solicitors, Nicola Dagg (formerly at Allen & Overy). Some of the team came with Nicola from A&O and others have been added since. As a new entrant to the market, this team has a hunger and drive to succeed that may be useful to clients, and as a part of a US-led operation as opposed to a UK-led one like most of its peers, it offers a different “flavour” but the same quality.’
‘The Kirkland patent litigation team are very strong at all levels, from the junior associates through to the most senior partner, Nicola Dagg. The firm’s global presence, especially in the US, is an advantage in major patent litigation.’
‘Katie Coltart is also very good – She is very good at handling complex matters and is good at dealing with clients – she sets expectations and meet them. She shows an ability to think strategically about all aspects of the case.’
‘Jin Ooi is very knowledgeable and very good at simplifying complicated issues.’
‘Nicola Dagg is an exceptional litigator. She has a unique understanding of cross-jurisdiction strategies and business aspects of patent litigation cases. She has an exceptional legal mind and has in-depth comprehension of the technical fields.’
‘Katie Coltart, when handling a patent case, will leave no stone unturned to bring a claim to its full potential. They are really a winning team.’
‘Jin Ooi has an impressive knowledge of the case law, especially second medical use cases. He is very perceptive and appreciative of in-put and takes input in order to lead a team effort.’
Meril Life Sciences
British American Tobacco
Arsenal Capital Partners
Bain Capital and Cinven Partners
- Acts for Regeneron in its hugely complex and hard-fought patent litigation against Kymab, which has been all the way to the UK Supreme Court. The litigation, recently commented by a retired patents judge to be “the most interesting biotech case of the last 20 years” relates to Regeneron’s proprietary transgenic mouse platform for therapeutic human antibody development, VelocImmune.
- The team advises Pfizer on a complex case involving a myriad of second medical use issues in relation to LYRICA® (pregabalin), Pfizer’s blockbuster pain medicine, which has recently been before the UK Supreme Court. The landmark judgment deals with very important and “hot” issues of plausibility, claim construction, post-trial patent amendment and infringement of second medical use claims, and is precedent-setting in providing a roadmap for how to deal with similar issues in the future.
- The team represented STADA Arzneimittel (German pharmaceutical company controlled by Bain Capital and Cinven Partners) in its acquisition from Takeda Pharmaceutical of the assets and rights relating to a portfolio of around 20 OTC and prescription products in Russia, Georgia and a number of other CIS countries.
Osborne Clarke LLP serves a wide range of private and public sector clients, including pharmaceutical, biotech and healthcare companies, as well as NHS trusts and social care providers. Simon Hancock leads the healthcare team in Bristol, while Will James is the head of life sciences and healthcare in London. The firm's varied portfolio of work includes major healthcare projects and PPPs involving procurement or healthcare infrastructure, M&A and disputes. James and associate director Chris Pratt joined from Marks & Clerk Law in 2019, boosting the firm's IP expertise in patent litigation and transactional matters.
‘Will James recently came over from Marks & Clerk. He is truly a boost to the team and OC has a wonderful future ahead with him on board. Will James stands out in life sciences litigation. He has a very bright mind, is a wonderful organiser and at his best in coordinating complex cross border cases. I work closely with him on a life sciences case and that simply is a marvellous experience. Will James has been in the IP and Life science sector for 15 years. He knows the science as well as the law. His client advice and ability to coordinate international cases is outstanding.’
‘Not historically well known for its life sciences practice, Osborne Clarke are making key investments at a good time – the interaction between traditional healthcare and technology means it is a good time to leverage its significant technology reputation in the life sciences space.’
‘As with all great operators, Will and Chris combine great instincts with exceptional experience in their field.’
GAMA Healthcare Limited
Universal Health Services Inc
Imtech Low Carbon Solutions Limited
Colony Capital REIT
Takeda Pharmaceuticals Company Limited
Sana Biotechnology Inc
Stryker European Operations B.V.
Millennium Pharmaceuticals Inc.
UniPhar Group plc
Green Biologics Limited
hVIVO plc (now part of the Open Orphan plc group)
Universal Health Services Inc
Rhythm AI Limited
Nutricia Medical / Danone SA
30 Technology Limited
Turbine Simulated Cell Technologies Ltd
- Advising management teams on the US$2bn sale of a 50-site portfolio of private hospitals and associated sale of BMI Healthcare, the operator of said facilities.
- Acting for EE on the £900m, ground-breaking Home Office Emergency Services Network Project Contract, a project to provide a next generation communication system for the ambulance service and other emergency services.
- Acting for hVIVO plc in relation to the reverse takeover offer from Open Orphan plc.
Pinsent Masons LLP
At Pinsent Masons LLP, Clare Tunstall leads the life sciences and the IP team. She has well-established expertise in all types of patent cases conducted in the UK and European courts, including patent revocation actions. Allistair Booth focuses on transactional work in the life sciences sphere; this includes complex licensing, collaborations, outsourcing and M&A. Charles Waddell advises on biotech and medtech financings, as well as corporate matters. Joanne Ellis, who heads up the health sector work, handles a wide range of transactions, including acquisitions and investments in the social care and dental areas. Charlotte Weekes, who undertakes patent litigation, is experienced in representing clients in the Court of Appeal and Supreme Court.
‘Their sector specific knowledge in life sciences is first class. Their responsiveness to urgent time frames is excellent. Their recognition of the necessity for pragmatism in commercial negotiations was excellent.’
‘Allistair Booth and Charles Waddell were the two partners I have spent the most time working with. They have been extremely helpful with excellent sector-specific knowledge in life sciences. They helped to shape and execute a first-class deal structure. Work across public, private and third sector parties.’
‘Allistair Booth is an expert in his field. His pragmatic, no-nonsense approach coupled with his deep life sciences experience make him a pleasure to deal with and to have at the end of a phone.’
Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Limited
Accord Healthcare Limited
JUUL Labs Inc
IP Group PLC
4D Pharma PLC
C4X Discovery PLC
IBSA Institut Biochimique
Flynn Pharma Limited
BGMA – British Generic Manufacturers Association
MfE – Medicines for Europe
Zentiva Group a.s .
The Good care Group London Limited
Medical Properties trust
David and Ceri Houston
Dental Partners Trading limited
Xeon Smiles UK Limited (Bupa Dental Care)
Lonestar Real Estate Fund
- Advising Teva in a challenge to the validity of two of Eli Lilly/ICOS Corp’s patents for tadalafil.
- Advising 4D Pharma plc on its research collaboration and option to licence agreement with MSD (Merk Sharp & Dohme), to discover and develop Live Biotherapeutics for vaccines.
- Advising Accord in relations to the revocation of Allergan’s formulation patent protecting its blockbuster product Lumigan 0.01% (bimatoprost) for the treatment of glaucoma and ocular hypertension.
Led by the highly respected Penny Gilbert, Powell Gilbert LLP is noted for its top-class IP offering, where it handles high-value and complex litigation relating to patents. The team's patents expertise spans the pharma, biotech, biosimilars and medical devices arenas. A number of its cases reach the Supreme Court and often involve cutting-edge scientific issues, such as gene sequencing, genetic engineering methods and surgical robotics. Zoë Butler is highly experienced in dealing with cross-border disputes, particularly those relating to biologics and biosimilars. Tim Powell is well known for his handling of complex patent disputes that often reach the Court of Appeal or the European Court of Justice and involve the regulatory regime applicable to the authorisation of pharmaceutical products. Bethan Hopewell is also recommended for her patents expertise.
‘The fact that the firm is essentially exclusively focused on IP (and so smaller than its competitors) means that it can deliver a top-drawer service while having a close-knit, almost family atmosphere.’
‘Penny Gilbert: highly knowledgeable and widely respected – a great, and astute, co-ordinator of litigation’.
‘Penny Gilbert is a leading individual in the pharma litigation market.’
‘Tim Powell: a tenacious and highly effective litigator who you do not want on the other side of a case’.
‘Tim Powell is a fantastic litigator. Smart, pragmatic, has the ability to explain complex matters in an incredibly simple way. A man to have next to you in the trenches.’
‘Bethan Hopewell: resolute and determined. Powell Gilbert are a sector-leading IP litigation firm. Their team includes a number of medically-qualified lawyers with a deep understanding of the life sciences and healthcare sector.’
‘Tim Whitfield has an excellent understanding of the pharmaceuticals sector and has delivered excellent results for his clients in a series of cases in which I have been involved. He has a good instinct for when to fight and when to talk.’
‘Callum Beamish has an extremely good understanding of the UK regulatory schemes for pharmaceuticals and medical practice. A big team could handle huge litigation – extensive advice in all IP-related matters – a wide cooperation network in Europe and worldwide – outstanding expertise – outstanding partner availability.’
Royalty Pharma Collection Trust
- Continuing to represent Biogen Inc. in respect of its biosimilar of AbbVie’s blockbuster drug Humira™ (adalimumab), currently the biggest selling prescription drug worldwide. Humira’s net global sales is in excess of $12.5bn in 2014 and annual UK sales of over £400m.
- Representing Edwards Lifesciences in international patent battles over heart valves. With a very significant deal value.
- Representing Illumina in patent infringement actions in the field of non-invasive prenatal testing. Illumina has patent rights over a revolutionary technology that allows highly accurate foetal diagnosis of chromosomal abnormalities, such as Downs Syndrome, from a maternal blood sample.
Alexandra Pygall, who has a chemistry background, heads up Stephenson Harwood's team. She advises on the full range of IP issues, as well as transactional work involving R&D and licence agreements. Anthony Clare and Andrew Edge handle a wide range of corporate work, including public and private M&A, joint ventures and equity capital markets transactions. Dan Holland provides commercial advice to life sciences companies and has extensive experience of outsourcing, manufacturing and supply chain agreements. Elsewhere, the firm advises clients on data protection, competition, employment, tax and litigation. Its expanding client base includes biotech and pharmaceutical companies, general healthcare companies, start-ups and investors.
‘Truly knowledgeable and capable team with strong depth and breadth of experience. Good strategic thinking and work as a strong collegiate team. Compared to other firms the practice group is not only fiercely competitive but also very friendly if you are a client or service supplier.’
‘Stephenson Harwood has grown in recent years to become a huge player in IP. It has a particularly impressive client list in the trade marks/brands space, and with a special emphasis on life sciences.’
‘I have worked with Alexandra Pygall and Seth Crawley (associate) in relation to the management of a patent portfolio for a multinational client with global intellectual property issues. The project required strategic thinking and understanding of the different options available in each territory, as well as a good grasp of the technology which was the subject matter of the various patents.’
‘I think that the combination of technical understanding and legal analysis is a stand-out quality for this team, in particular Alexandra and Seth.’
‘They are easily accessible and completely understand the nature of in house work. No issue is too small or too big for them. If they think it falls outside their expertise they will say so. Their speed at returning work of high quality is exceptional. In addition, they are very diligent on fees and keep you appraised so you never get a terrible surprise!’
‘Dan Holland provides excellent strategic advice as well as on the law. A real gentleman to deal with who is extremely responsive.‘
Gilead Sciences Europe Limited
Shield Therapeutics Plc
Cell Medica Ltd
Vernalis R&D Limited
- Lead counsel “quarterbacking” a multijurisdictional trade mark infringement claim relating to non-traditional marks (shape and colour), which is running in over 30 countries worldwide against multiple defendants in relation to the enforcement of GSK’s rights in a pharmaceutical product.
- Advised Acacia on the negotiation and drafting of a complex in-licensing, investment and loan transaction with Cosmo Pharmaceuticals NV.
- Advised Shield on an exclusive licence agreement for its lead product Feraccru®/Accrufr® (ferric maltol) with Beijing Aosaikang Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd in China, Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan.
Key partners at Carpmaels & Ransford LLP include David Wilson (dispute resolution), Jake Marshall (IP transactions), James Warner (head of pharmaceuticals) and Mark Chapman (head of biotechnology). The firm combines a first-rate PATMA practice with litigation and regulatory expertise and serves an extensive range of pharma and biotech clients. The practice is home to lawyers with a notable range of science qualifications. It handles cross-border litigation and cases at Supreme Court level. On the transactional side, its expertise includes patent and know-how licence agreements, commercialisation matters and IP assignments.
BMS (formerly Celgene)
Foundation Hubrecht Organoid Technology (HUB)
- Provided key advice on the approach to validity, portfolio strategy and settlement for BMS. This work started life with prosecuting and defending the product’s patent portfolio at the EPO.
- Acting for FibroGen for over 15 years and responsible for the prosecution of the patents in issue as well as defending them in the EPO opposition proceedings, which are still ongoing both at Opposition Division level and Board of Appeal level. Hence FibroGen has instructed us to handle the two UK cases, the trial of which is scheduled for March 2020.
- Responsible for prosecuting and defending Gilead’s European patents. Highlights this year include the successful defence against multiple generics in EPO opposition proceedings. On the litigation side, provided support in disputes across the world, including invalidity proceedings in China. Continuing to prosecute a diverse portfolio of European patent applications, including cases covering a highly anticipated HIV cure and worked extensively with Gilead’s ex-US lawyers on a variety of agreements.
At Clifford Chance LLP, multidisciplinary teams provide support to UK and overseas corporates (including major pharma companies) on areas of law ranging from banking and finance, capital markets and M&A to competition and IP. It also provides clients with additional support from its global network. Stephen Reese and Gareth Camp co-head the group. Reese advises clients in the life sciences and healthcare sectors on IP and the regulatory aspects of their business strategies. He has advised clients on matters such as mRNA-based flu vaccines and the acquisition of global encryption and video-coding patents and technology. Camp undertakes commercial and M&A work. Other team members include senior associate Ben Jasper, who specialises in competition disputes, and associate Alex Walker, whose IP specialism includes advising on SPCs, regulatory issues and the commercialisation of products.
‘I found Stephen Reese to be a fabulous lawyer. In addition to his knowledge and experiences, Stephen was great to work with. My colleagues were comfortable with his way of thinking and attitude, which sometimes is more important than knowledge and experiences.‘
FujiFilm Kyowa Kirin Biologics Co. Ltd
PIF (Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund)
Syncona & Quell Therapeutics
Moorfields Eye Hospital NHS Trust
Aztiq Pharma / Alvogen
Xellia and Alpharma LLC
Stallergenes Greer plc
- Advised PIF (Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund and the consortium it led) in respect of its investment into Babylon, the world’s leading AI and digital healthcare provider.
- Representing Alpharma in its appeal to the Competition Appeal Tribunal against the CMA’s decision in paroxetine. In February 2016, the CMA issued a decision against GSK and a number of generics companies including Alpharma. The CMA’s decision found that certain settlement agreements, entered into between GSK and the other companies, infringed the Chapter I prohibition.Also representing Alpharma in claims brought by the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, the National Health Service Business Services Authority and NHS Wales (together the “NHS”) against Lundbeck and a number of other pharmaceutical companies..
- Advising Recipharm, a leading contract development and manufacturing organisation in the pharmaceutical industry, incorporated in Sweden and listed on NASDAQ, on its recommended cash offer for Consort Medical plc (“Consort”), a UK incorporated leading global drug delivery and device company, and an integrated contract development and manufacturing organisation, listed on the LSE. Recipharm’s offer values Consort at £627 million.
In conjunction with the firm's US and European offices, Dechert LLP's team in London provides an impressive range of M&A, capital markets and finance expertise, much of which is cross-border. Its clients include international pharma and healthcare companies, biotech clients, banks and specialist investors, including private equity houses. Robert Darwin, who is 'great at quickly understanding the context of any scenario', undertakes a broad range of corporate and commercial work ranging from corporate finance to collaborations and licensing transactions. Patrick Lyons and Ross Allardice focus on capital markets and private equity/venture capital transactions respectively.
‘The team is headed by a very commercial lawyer who understands the mindset of his client and doesn’t micromanage a very competent team but still makes sure that everything is perfect.’
‘Extremely knowledgeable in the health care space. Major strengths are their solid commercial advice, pragmatic approach to negotiations seems to be geared getting a fair result, rather than scoring points.’
‘Robert Darwin is deeply aware of what is important to us and argues hard on the key points but is realistic and flexible enough to achieve agreement.’
‘Robert Darwin is knowledgeable, commercially sound and very responsive. Always available, and incredibly efficient.’
‘Robert Darwin is great at quickly understanding the context of any scenario and supporting the strategic application of legal frameworks.’
‘Anthony Frost is a thorough and proactive lawyer who has at all times a good handle on all aspects of the transaction; has the skills to move a deal forward with speed and competence.’
Cerberus Capital Management
Direct Healthcare Group
Judges Scientific plc
LGT Global Invest
Spark Advisory Partners
- Advised Merck KGaA, a German multinational pharmaceutical, chemical and life sciences company on strategic M&A, including it’s up to €1bn immuno-oncology collaboration with F-Star and licensing and collaboration arrangements (and the subsequent restructure of those arrangements).
- Advised Cerberus Capital Management, a middle-market private equity firm, on the sale of its portfolio company Covis Pharma BV to Apollo Global Management.
- Advised LGT Global Invest, a leading, global specialist in alternative investing, on its investment in CMR Surgical’s US$240m series C fundraising, the largest private financing round in the medical technology sector in Europe. The fundraising will be used by CMR Surgical to strategically grow and develop its robotic surgery system.
The 'commercial and solution-driven' team at Fieldfisher has sector-focused expertise in corporate, commercial, IP, dispute resolution and fund raising mandates. It is notably strong on the corporate and finance side, where it acts on capital markets and venture capital transactions. A number of lawyers also provide sector-specific technology and data privacy expertise. Sarah Ellson, who co-heads the regulatory team, is 'superbly impressive - highly commercial and switched on'. Janita Good joined as co-head of the group in December 2019 following Nicole Jadeja's departure to Pinsent Masons LLP. Neil Matthews is noted for his capital markets expertise.
‘The team at Fieldfisher brings a broad range of experience to bear in any matter and offers clients the ability to compare what they are doing with how other regulators might be approaching similar issues, something that is reassuringly useful. The team also has a great ability to find pragmatic ways of working through issues, which, for senior people in an organisation, is a welcome approach.’
‘Sarah Ellson stands out for her ability to remain calm no matter how pressurised a situation is. She also has a fantastic ability to understand the client and deliver legal solutions which work in practice. Sarah can cut through the noise and nonsense with her calm, well-judged advice and get her clients to a better place.’
‘Sarah Ellson is an absolute star. She is highly commercial and switched on to the needs of the clients. Whatever approach the client wants to take, she will make it happen. She is superbly impressive.’
‘I know the capital markets advisory team that assists in healthcare-related fundraisings. I’d describe them as no-nonsense, unflappable and good value for the work that we require. They are commercial and solution-driven.’
‘Neil Matthews – old hand who has seen it all, very good with leading clients through the process and not looking to point score. Focused on getting the job done.’
Roche Products Ltd
Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority
Rutherford Health plc (previously Proton Partners)
Forward Clinical Limited
- Acting for Roche Products in the course of the high profile litigation relating to Avastin (a Roche product). Roche as an Interested Party in the litigation brought by Bayer and Novartis in relation to CCG policies on the use of this oncology product, for the treatment of eye disorders. The case was heard by the Court of Appeal in November 2019 and will be a landmark decision clarifying whether the NHS can have a policy that prefers an unlicensed medicine (without the usual market authorisation) but which is known to work and might save millions of pounds.
- Acted as legal advisors to the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority for over 15 years in relation to gene editing and mitochondrial donation. Advising on applications for treatment centres to use mitochondrial.
- Advised Cenkos in its capacity as nomad (£52.9m IPO) and broker to Diaceutics, which is an Ireland-headquartered developer of data-driven diagnostics products and implementation services, on its IPO and £17m fundraising.
Hill Dickinson LLP combines its first-rate public healthcare practice with its broader life sciences, biotech, and health tech expertise. James Lawford Davies, who is a life sciences regulatory lawyer and litigator, is considered 'unparalleled in the field of reproductive medicine law' and has a specialism in human tissue and cell-based therapies and research. Jamie Foster's commercial work includes collaborations and licensing in addition to regulatory regimes for clients such as cell and gene therapy companies. Michael Corcoran assists private and smaller listed companies with fund raisings and joint ventures.
‘Highly specialised knowledge of the sector and provide practical application of the law in a manner I’ve never seen from legal support. Personable, friendly, attentive and clear. What more could you want!’
‘James Lawford Davies – unparalleled in the field of reproductive medicine law. Erudite and dynamic in his application of the law. Most of all, he is focused on delivering the desired outcome for the client.’
‘Excellent regulatory understanding and ability to talk to authorities to solve issues. They make our problems theirs and run to find solutions. They have the ability to put themselves in the shoes of the company and look beyond the legal aspects.’
The Fertility Partnership Ltd
Insilico Medicines, Inc
EMMAC Life Sciences Ltd
iOx Therapeutics Ltd
CME Medical Ltd
OBG Pharmaceuticals Ltd
Push Dr Ltd
Life Sciences Developments Ltd
Create Health Ltd
SalvaRx Group Plc
Sinclair Pharma Plc
Port Erin Biopharma Investments
Fishawack Group Ltd
Napa Therapeutics LTD
Sativa Investments PLC
FastForward Innovations LTD
Thermo Electron (Management) Services Limited
- Advising Insilico Medicine, Inc, a leading biotech business in Artificial Intelligence on a ground-breaking project to develop a new and flexible partnering process for pharmaceutical companies and AI drug discovery platforms.
- Advising a longstanding leading biotech client on its successful Series B fundraise, which has raised in excess of US$100m. Also advised on a research collaboration for cell and gene therapy.
- Advising The Fertility Partnership and one of their clinics, IVF Hammersmith on a complex action that resulted in an appeal to the Supreme Court, which was dismissed in the client’s favour.
Latham & Watkins undertakes extensive corporate and financial strategic transactions, particularly acquisitions, and has strength in US matters. Robbie McLaren co-heads the corporate department and Gail Crawford is the global co-chair of the technology transactions group and chair of the data privacy committee. Senior associate Frances Stocks Allen advises on areas including IP licensing, other commercial transactions and GDPR issues. International collaborations for the development, manufacture and commercialisation of biotech, pharmaceutical and medtech products, and venture and growth capital investments are some of the areas handled by the group.
‘Strength in depth. Lots of sector-specific experience in pharma. US strength is highly beneficial for cross-border deals.’
‘They focus on life sciences and have specialist knowledge of how to look at that sector.’
‘Robbie McClaren is pragmatic and responsive.’
‘Eliot Choy has excellent pharma sector knowledge.’
‘I value Robbie McLaren’s down-to-earth, approachable attitude. He is always positive and makes a good impression with the other side. He is also pragmatic in solving problems and able to use his judgement to find solutions – he’s not interested in just reporting back the issues.’
‘Frances Stocks Allen stands out as a rising star. She is highly knowledgeable and always available, with a pragmatic approach, good business acumen and short response times.’
CVC Capital Partners
- Advised GlaxoSmithKline on the sale of the North American rights for Keri to Crown Laboratories; the sale of its assets relating to the Biacol and Cibalgina brands in Italy to Versailles; the sale of its Prevacid 24HR business to Perrigo Company; and the sale of various assets to STADA.
- Advised Acino Pharma on its acquisition of various pharmaceutical products and related assets in the NEMEA region of Takeda Pharmaceutical Company.
- Advised KKR on its acquisition of Prometic Bioseparations, an Isle of Man-based company engaged in the research of bioseparations and a subsidiary of Liminal BioSciences.
Mishcon de Reya LLP's offering is headed by Martyn Hann, who is highly rated for combining 'commercial acumen with an eye for graded risk'. His expertise is in both contentious and non-contentious IP, together with commercial and regulatory matters. The group acts for a range of pharma, biosciences, agrochemical, crop sciences and veterinary medicine clients. Its expertise includes advising on large-scale clinical trials and drug development programmes. David Rose handles IP litigation and managing associate Stefania Littleboy specialises in IP, regulatory and data protection matters.
‘Martyn Hann engages as if he were part of the executive team, thinking broadly about the risks and commercial benefits of what we are trying to achieve and advising accordingly. His commercial acumen coupled with an eye for graded risk is what sets him apart.’
‘Martyn has become a pillar in our business and a key decision maker for go/no go decisions on important matters. It really feels like he lives the business with us. His counsel is held in the highest regard.’
‘Although Mishcons are primarily known for their soft IP and media work, they now also have a very good hard IP/patent practice.’
‘David Rose has brought considerable experience in this field to the team. He is a highly experienced IP litigator and a good lawyer with an eye for detail, but mostly he’s a really nice, genuine guy who is a pleasure to work with.’
‘Anna Ward is a very talented associate.’
Lupin Limited and Lupin (Europe) Limited
Dr Reddy’s Laboratories (UK) Limited
Perrigo Group (Perrigo Co, Omega Pharma Limited, Galpharm International Limited, Rosemont Pharmaceuticals Limited, Wrafton Laboratories Limited)
O’Brien Group (including OBG Pharmaceuticals Limited, Pharmaserve Northwest Limited, Ayrton Saunders, Ransoms Naturals, JM Loveridge and Hubron)
Takeda Pharmaceuticals International AG
Jennewein Biotechnologie GmbH
- Acting for Lupin in successful invalidity proceedings against Gilead’s supplementary protection certificate for Truvada in the Court of Appeal
- Advising Takeda Pharmaceuticals AG on a range of insurance issues.
- Advising a UK medical devices company on a collaboration with a US pharma company to develop a generic version of an existing inhalator product and the submission of an abbreviated new drug application to the FDA.
The Morgan, Lewis & Bockius UK LLP team handles a range of transactional, regulatory and competition matters in the UK and globally. Team head Timothy Corbett advises emerging biotechnology companies on capital raisings from seed investment onwards, as well as acquisitions and collaborations. Frances Murphy and Omar Shah handle competition issues such as unfair pricing. Tom Cartwright handles private equity investments in the pharma sector and consultant Paul Ranson provides a wealth of sector-specific corporate and regulatory experience.
‘Morgan Lewis have an excellent client-focused approach. The advice and guidance they provide is of the highest quality and always tailored to outlined objectives.’
‘I have worked successfully with Paul Ranson for many years. Paul consistently demonstrates a high level of competency and expertise in all legal work related to life sciences, healthcare and pharmaceuticals. Paul conducts himself with the highest levels of integrity, ethics, empathy and professionalism. He is an excellent lawyer and a true credit to his profession.’
- Acting for Advanz Pharma in a series of acquisitions, including its acquisition of the rights to two medicines (Salagen and Panretin) from Eisai Inc.
- Advised biotechnology company Replimune Group Inc. on its $80m public offering of approximately 3.6 million shares of common stock and pre-funded warrants to purchase 2.2 million shares of common stock.
- Leading Concordia/Advanz’s defence in relation to the alleged excessive and unfair pricing of the thyroid drug Liothyronine, to which the Capital Markets Authority has issued a statement of objections and a supplementary statement of objections.
The RPC team, led by the well-respected Dorothy Flower, has extensive expertise in the areas of product liability (especially medical devices), clinical trials (both commercial matters and injury disputes), and regulatory regimes. It also handles related coronial investigations and insurance matters. Peter Rudd-Clarke is highly experienced in these fields. Senior associate Natalie Drew assists on contentious matters, including cases relating to the use of opioids and other drugs, medical devices and a range of implants.
Bard Pharmaceuticals Ltd
British Pregnancy Advisory Service
Make Yourself Amazing (MYA)
QBE Insurance Europe Ltd
Royal Hospital for Neuro-Disability
GC Aesthetics PLC
- Representing the British Pregnancy Advisory Service in the Court of Appeal in an application for judicial review of a decision by the Secretary of State for Health concerning the 24-week limit for abortions.
- Defending Bard Pharmaceuticals Limited, the manufacturer of an opioid pain relief patch, in a claim over an alleged accidental opioid overdose.
- Acting for Clover Leaf Products Limited, the former UK distributor of PIP breast implants, and its insurers in defending part 20 claims following the resolution of the original litigation which involved over 1,000 claimants.
Slaughter and May
The Slaughter and May group handles corporate, commercial and fund-raising transactions for an impressive range of life sciences, biotech, healthcare and consumer care clients. Many of its transactions are multi-jurisdictional, demonstrating the firm's global prowess. It also assists with related regulatory and competition issues. David Johnson, who heads the practice, oversees much of this work, which includes M&A, joint ventures and equity investments, acting with colleagues in Europe and Asia.
‘The team understood the nuances of the transaction and provided commercially focused solutions. Seen through the client’s lens they were excellent from the first client engagement through to completion – a very smooth journey.’
‘An arguably peerless corporate team with cross-sector experience but also life sciences expertise. Great for corporate deals in the life sciences sector.’
Thermo Fisher Scientific
- Advised Ervaxx, a biotechnology company pioneering the use of Dark Antigens to develop T-cell receptor-based immunotherapies and off-the-shelf cancer vaccines, on a licensing and research collaboration with a leading T-cell immunology group at Cardiff University.
- Advised Shire plc on a recommended cash and share offer by Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited for the entire issued and to be issued ordinary share capital of Shire.
- Advising GlaxoSmithKline plc on the divestment of Horlicks and other consumer healthcare nutrition brands to Unilever plc and the merger of GSK Consumer Healthcare Limited (GSK India) with Hindustan Unilever Limited for a total consideration valued at approximately £3.1 bn.
Squire Patton Boggs draws on experts in its UK, US and European offices to provide a broad range of assistance to its pharma and healthcare clients, many of which are major global companies. Andrew Wilkinson, Diarmuid Ryan and William Downs collectively provide a blend of IP, competition and commercial expertise. Qualified pharmacist Adrian Spooner is skilled in regulatory and commercial matters. The team also handles issues concerning advertising and promotions and healthcare matters relating to hospitals, both private and public.
Other key lawyers:
‘They have a depth and range of pharmaceutical industry knowledge, built up and sustained over many years. Professionals providing advice in a form that enables swift implementation.’
‘Adrian Spooner is outstanding. His legal advice is based on practical understanding, and he is an expert at scenario planning and trend identification. He is able to translate legislation from the statute book into how it will be implemented in the UK and other parts of Europe.’
Headed by patents specialist Charlotte Tillett, Stevens & Bolton LLP's Guildford-based practice attracts clients from the pharmaceutical, biotech, digital health and medical device sectors, in addition to many of the sector stakeholders in the supply chain. It advises on regulatory regimes, IP, data protection and various corporate and commercial transactions, as well as Covid-19 issues concerning licensing and clinical trials. Gustaf Duhs focuses on competition and EU law and Michael Frisby has extensive experience in risk management and disputes.
‘Stevens & Bolton have provided high-quality advice and legal opinions on a wide-ranging set of legal challenges involving EU, UK, public and private law. S&B bring the right parties to the table, including at times legal help from other countries, to support clients in making the right decisions.’
‘Stevens & Bolton’s team is unique in having highly skilled lawyers for all aspects of the life sciences sector. Moreover, they all have the necessary technical and commercial insight to provide services tailored to the specific demands of the sector. Their key strength, however, is the very cooperative approach among all departments of the firm. Last but not least, the whole team at S&B is very friendly and there is great atmosphere in the workplace which makes clients confident that they are at the right place.’
‘Charlotte Tillett stands out as highly professional and knowledgeable. Her ability to take into account the technical and commercial aspects of licensing helps to solve even the most complex issues. Her advice is always practical, to the point and easy to follow. But it is her personal character that truly stands out. She is friendly, easygoing and empathetic.’
‘Gustaf Duhs has great knowledge of various regulatory issues relevant to the life sciences sector, including public procurement, state aid and competition.’
Lonza Biologics Plc
The Institute of Cancer Research
Glenmark Pharmaceutical Europe Limited
Blatchford Limited (formerly Chas A Blatchford & Sons Ltd)
BOC Group (Part of the Linde Group)
Brain Biotechnology Research and Information Network AG
- Advising Lonza Biologics plc, a global biotech company, in relation to its patent and knowhow licensing.
- Acting for SecurMed, the company formed by the major pharmaceutical bodies, regarding parallel importers on the implementation by the UK of the Falsified Medicines Directive and the IT platform that interacts with the European Medicines Verification Organisation.
- Advising Accord Healthcare Limited in relation to all UK immigration matters arising out of Brexit.
Taylor Wessing LLP's group is led by Michael Stein and Allison Dennis; they are the international co-heads of teams that serve clients ranging from leading pharmaceutical companies and healthcare providers to start-ups and investors. The firm's range of expertise spans areas including emerging technologies, advanced therapies, digital health and the use of AI. Simon Cohen is a notable patent litigator in respect of pharma and biotech cases. Tech and life sciences specialists Malcolm Bates , Tim Worden and David Mardle left for Goodwin in Cambridge.
Other key lawyers: