Firms To Watch: Life sciences and healthcare

Ropes & Gray LLP made a notable hire in London in March 2021 with the addition of former Arnold & Porter partner Lincoln Tsang - he has joined as head of the US firm's European life sciences practice, bringing huge experience from his time at the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency, the European Medicines Agency and the Council of Europe.

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Life sciences and healthcare in London

Allen & Overy LLP

Allen & Overy LLP has 'a Rolls-Royce team for the very biggest and most important disputes', while also expertly handling substantial transactional mandates. London commercial IP head Jim Ford is co-chair of the global life sciences group, working in tandem with Laëtitia Bénard in Paris. IP litigator Marjan Noor is highly regarded for her 'unparalleled experience combined with warmth and tenacity'; she is one of a number of key names in a team which is able to handle the full spectrum of matters for life sciences clients, covering corporate, commercial, IP, finance, capital markets and disputes. Notable recent work has included advising GlaxoSmithKline on a €1bn deal with German biotech company CureVac to co-develop mRNA-based vaccines for infectious diseases - for that, Noor, corporate partner Matthew Appleton and IP specialist Nigel Parker led a large team which also included highly regarded senior associate Rafi Allos (described as 'a partner of the future'). Mark Ridgway and Neville Cordell are key names for patents and trade secrets litigation

Practice head(s):

Jim Ford

Other key lawyers:

Marjan Noor; Matthew Appleton; Mark Ridgway; Neville Cordell; Nigel Parker; Rafi Allos


‘Marjan Noor is treated as royalty in this field, and rightly so. She is technically exceptional, strategically thoughtful, and a warm, considerate client partner: the full suite of skills one could ask for.’

‘Rafi Allos is a superb associate with extraordinary technical ability who is destined to be a quite exceptional figure in this field before very long at all.’

‘Mark Ridgway is an incredibly engaging personality, whose strategic prowess and can-do attitude make him the first port of call for heavyweight patent litigation in this jurisdiction.’

‘Marjan Noor is one of the country’s leading pharmaceutical specialists. Her experience, calming manner, tactical awareness and industry knowledge ensure that she retains her position as one of the highest-profile lawyers in the sector. Not just here, but globally.’

‘Marjan Noor is a standout partner.  She has great experience and provides excellent client service making time for the clients and understands client’s commercial end goal.

‘Stand out partner – Marjan Noor. Nobody understands the needs of the client more and gives 125% to every one.’

‘Jim Ford is great to work with. He is very knowledgeable in the life sciences space, not only on the laws themselves but on the market practice in the sector. He is able to draw on that to provide well-reasoned and pragmatic advice.’

‘Marjan Noor  – one of the unsung heroes of the life sciences IP litigation field. Such a nice person to work with, she holds the whole litigation team together making the whole process so easy. Rafi Allos is a partner of the future. He has all the client service skills combined with a real understanding of the litigation process. He is the crucial link between client, solicitor team and barrister team. I can’t think of anyone who holds that role better in any firm.’

Key clients


Eli Lilly



Johnson & Johnson

Merck Sharpe & Dohme





Bird & Bird LLP

Led by patent litigator Mark Hilton, the life sciences and healthcare group at Bird & Bird LLPComparative Guides promotional icon  is very well regarded for high-value pharmaceutical and life sciences IP litigation. The team is well-positioned to handle multijurisdictional matters, with offices across Europe, the Middle East and Asia. Leveraging the firm's strength in the technology sector, digital health is a major focus and growth area for the group; data issues concerning Track and Trace apps have factored in the team's workload over the last year. The team also works with  biotech clients in  relation to novel gene therapies, biosimilars and Advanced Therapy Medicinal Products. Sally Shorthose  leads the regulatory practice, which has handled several pandemic-related matters, including the marketing of diagnostic test kits and the repurposing of factories to manufacture PPE and respiratory aids.

Practice head(s):

Mark Hilton

Other key lawyers:

Sally Shorthose


‘Very accessible, always reachable, highly professional, enjoyable to work with.’

‘Insightful regulatory advice based on in-depth industry knowledge and the highest standard of legal expertise.’

‘Responsive, practical and commercial – the perfect business partner!’

‘This practice is unique because they have such great experience and knowledge in such a large amount of localities. They are great to work with because they have very talented attorneys in lots of countries and can really help out international companies and support their growth.’

‘Sally Shorthose – great experience and extremely helpful.’

‘The team is strong and gives practical advice. They were nearly spot on in their predictions of how things would go, and that inspired confidence in their judgement and guidance amongst executive leadership.’

Key clients



Fisher & Paykel Healthcare


Juvise Pharmaceuticals

Merck KGaA

Bicycle Therapeutics


Teva Pharmaceuticals


Work highlights

  • Acted for Fisher & Paykel Healthcare in patent infringement proceedings against Flexicare relating to breathing circuits used in the mechanical ventilation of patients.
  • Advised French speciality pharmaceutical company, Juvise Pharmaceuticals, on their $200million acquisition of the commercial rights to Casodex (bicalutamide) and Armidex (anastrozole) product ranges from Astra Zeneca, in a number of European, African and other countries.
  • Advised the Dementia Discovery Fund on a £12 million venture capital fundraising by NeuroGeneus alongside Johnson & Johnson Development Corporate, F-Prime, Advent Life Sciences and Life Arc.

Bristows LLP

The ‘exceptionally high quality’ life sciences practice at Bristows LLP offers a cohesive multi-disciplinary team advising on a broad range of complex regulatory and transactional work. The team is highly recommended for multi-jurisdictional M&A and investment. Liz Cohen has a strong record of coordinating cross-border patent litigation, and is known for handling cases involving sophisticated scientific concepts. She jointly heads the group with Richard Dickinson, who focuses on IP and commercial transactions, particularly licensing, distribution, manufacturing and supply agreements. Claire Smith is similarly noted for her commercial IP experience, while Robert Burrows‘ PhD in molecular genetics equips him to undertake technically challenging cases. Alex Denoon leads the firm’s stand-out regulatory practice, and is particularly sought after by clients specialising in disruptive technologies such as genomics, companion diagnostics, cell therapies and tissue and cells borderline products.

Practice head(s):

Liz Cohen; Richard Dickinson

Other key lawyers:

Alex Denoon; Robert Burrows; Claire Smith; Xisca Borrás


‘Rob Burrows: bright, sensible, charming’

‘Bristows is strong in building up an efficient team which consists of specialists in different fields so that a client can receive exactly what they want. They also have a well organized database and network of specialists in other countries to deal with multinational issues.’

‘Bristows remain top tier, resulting from the depth of strength throughout the partners (and indeed across the whole group). The individuals live and breathe their subject matter, know the industry inside out and are supported by their excellent regulatory and competition colleagues.’

‘The Bristows regulatory team are solution-oriented, practical lawyers which is a differentiator when looking for regulatory counsel. They are committed to not only giving high quality advice but also supporting education and upskilling within the client team to support continuous learning and improvement.’

‘Alex Denoon leads a team of incredibly client-focused lawyers who care about understanding your business and products. Alex adopts a practical approach in a very complex area of law and regulation which is very much appreciated by his legal and business clients.’

‘Partners are very hands-on, always available and a pleasure to work with.’

‘Alex Denoon and Xisca Borrás offer a great one stop shop for all things regulatory.’

‘The quality that Bristows provides is exceptionally high. They have a perfect understanding of the client’s needs and a diverse team of experts to fulfil these. Apart from their outstanding professional skills, all team members are very approachable and always open for a quick discussion.’

Key clients

Google and Deepmind

Teva Pharmaceuticals


Johnson & Johnson Innovation (Janssen Sciences)

Genomics England ltd

University of Oxford





UCL Business


Sensyne Health

Fresenius Kabi Deutschland GmBH

Work highlights

  • Concluded the landmark Research Collaboration and Licence Agreement between Oxford University Innovations and AstraZeneca over worldwide rights to manufacture and commercialise the COVID-19 vaccine.
  • Advised Base Genomics on its sale to Exact Sciences for over $400 million in cash and stock, one of the largest UK diagnostic deals of its kind to date.
  • Coordinated global action in the enforcement of patents for Novartis’ blockbuster medicines.


CMS stands out for its strength in healthcare, handling large M&A, finance and real estate transactions, as well as complex regulatory and clinically-driven advice. Key healthcare clients include independent acute hospital providers, non-NHS primary care property owners and care home providers. On the life sciences side, the team acts for pharmaceutical and medical devices companies, advising on a wide range of transactional, IP, regulatory, competition, litigation and employment work. The technical backgrounds of many of the team equip it to advise on innovative areas like gene and cell therapy, immune-oncology and microbiology. Sarah Hanson co-chairs the group with Robert Stephen, a patent attorney with a background in biochemistry and molecular genetics, and Candice Blackwood, who leads the real estate healthcare team and specialises in large scale investment and development transactions. Rachel Cooper is a key name for regulatory work, providing extensive transactional support and advising numerous healthcare regulators.

Practice head(s):

Sarah Hanson; Robert Stephen; Candice Blackwood

Other key lawyers:

Shuna Mason; Jason Zemmel; Rachel Cooper


‘Sarah Hanson – responsive to enquiries and pragmatic advice provided.’

‘I have always found the team quick to respond, professional and incredibly knowledgeable. Their sector experience is excellent.’

‘The specialised knowledge and the ability to apply that knowledge to the issue in question in a creative and business relevant way is exceptional.’

‘The team is exceptionally well led. It is very innovative and always willing to expand into new areas.’

‘Insightful regulatory advice based on unsurpassed industry knowledge.’

‘Rachel Cooper is a determined and gifted leader. Her team respond well to her and feel very supported. She is able to achieve great results for their clients.’

‘Very focused and knowledgeable in life sciences, especially medical devices. Clear discussions on matters arising, easy to reach and reliable in feedback and turnaround.’

Key clients

Eli Lilly


Johnson & Johnson




The Wellcome Trust

Barchester Healthcare

Care UK

Welltower Inc

Korian S.A


General Optical Counsel

General Pharmaceutical Counsel

HCA Healthcare

Schoen Clinic

Outcomes First Group

Moorfields Eye Hospital NHS Trust and UCL London

Spire Healthcare

Civitas Social Housing

Cindat Capital Management


Primary Health Properties

Medical Defence Union

City & County Healthcare Group

August Equity

Limerston Capital


Pierval Sante

Esland Care Group

Orbis Care & Education

Work highlights

  • Advised GlaxoSmithKline on a reverse patent settlement investigation and one of the OFT/CMA’s longest and most high profile prohibitive competition law inquiries.
  • Advised Moorfields NHS Trust and University College London on a joint venture project, a purpose-built 40,000 sqm hospital and research centre, situated in King’s Cross London, that will house the new Moorfields Eye Hospital and UCL’s Institute of Ophthalmology.
  • Advised Korian, a leading European care services group for elderly and fragile people, on its acquisition of the Berkley Care Group in the UK.

Covington & Burling LLP

Covington & Burling LLP's 'flexible', 'client-focused' healthcare and life sciences team is well known for its dedicated regulatory practice, which handles a range of issues including pharmaceutical pricing and reimbursement and life-cycle management. The team has had a productive year of transactions, including M&A, capital markets and venture capital deals, and is highly recommended for cross-border, international mandates. Commercial contracts are a stand-out strength, with the firm housing a dedicated team. The cutting-edge digital health group offers 'exceptional insight on data and AI'. Department head Grant Castle advises on Brexit and trade issues, and has significant expertise in regulatory projects outside Europe. Sarah Cowlishaw has a broad practice encompassing work for pharmaceutical companies, as well as manufacturers across regulatory, compliance and transactional matters.

Practice head(s):

Grant Castle

Other key lawyers:

Brian Kelly; Robin Blaney; Daniel Pavin; Sarah Cowlishaw


‘Very good on commercial transactions. Exceptional insights on data and AI, and the evolving data driven health area. Also on more traditional biotech transactions. Good support on corporate work, very good tax advice. We have total confidence in the support and advice that we obtain from Covington and Burling.’

‘Extremely client focused and willing to jump in to help at a moment’s notice. Flexible, hard working and pragmatic advice. Go the extra mile to support.’

‘Sarah Cowlishaw is exceptionally hard working, willing to go the extra mile to get things done, and pragmatic and focused in her advice.’

‘Daniel Pavin is truly exceptional with his experience and insights in both biotech and data driven health domains.’

Key clients




BioNTech SE


Bristol Myers Squibb

Boehringer Ingelheim Corporation

Eli Lilly


Horizon Discovery Group plc

Illumina, Inc.

Johnson & Johnson

Merck Sharp & Dohme

Oxford BioMedica plc

Oxford Immunotec Global plc

UCB, Inc.

Takeda Pharmaceutical Company

Work highlights

  • Advised and represented Merck Sharpe & Dohme before NICE’s appeal panel in a successful challenge of NICE’s decision not to recommend MSD’s cancer treatment (pembrolizumab) for NHS urothelial (bladder) cancer patients.
  • Advised Sensyne Health on an exclusive licence and development agreement with Excalibur Health Services Limited to apply Sensyne’s MagnifEye system for use with Excalibur’s lateral flow rapid diagnostic tests.
  • Represented Sitryx in an exclusive global licensing and research collaboration with Eli Lilly and Company.

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP advises life sciences clients across the entire lifecycle of their products, from financing to M&A and regulatory matters. The team is particularly known for defending pharmaceutical companies against generic and biosimilar challenges, and has seen growth from these relationships into M&A, non-IP disputes, arbitration, competition, regulatory and employment. Sophie Rich is highly recommended as a patent litigator. Additionally, the practice advises generics players on corporate and commercial matters, and assists medical devices, diagnostics and other medtech companies. Practice head Alan Montgomery specialises in public and private cross-border M&A, restructurings, joint ventures and commercial agreements in the pharmaceuticals and life sciences sector. Patent litigator and SPC expert Sebastian Moore is noted, as is Jonathan Turnbull, who advises pharmaceutical companies with a significant R&D focus on their commercial aims.

Practice head(s):

Alan Montgomery

Other key lawyers:

Sophie Rich; Sebastian Moore; Jonathan Turnbull


‘Sebastian Moore and Sophie Rich are highly skilled professionals.’

‘Herbert Smith has an exceptional team in the life sciences sector led by Sophie Rich. The team is entirely client focused and combines this with a really deep understanding of the underlying scientific issues in a case, combined with litigation tactics.’

‘Sophie Rich and Sebastian Moore are exceptional and work extremely hard for their clients.’

Key clients

F. Hoffman-La Roche

Ariosa Diagnostics

Gilead Sciences, Inc

AbbVie Inc

Genus Plc

Abcam Plc

Strides Pharma Science Limited

Lupin Pharmaceuticals

Aurobindo Pharma

Syneos Health

Acacia Research Corporation

Work highlights

  • Advised Acacia Research Corporation on its entry into an agreement with Link Fund Solutions Limited to purchase shares in up to 19 public and private life sciences companies from the LF Equity Income Fund for a total consideration of up to £223.9 million
  • Represented 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.
  • Advised Parkinson’s UK on its acquisition of assets relating to the research, development, manufacture and marketing of glial-cell line-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF), a potentially disease-modifying treatment for Parkinson’s disease.

Hogan Lovells International LLP

The ‘excellent team of healthcare specialists’ at Hogan Lovells International LLP acts for a ‘stellar client list of international companies’. The multi-disciplinary team advises on intellectual property, product liability, regulatory and compliance, transactional matters and data protection. Other specialisms include pricing, reimbursement and public law, as well as investigations advice and anti-bribery and corruption compliance, with product liability also a stand-out strength for the group. ‘Rising starMatthew Felwick has an excellent track record of handling complex, high-stakes product liability matters; he jointly heads the life sciences & healthcare UK practice alongside Stephen Bennett, who is highly regarded in running patent disputes and  Jane Summerfield. Summerfield is also co-head of the global life sciences and healthcare industry group and advises on matters including clinical trials, digital health and commercial contracts. Senior counsel John Meltzer is strongly recommended for life sciences product liability advice, advising on risk management and litigation. Senior associate Elise Martin also advises on product safety, as well as compliance and international regulation.

Practice head(s):

Stephen Bennett; Matthew Felwick; Jane Summerfield

Other key lawyers:

John Meltzer; Elise Martin


‘Hogan has routinely provided solutions oriented advice in an easy to action fashion. They have been reliable counterparts throughout our company’s growth process, providing support as and when needed. Their global network and ability to adapt to our new markets has been a tremendous aid.’

‘They are fast and pragmatic. They want us to succeed.’

‘Jane Summerfield offers commercially pragmatic solutions to cross-regional healthcare compliance issues.’

‘Matthew Felwick is the rising star of the team. He cut his teeth under John Meltzer for many years and is now leading the department with aplomb.’

 ‘John Meltzer is internationally recognised for his unrivalled skill in this area. He brings decades of experience acting for pharmaceutical, medical device and biotech sector clients.’

‘Excellent, well-balanced team, with real, rich experience and a dedicated in-house scientist.’

‘Elise Martin – highly efficient and fantastic to work with.’

‘Hogan Lovell’s team members are real experts in the life sciences & healthcare industry. They understand the issues we face and the context in which we navigate on a day to day basis.’

Key clients

Merck Sharp and Dohme (MSD)



Bristol Myers-Squibb


Alvogen Malta



Zimmer Biomet

Eli Lilly

Arnold & Porter

Arnold & Porter's life sciences and healthcare team, led by Ian Dodds-Smith, stands out for its regulatory and product liability practices. The team is highly recommended for matters covering regulation of medicinal products and medical devices and in compliance work involving transatlantic issues; advice on regulatory and commercial strategies relating to gene editing technologies is another key niche. The group has defended numerous product liability actions, including multi-party group actions, unitary claims and actions arising from clinical trials, and also provides non-contentious advice on product safety issues. Jacqueline Mulryne is noted for her expertise in public and administrative law cases arising from the decisions of regulatory bodies in the EU and UK. Lincoln Tsang left the firm in early 2021 to join US rival Ropes & Gray LLP  as head of its European life sciences practice.

Practice head(s):

Ian Dodds-Smith

Other key lawyers:

Adela Williams; Jacqueline Mulryne


‘Jacqueline Mulryne and her team are our go-to counsel for all regulatory matters. Jackie is pragmatic, business oriented and exceptional in her field.’

‘This team has a fantastic and deserved reputation for regulatory and competition matters in the life sciences sector.’

‘Exceptional value for the advice they provide.’

‘Knowledge of the UK healthcare environment is second to none, including money flows, procurement bodies, and the key decision-makers throughout. Very practical insights beyond just the law.’

‘Adela Williams’ understanding of the life sciences industry is unrivalled and she is able to give pragmatic and commercially focused advice.’

‘Adela Williams’ clarity, logic and grasp of her subject matter makes her the go -to partner for any question I have.’

Key clients



Grünenthal GmbH

Orion Inc

Santen Pharmaceuticals

Clovis Oncology



Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS)

Boston Scientific

Roche Diagnostics Limited

Richford Family – Pro Bono Clinical Inquest

Steven Ford – Pro Bono Inquest




Kyowa Kirin


Work highlights

  • Advised Bayer on the Infected Blood Inquiry.
  • Advised Pfizer on multi-claimant litigation arising from cardiovascular disorders following use of Celebrex.
  • Advised Bayer and Sanofi on issues arising out of the Cumberlege Inquiry, which examined the marketing of hormone pregnancy tests.

Baker McKenzie

Baker McKenzie's cross-practice healthcare and life sciences group combines a strong compliance and investigations team, transactional expertise and extensive experience in regulatory matters, commercial agreements, public procurement and IP.  The practice advises on the development of innovative healthcare technology, assisting a wide range of big tech, medtech, pharma and consultancy clients in the space, and has significant expertise in data privacy laws and healthcare regulation, particularly involving hospital collaborations and AI technology. Jane Hobson is a key name for transactional work, with the firm's international presence ensuring matters include complex multi-jurisdictional deals and highly specialised licensing agreements. She co-chairs the group with Hiroshi Sheraton, who focuses on contentious patent work in the sector.

Practice head(s):

Hiroshi Sheraton; Jane Hobson


‘Very knowledgeable, experienced team with a wide variety of expertise. Once you raise your question, they make you feel you are in good hands and the quality of the work you will receive will always be high.’

‘Excellent international presence, strong operating model and use of tech to co-ordinate complicated legal steps around the world, high quality of lawyers at all levels.’

‘Always available, very good understanding of the detail, pragmatic advice.’

Key clients



GSK Vaccines

CR Bard

Novo Nordisk



Stryker Corporate

Platinium Equity

Georgia Healthcare Group

Walgreens Boots Alliance

Lonza Group AG


Work highlights

  • Advised GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) on a series of strategic site divestments as lead deal counsel.
  • Advised Walgreens Boots Alliance (one of the world’s largest purchasers of prescription drugs and many other health and well-being products) in relation to the carve-out, restructuring and disposal of its Alliance Healthcare business to AmerisourceBergen Corporation (ABC) for approximately $6.5 billion.
  • Advised Lonza Group on the sale of its manufacturing sites in Ploermel, France and Edinburgh, Scotland to British CDMO NextPharma. Both sites produce lipid oral-dose drugs as liquid-filled hard capsules and softgels.

Clifford Chance LLP

The life sciences and healthcare sector group at Clifford Chance LLP is able to leverage the firm's extensive global network and has expertise across the board. It advises on regulatory matters, M&A and data protection work and has been active in pharmaceutical and vaccine mandates. The team has a distinguishing focus on the cannabis-based therapeutic market, drawing on specialists in IP, compliance, finance and litigation. IP and regulatory expert Stephen Reese jointly chairs the group with Gareth Camp, who advises on acquisitions and disposals and corporate matters.

Practice head(s):

Stephen Reese; Gareth Camp


‘The practice covers both contentious and non-contentious work: as a result, it is closely attuned to the big picture and broader strategic concerns. They also understand every part of the market, from drug development to regulatory approval – as well as the disputes and issues that can arise along the way.’

‘Stephen Reese is a stand-out partner to work with. Personable, detail-oriented, and a deal-maker at heart, he also brings great strategic insight to disputes.’

Key clients

Pfizer Inc

Her Majesty’s Government

Gyrus Capital

Moorfields Eye Hospital NHS Trust

AGC Biologics A/S

Syncona Investment Management Limited – Quell Therapeutics

Work highlights

  • Advised Pfizer on its global patent licensing and collaboration agreement with BioNTech for the development and commercialisation of a COVID-19 vaccine.
  • Advised the Vaccine Taskforce on behalf of Her Majesty’s Government on the IP licensing, development, manufacturing and supply of vaccines to the UK population for the treatment of COVID-19, including the regulatory issues facing the Government in connection with the unprecedented circumstances presented by COVID-19.
  • Advised Pfizer Group on the spin-off of Upjohn, its off-patent branded drugs business, which sells well-known drugs such as Viagra and Lipitor.

Cooley (UK) LLP

Cooley (UK) LLP advises biotech and specialised pharmaceutical companies. It often takes on roles opposite 'big pharma' companies and is therefore able to handle licensing and disposals work without conflict issues. Transactional expertise makes up a core component of the team's work, with the group advising on corporate and financing work in the sector from London. John Wilkinson and Nicola Maguire lead the City team and have experience working on complex and novel collaboration and partnership agreements. The group is well-placed to handle cross-jurisdictional matters, drawing on the firm's notably strong US life sciences capabilities, and has a strong team of industry-focused practitioners across its IP, employment and tax groups.

Practice head(s):

Nicola Maguire; John Wilkinson

Other key lawyers:

Stephen Rosen


‘Nicola Maguire provides very good broad, pragmatic advice and is always ready to help.’

‘Cooley has a huge depth of life sciences experience and the Cooley team support us across several key aspects of our business. The deep experience they bring enables them to find really creative solutions to challenges we face.’

‘The London office is distinctive in its deep experience of supporting life sciences clients, allowing a consistent, informed approach at all stages of projects and engagement with internal stakeholders. They are natural and creative problem solvers, informed by a wealth of experience in life sciences and biotech.’

‘Nicola Maguire brought a deep understanding of a biotech’s needs and considerations during our first cross-border acquisition. Strong commercial sense and advice informed by extensive experience working alongside leading life science companies, and sound industry knowledge of the dynamic biopharma landscape.’

‘Takes a holistic view of our business, and genuinely invested in supporting our continuing growth.’

‘Fantastic technical knowledge and understanding of our business enabling them to make solid recommendations on creative solutions that work for all parties.’

Key clients

Bavarian Nordic


Adrestia Therapeutics Limited

Silence Therapeutics

Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness (CEPI)

Hummingbird Bioscience

Autolus Therapeutics

Bicycle Therapeutics

Syneos Health


Work highlights

  • Advised Adrestia Therapeutics Limited on a multi-project discovery collaboration with GSK that involved the pharmaceutical giant using Adrestia’s disease rebalancing platform to discover and validate novel disease rebalancing therapeutic and/or diagnostic targets in up to five collaborative projects.
  • Advised Silence Therapeutics on a strategic collaboration with AstraZeneca to discover, develop and commercialise small interfering RNA therapeutics for the treatment of cardiovascular, renal, metabolic and respiratory diseases.
  • Advised the late-stage biotechnology company Immunocore on a dual track process to determine whether to proceed with a Nasdaq listing or SPAC (merger with a special purpose acquisition company listed on Nasdaq). Immunocore commenced initial negotiations with a SPAC but ultimately the transaction resulted in a $273 million IPO and listing on Nasdaq.

Gowling WLG

The multi-disciplinary life sciences team at Gowling WLG has an excellent reputation for its cross-practice approach, advising on patent disputes, litigation, competition and regulatory issues. The practice also handles a range of licensing, collaborations and M&A transactions, as well as pharma manufacturing and clinical trial agreements. It is particularly well known for acting for global pharmaceutical companies, with clients including GlaxoSmithKline, AstraZeneca and Lundbeck. The group also works closely with the healthcare sector. Patrick Duxbury heads the team; his background in microbiology and genetics stands him in good stead in his transactional IP practice.

Practice head(s):

Patrick Duxbury

Other key lawyers:

Luke Kempton; Ian Piggin


‘Strong industry and transactional knowledge.’

‘We value that Gowling’s staff understands the balance a small company weighs when considering risk and costs associated with the business.’

‘Patrick Duxbury’s broad experience (particularly in transactional matters) has allowed us to quickly address matters with a range of solutions that bring resolution to any conflicts.’

Key clients


Gyrus Captial

Beckman Coulter

ERS Genomics


Sosei Heptares

Cenkos Securities and Shore Capital


Oxford Biotherapeutics



Bold Therapeutics


Evox Therapeutics

GlaxoSmith Kline

Work highlights

  • Advised long-standing client AstraZeneca on a landmark collaboration agreement for the development and distribution of the University of Oxford’s potential COVID-19 vaccine.
  • Acted for BioNTech on its international launch of a COVID-19 vaccine product. The firm is providing strategic IP advice.
  • Acted on Neurim’s patent dispute with Mylan concerning its Circadin drug.

Linklaters LLP

Linklaters LLP's life sciences and healthcare team acts for a diverse client base, encompassing pharmaceutical, biotech, digital health and medical device companies, as well as banks, sovereign wealth funds and other investors active in the sector. The full-service practice is particularly notable for M&A, private equity, digital health, banking and finance and commercial contracts in the healthcare space. Aisling Zarraga has a strong record of working on complex corporate healthcare deals; she jointly heads the group with Marly Didizian, who is a key name for complex procurements and pharma supply chain issues.

Practice head(s):

Aisling Zarraga; Marly Didizian

Other key lawyers:

Yohan Liyanage; Ian Karet


‘Great complementarity among different expert groups, excellent level of service, very proactive and creative in their solutions.’

‘Highest quality advice with significant input from the partners and other senior members of the team. The top notch M&A advice was supplemented by deep sector knowledge.’

‘Aisling Zarraga is extremely knowledgeable, responsive and practical in her approach.’

‘Aisling Zarraga demonstrated excellent corporate M&A expertise and deep healthcare sector knowledge.’

Key clients

Gavi, the Global Vaccines Alliance

Apax Partners

Takeda Pharmaceutical Company

Truu Digital IT

Merck & Co., Inc.


Regeneron Pharmaceuticals


Work highlights

  • Advised Gavi, the vaccine alliance, on the design and implementation of its global COVAX facility.
  • Advised Apax Partners on its auction sale process of Neuraxpharm.
  • Advised Takeda Pharmaceutical Company on the sale of its haemostasis product TachoSil to Corza Health Inc.

Pinsent Masons LLP

The full-service specialist life sciences team at Pinsent Masons LLP advises on a broad spectrum of matters, including IP and patent litigation, regulatory work, transactional mandates, competition and procurement. Its commercial work includes complex licensing, collaborations and partnering transactions, as well as listed and private biotech and medtech financings and IPOs. On the healthcare side, led by Joanne Ellis, the practice acts for numerous social care and dental care operators and healthcare landlords. Clare Tunstall, who heads life sciences and IP at the firm, has a strong reputation in patent litigation and revocations.

Practice head(s):

Clare Tunstall; Joanne Ellis

Other key lawyers:

Allistair Booth; Charles Waddell


‘Deep industry and sector knowledge for life sciences, and a close understanding of the issues we face, making them a key partner for a number of our commercial objectives.’

‘The Pinsent Masons team are incredibly willing to help with the many complicated legal and policy issues we must address. They have a broad and diverse team of very helpful people, who are generous with their time.’

‘The team I worked with genuinely made me feel they were as committed to getting the deal done as we were; late nights, creative thinking and real engagement were seen throughout. ‘

‘The practice works very much as part of our team, linking seamlessly across banking, property and commercial. They have a wide breadth of experienced associates so capacity is never a problem.’

‘Excellent legal and technical knowledge coupled with a pragmatic business aligned approach means this firm gets results that truly impact the bottom line.’

Key clients

Her Majesty’s Government

Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Limited

Accord Healthcare Limited

IP Group PLC

Oribiotech Limited

4D Pharma PLC

C4X Discovery PLC

Oncimmune PLC

Evgen PLC

JUUL Labs Inc

IBSA Institut Biochimique

F2G Limited

DCC Healthcare


Sun Pharma

Flynn Pharma Limited

BGMA – British Generic Manufacturers Association

MfE – Medicines for Europe

Zentiva Group a.s .


Intas Pharmaceuticals





Porton Biopharma

Basics GmbH

Calon Cardio-Technology


Oxford Genetics Limited

Karus Therapeutics Limited

Amo Pharma Limited

Cosmo Pharmaceuticals NV

Genesis Biosciences Inc

RedX Pharma PLC

Imcyse S.A.

Exemplar Healthcare (CX Topco Limited)

Next Steps Fostering

Accomplish Group


Precious Homes

Keys Group


Dental Beauty Partners

Apposite Capital

LDC Care Homes and Elevation Advisors

Medical Properties Trust (MPT)

Slaughter and May

Slaughter and May is recommended for complex life sciences deals which entail wide-ranging commercial agreements, such as licensing, collaboration and R&D agreements. Clients range from large and mature companies to smaller, emerging entities, and also include universities, NGOs and government agencies. IP-focused Duncan Blaikie is a key name for advice on the exploitation, defence and enforcement of IP rights; he jointly chairs the group with transactional expert David Johnson.

Practice head(s):

David Johnson; Duncan Blaikie


‘The team is well integrated, understands our business very well, brings appropriate expertise and offers a good level of support.’

‘A very strong and effective team which has split roles and responsibilities to offer a very professional services.’

‘Duncan Blaikie: experienced, pragmatic, good understanding of the needs of our business.’

Key clients



Thermo Fisher

Novo Nordisk


GE Healthcare

Union Medical


Oxford Nanopore



Enara Bio

Artha Health Limited

International Finance Facility For Immunisation Company

Work highlights

  • Advised African Export–Import Bank in relation to the purchase of COVID-19 vaccines for African Union member states.
  • Advised Enara Bio on a licensing and collaboration collaboration with the Australia-based Monash University, which will support a multi-year MR1-related project with a leading T-cell/TCR immunology research group at the University.
  • Advisied Illumina, Inc, the genetic sequencing biotech, on the EU and UK Competition aspects of their $8bn acquisition of GRAIL, the cancer screening start-up backed by Jeff Bezos and Bill Gates.

DAC Beachcroft LLP

The life sciences and healthcare practice at DAC Beachcroft LLP is a go-to team for defending significant pharmaceutical and medical product liability cases. Its product regulatory specialists have advised multiple public and private sector clients during the pandemic, on issues including the manufacture of ventilators and PPE, deployment of antigen and antibody test kits, and the vaccine rollout. Although best known for product liability and regulatory issues, the firm also advises clients on IP, brand management, clinical trial agreements and corporate finance. Consultant Alison McAdams is a highly thought-of litigator, having been instructed in several ground-breaking claims.

Practice head(s):

Alison McAdams


‘Excellent team – very engaged and diligent.’

‘Alison McAdams is exceptionally good.’

Key clients

NHS England


Ipsen Pharma


University of Cambridge


Optegra UK Ltd

HCA Healthcare UK

BMI Healthcare Group Limited

Open Orphan PLC

Work highlights

  • Provided product regulatory and liability advice to major life science client .
  • Supported the public sector response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Provided firm-wide life sciences support using MedTech group capabilities.


Goodwin is recommended for its work with emerging life sciences companies and with venture capital and investment firms, handling early stage financings, M&A, strategic collaborations and licensing transactions.  IPOs and fundraisings for listed and private companies are an area of particular strength, as are complex biotech deals, with the practice having significant experience of international mandates. Graham Defries advises a range of biotech companies, pharmaceutical companies and investors. He jointly chairs the team with venture capital expert David Mardle and IP and licensing expert Malcolm Bates.

Practice head(s):

Graham Defries; Malcolm Bates; David Mardle


‘A highly experienced team with a great understanding of the IP, commercial and technical issues faced by a medium-sized company in operating in the biotech/life sciences sector. We have also received very clear and helpful advice in relation to a couple of contentious issues arising from agreements.’

‘The individuals are very high calibre and experienced. Importantly, they are also a pleasure to work with and flag and manage risks and issues with great initiative and skill.’

‘David Mardle understands our business. Not just immediate needs he also has an eye on the future and where we need to be.’

‘Malcolm Bates has considerable experience in our field and this helps with formulating agreements, especially with larger pharma companies where we might otherwise feel overpowered.’

‘Breadth and depth of knowledge and responsiveness.’

‘Very smart people with plenty of experience, great attention to detail but who are also very easy to work with. They also keep the features and complexities of our specific business in mind.’

‘The people within the firm across different departments are leaders in their fields and truly seem to act as a single team with the client’s interests central to all actions.’

Key clients



Centessa Pharmaceuticals Limited

KaNDy Therapeutics




Enterprise Therapeutics

Compass Pathways

Achilles Therapeutics


Novo Holdings A/S

Freeline Therapeutics




Advent Life Sciences



Lauxera Capital Partners

Avacta Life Sciences

Bone Therapeutics SA

Calliditas Therapeutics AB

CMR Surgical

Northsea Therapeutics

Oxford Biomedica plc


MiNA Therapeutics


Work highlights

  • Advised Kymab, a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company developing fully human monoclonal antibodies with a focus on immune-mediated diseases and immuno-oncology therapeutics, on its sale to Sanofi for an upfront payment of approximately $1.1 billion and up to $350 million upon achievement of certain milestones.
  • Advised Centessa Pharmaceuticals Limited (formerly United Medicines Biopharma Limited) on the completion of its $250 million financing round in parallel with the simultaneous acquisition by Centessa of 10 private biotech companies across 4 jurisdictions (UK, USA, Germany and France) that will each continue to develop its assets with oversight from the Centessa management team.
  • Advised UK-based biotech KaNDy Therapeutics and its shareholders in connection with KaNDy’s agreement to be acquired by Bayer. Bayer will pay an upfront consideration of $425 million, potential milestone payments of up to $450 million until launch, followed by potential additional triple digit million sales milestones payments.

Kirkland & Ellis International LLP

Kirkland & Ellis International LLP's life sciences team is hugely experienced in complex, sophisticated patent litigation cases. Team lead Nicola Dagg has an outstanding record of representing prominent clients in far-reaching litigation. The practice offers specialist knowledge of complex biological products, small molecule litigation, and medical devices and diagnostics. Other key areas of work include corporate and regulatory matters on behalf of major life sciences companies and healthcare investors. Up-and-coming partner Jin Ooi focuses on advising pharmaceuticals clients on patent litigation and counselling.

Practice head(s):

Nicola Dagg

Other key lawyers:

Jin Ooi; Katie Coltart


‘Possess high degree of skills, attention to detail, 100% involvement and ownership of your issues. They take no time to become a part of your team and actively work to discuss plausible solutions.’

‘Extremely approachable and make things easy to understand and digest. provide sensible solutions to complex situations. Always available, alert and mindful of your concerns.’

‘Nicola Dagg is a force of nature. She has an amazing client list and clients love her.’

‘Nicola is a gifted leader and natural strategic thinker.’

‘Incredibly bright, Jin Ooi is calm and considered under pressure. His understanding of the legal and technical issues is second to none and he is full of good ideas.’

‘Nicola Dagg brings very high expertise and experience in biotechnology patents.’

Key clients

British American Tobacco (reduced risk products)



Regeneron Pharmaceuticals






Meril Life Sciences


Warburg Pincus

GTCR/Corza Healthcare

SR One



Work highlights

  • Represented Regeneron in its complex and hard-fought patent litigation against Kymab, which went all the way to the UK Supreme Court.
  • Represented British American Tobacco (BAT) group companies in patent revocation and infringement proceedings in the UK against Philip Morris Products concerning both parties’ nicotine delivery devices, including Tobacco Heating Products (THPs) and e-cigarettes.
  • Advised Warner-Lambert, Pfizer, and Viatris (which now owns the LYRICA® portfolio) in relation to a complex follow-on damages inquiry.

Osborne Clarke LLP

Osborne Clarke LLP stands out for its expertise in life sciences and healthcare regulatory work, particularly pertaining to competition law. The well-regarded procurement practice supports clients through all elements of the tender process. On the transactional side, the practice regularly advises companies and investors on venture capital and private equity deals, strategic transactions and exits. Other key pillars of the group encompass digital health and IP portfolio management. Patent litigator Will James heads the team, focusing on the life sciences and medical devices sectors.

Practice head(s):

Will James

Other key lawyers:

Matthew Edwards; Catherine Wolfenden


‘Will James is an exceptional individual.’

‘Will James – excellent partner with excellent client care skills, considerable technical ability, but real trust in his team which leads to really efficient, appropriate resourcing and use of client money. Impressive.’

‘Excellent commercial nous, with great client care and an unassuming approach that is efficient but delivers real results.’

‘Very approachable team with a lot of experience.’

Key clients


Takeda Pharmaceuticals Company Limited

Baxter Healthcare Limited


Nutricia Medical / Danone SA

Grifols SA and Grifols UK Limited

Millennium Pharmaceuticals plc

GAMA Healthcare

Acutus Medical

BioIndustry Association

Creo Medical

Crisp Websites (trading as Pestfix)

Destiny Pharma

Elephant Healthcare

Eleusius Holdings Limited

Inotec AMD Limited

hVIVO plc (now part of the Open Orphan plc group)

Koa Health

Nuformix plc

Oxular Limited

Rhythm AI Limited

Science Creatures Ventures

Thriva Limited

Turbine Simulated Cell Technologies Ltd

Work highlights

  • Advised Amgen on their litigation strategy in respect of the intensely competitive new clinical field of cholesterol-lowering (anti-PCSK9) antibodies for the treatment of cardiovascular disease.
  • Osborne Clarke is acted for Pestfix in the high profile judicial review of the UK Government’s decision to award a number of valuable PPE contracts to suppliers in 2020 without competitive tenders.
  • Advised Amphista Therapeutics, a leader in next generation targeted protein degradation (TPD) approaches, on a $53 million (£38 million) Series B financing round.

Powell Gilbert LLP

Powell Gilbert LLP is recommended for IP litigation and advisory work in the life sciences sector, with areas of work including patents, trade marks, design rights, copyright and confidential information. The team has extensive experience in developing multi-jurisdictional litigation and regulatory strategies. The practice stands out for its technical excellence, with experience in issues including small molecule drugs, monoclonal antibodies and biologics, agrochemicals, RNA and surgical robotics. Team lead Penny Gilbert regularly develops and coordinates European litigation strategy for pharmaceutical and biotech clients. Tim Powell is noted for patent litigation, with recent cases relating to medical devices, gene sequencing methods and pre-natal diagnostic testing.

Practice head(s):

Penny Gilbert

Other key lawyers:

Tim Powell


‘The breadth of expertise and experience is unique, particularly when it comes to patent litigation. The team has huge technical expertise combined with substantial litigation experience in the patents court.’

‘They have a wealth of sector expertise, legal excellence at all levels and consistently go the extra mile for their clients. A real class act.’

Key clients


Edwards Lifesciences

Illumina, Inc


Coloplast A/S



Royalty Pharma


St Gobain

Oxford University Innovations


Work highlights

  • Defended Kymab, a UK biotech pioneer, against Regeneron. This has allowed Kymab to continue its work, including on important projects on HIV and Ebola with the Gates Foundation, and in its own development of several promising anti-cancer therapies.
  • Represented Biogen in litigation over its biosimilar of AbbVie’s blockbuster drug Humira™ – the biggest selling prescription drug worldwide.
  • Assisted BioNTech with Project Lightspeed, which produced the first Coronavirus vaccine to be approved by the UK MHRA.

Simmons & Simmons

Healthcare and life sciences is a key industry focus for Simmons & Simmons; the firm's experience in the technology sector make it a leader in digital health, advising on disruptive technology. Core strengths for the practice include transactional IP - the relevant team specialises in complex international licensing and collaboration deals, regulatory compliance and patent litigation. Group lead Michael Gavey is well-known for his record of IP-heavy transactions in the sector, particularly concerning medicines and medical devices. Lydia Torne is noted for her expertise in regulatory issues concerning medicines, medical devices, dentistry and consumer health products, as well as digital health.

Practice head(s):

Michael Gavey; Alexandre Regniault

Other key lawyers:

Lydia Torne


‘I work most closely with Michael Gavey. Michael is head of the life science practice and is extremely knowledgeable. He understands the business context in which legal decisions are made and is both pragmatic and very responsive.’

‘Lydia Torne is an excellent lawyer with a thorough understanding of our business and the life science and healthcare industry in general. She has unique contract drafting skills. She is a great negotiator and our number one choice when we need support with drafting and negotiation of larger complex agreements.’

‘Simmons have a depth of experience when it comes to digital health issues which is second to none.’

‘The team has exceptional skill at managing multi-jurisdictional disputes.’

‘The individuals are very responsive and impeccably coordinate multi-jurisdictional disputes. Their legal strategies are well-thought out, consider country-specific exceptions, and they are thereby able to provide excellent legal services to global companies.’

Key clients

GlaxoSmithKline plc


Samsung Bioepis


3M Wound Care

Serenity Pharmaceuticals

Ascendis Pharma


Insulet Corporation

Work highlights

  • Advised GSK on transactional IP matters, with mandates including  establishing an AI hub and advising on an investment in Adrestia.  
  • Acted for Gilead on a strategic piece of UK patent /Supplementary Protection Certificate (SPC) litigation regarding Gilead’s patent TRUVADA® (blockbuster HIV drug).
  • Acted as sole counsel responsible for all European patent prosecution, freedom to operate, and opposition matters for 3M Wound Care.

Stephenson Harwood

Stephenson Harwood prides itself on the industry knowledge and specialist backgrounds of its life sciences partners, and offers specialist expertise in the manufacture of high-value drugs such as gene therapy products and vaccines. Group head Alexandra Pygall, who has a background in chemistry, advises clients on IP transactions including strategic and commercial agreements, as well as IP disputes. Dan Holland is noted for his expertise in manufacturing and supply agreements for biological products. The full-service practice also provides data protection, employment, tax and competition advice.

Practice head(s):

Alexandra Pygall

Other key lawyers:

Dan Holland


‘Very professional, pragmatic, business-minded, knowledgeable team that advise as if they were part of the team. Very good quality-cost ratio.’

‘Excellent commercial advice to clients; timely and practical approach’

‘Alexandra Pygall – brilliant strategist and excellent with clients.’

‘Great commercial skills and super legal advice.’

‘Dan Holland and Alexandra Pygall are experts in the field and are experienced, commercial and pragmatic when approaching projects.’

Key clients



Oxford Biomedica plc

Johnson & Johnson Innovation

Incyte Corporation


Optum Venture Global Partners, LP

Acacia Pharma Group plc

Shield Therapeutics Plc

Capiton AG

e-therapeutics plc

Otsuka Pharmaceuticals



Vernalis R&D

bluebird bio


Eisai Europe Ltd

Schroder UK Public Private Trust plc

Work highlights

  • Acted as lead counsel in a multi-jurisdictional trade mark infringement litigation 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 Oxford Biomedica plc on the manufacture and supply of AZD1222, the adenoviral COVID-19 vaccine candidate developed by Oxford University and commercialised by AstraZeneca.
  • Advised Acacia Pharma Group plc on key matters including its successful €27 million fundraise, through the placing of 10 million new ordinary shares with institutional investors in Europe and the US; the company’s strategic in-licensing, investment and loan transaction with Cosmo; and its €190 million IPO and listing on Euronext Brussels in 2018.

Carpmaels & Ransford LLP

Carpmaels & Ransford LLP specialises in IP, with the firm employing numerous patent and trade mark attorneys specialising in life sciences. Work encompasses prosecution, opposition and litigation for patents and trade marks, as well as transactions and counselling advice. David Wilson leads the dispute resolution team and is highly experienced in the pharmaceutical sector; James Warner is head of pharmaceuticals while Mark Chapman is head of biotechnology. Managing partner Hugh Goodfellow has an extensive prosecution practice, while Jake Marshall leads the IP transactional group.

Practice head(s):

David Wilson; Jake Marshall; Hugh Goodfellow; James Warner; Mark Chapman; Roger Lush


‘The Carpmaels team is very thorough in their approach to matters and consistently provided high quality work product. Their strong attention to detail and hard work allowed them to develop a strategy quickly and refine it as the matter progressed.’

‘David Wilson – strong technically and strategically.’

‘Excellent and approachable team of down-to-earth litigators who have picked up some very impressive instructions over the last year or so.’

Key clients


BMS (formerly Celgene)



Harbour BioMed

Janssen Pharmaceutica (part of the Johnson & Johnson group)

Biogen Inc.

Jazz Pharmaceuticals

Amgen Europe GmbH (via Marshall, Gerstein & Borun LLP)


Work highlights

  • Represented Akebia and GSK in a large (three week trial) patent case involving the defence of seven patents against a revocation claim, a declaration of non-infringement against two of them (sought by GSK), as well as advancing counterclaims for infringement of certain patents.
  • Defended BMS’ interests against attack from more than 5 different generic pharmaceutical manufacturers.
  • Obtained licence and collaboration agreement for Harbour BioMed for the use of the 47D11 antibody to treat COVID-19.

Clyde & Co

Clyde & Co LLP is noted for its healthcare practice, which encompasses private and public healthcare, product liability, drug licensing and cross-border transactions. Claire Petts and Gemma Brannigan are key names for medical malpractice claims and for inquiries and investigations respectively.

Other key lawyers:

Claire Petts; Gemma Brannigan

Dechert LLP

Dechert LLP‘s life sciences and healthcare practice has a longstanding background in transactional work, advising on private equity, M&A and venture capital deals. The firm has grown its breadth of work and clients substantially – It now advises on contentious and non-contentious IP, collaboration and licensing deals, tax structuring, regulatory and disputes, and can draw on the firm’s US and European offices. Former team head Robert Darwin departed to Sidley Austin LLP in early 2022.


‘I was very impressed by the knowledge, responsiveness, quality of strategic thinking.’

‘Depth of knowledge in the pharma industry, a proactive and non-confrontational approach to negotiations and very responsive.’

‘Strong team, with great breadth of expertise. Ability to serve clients across a variety of needs and over a long period of time.’

‘They are a top-tier team and are extremely responsive, efficient and commercial, as well as fun to work with.’

‘The team is well rounded and exceptionally knowledgeable and responsive.’

Key clients

Abivax S.A.

AKL Research & Development

ArchiMed SAS


Cerberus Capital Management

Crown Holdings Inc.

Direct Healthcare Group

Ferring International


Judges Scientific plc

Merck KGaA

Mid Europa Partners

Nordic Capital

Norgine B.V.

Peprotech Inc.

REAL Digital International Limited

Spark Advisory Partners

Theolytics Limited

Zoological Society of London

Work highlights

  • Advised Cerberus Capital Management, a global private equity firm, in connection with the sale of its portfolio company Covis Pharma BV to Apollo Global Management.
  • Advised one of the founders of Base Genomics, a company focusing on developing blood tests for early-stage cancer and minimal residual disease, in connection with its sale to Exact Sciences for US$410 million.
  • Advising Peprotech Inc., a leading manufacturer of cytokines and antibodies for scientific application, in connection with wide range of advice relating to its U.S. and European operations.

DLA Piper

DLA Piper‘s life sciences team has had an impressive year, working with major clients including Unilever as they grappled with the implications of the global pandemic, while also advising the UK Government on its COVID track-and-trace app. The group is led by IP, tech and commercial partner Richard Taylor, who splits his time between London, Sheffield and Birmingham. Other key names include Andrew Dyson, who co-chairs the firm’s global data protection, privacy and security group, and Mark Vipan, who focuses on IT contracts, outsourcing and other commercial agreements.

Practice head(s):

Richard Taylor

Other key lawyers:

Andrew Dyson; Mark Vipan; Mark Dewar; John Pryor; Teresa Hitchcock; Jonathan Exten-Wright


‘It’s been a difficult year, and DLA Piper have supported us throughout on some of the largest and innovative projects. Their willingness to keep up to date and deliver on niche areas of the public health IT sector is what sets them apart from competitors. Team members have continued to be proactive in their research, advice and support. DLA Piper have also provided excellent added value support with a trainee swap during this period, and are very proactive in seeking to support on new models and thinking.’

‘Strong, focused, determined lawyers.’

‘Mark Vipan has gone above and beyond to understand our key business needs. Primarily, this involves providing excellent tailored legal advice while keeping a careful eye on the public sector purse. He has consistently provided all-round support.’

‘Richard Taylor is always polite and respectful, even when the other side is attempting to provoke.’

‘They provide excellent, pragmatic but considered data protection advice.’

Work highlights

  • Advising Unilever on its response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Advised the UK Government on its COVID track-and-trace app.


Fieldfisher's life sciences group stands out on the corporate and commercial side, with a particularly strong record of equity capital markets and venture capital transactions in the sector. The department acts across all areas in the industry, including IP, privacy and dispute resolution work. UK team lead Janita Good has extensive experience providing transactional advice on corporate and IP deals. Sarah Ellson is highly recommended for regulatory work.

Practice head(s):

Janita Good; Olivier Lantres

Key clients

Roche Products Limited

Fresenius Kabi

KeyMed (Medical & Industrial Equipment) Limited

Synairgen plc

Inspiration Healthcare plc

Syneos Health UK

Tristel plc


Human Tissue Authority

NHS Resolution

Phoenix Healthcare/Numark

Boston House Dental Group

Work highlights

  • Advised Roche on various aspects of the trials processes and associated regulatory and contractual matters for Covid-19 medication and diagnostic tools.
  • Provided a range of support for Fresenius Kabi’s operations in the UK and Ireland including support with commercial contracts, employment law, privacy and regulatory compliance issues.
  • Acted for Synairgen in public fundraising on AIM, obtaining an £87 million placing and open offer to fund the Phase III clinical trial (in 17 jurisdictions) of its drug, SNG001, an inhaled form of interferon Beta, as a potential COVID-19 therapeutic.

Hill Dickinson LLP

Hill Dickinson LLP's life sciences team advises companies at all stages of development, from start-ups to multinationals. A particular niche is in projects connecting private sector businesses with NHS organisations, for which the firm can draw on its established public health practice. Regulatory lawyer and litigator James Lawford Davies, who specialises in human tissue- and cell-based therapies and is noted by clients for his reproductive law expertise , jointly heads the team alongside commercial life sciences-focused Jamie Foster and Michael Corcoran, who is a name to note in the medical cannabis sector.

Practice head(s):

James Lawford Davies; Jamie Foster; Michael Corcoran


‘Very personal and comprehensive service by the team. Excellent insights into the sector which provides support beyond the legal expertise.’

‘Extremely hard working, knowledgeable and provides very comprehensive support.’

‘Michael Corcoran in particular is fantastic and comes highly recommended.’

‘James Lawford-Davies is THE reproductive law expert in the UK. There is practically no significant case that he hasn’t argued for or against. He has advised two of the companies that I have worked with, and both times, his advice was rooted in deep, and broad knowledge of the field, and has proven to be accurate, solid, and wise with the perspective of time.’

Key clients

Juvenescence Ltd

The Fertility Partnership Ltd

California Cryobank

Insilico Medicines, Inc

Agronomics Limited

EMMAC Life Sciences Ltd

iOx Therapeutics Ltd

JD Healthcare

Lyphe Group

CME Medical Ltd

OBG Pharmaceuticals Ltd

Genus Plc

Push Dr Ltd

Life Sciences Developments Ltd


Create Health Ltd

SalvaRx Group Plc

Sinclair Pharma Plc

Port Erin Biopharma Investments

Fishawack Group Ltd

SmartMed Global

Napa Therapeutics Ltd

Sativa Investments PLC

FastForward Innovations Ltd

Thermo Electron (Management) Services Ltd

Sativa Group PLC

Medicines Discovery Catapult Ltd


Reproductive Health Group

Centre for Process Innovation

IVCC (Innovative Vector Control Consortium)

Sapphire Medial Clinics

Work highlights

  • Represented Medicines Discovery Catapult Limited  in a Covid-related high value complex multiparty procurement challenge brought in the Technology and Construction Court of the High Court and which was expedited due to the national significance of the subject matter.
  • Advised Centre for Process Innovation on two key matters relating to the Covid-19 response.
  • Acted for an individual in her successful application to the Inner House of the Court of Session (similar to the Court of Appeal in England and Wales) for an order permitting her to use her late husband’s sperm in IVF treatment.

Latham & Watkins

Latham & Watkins is known for advising on corporate and commercially strategic transactions and collaboration and licensing transactions within the life sciences and healthcare industry, also providing day-to-day commercial, regulatory and compliance advice. Global group co-chair Robbie McLaren is highly sought after for cross-border M&A and venture and growth capital investments in the sector. Senior associate Frances Stocks Allen is noted for her expertise in IP licensing, GDPR compliance issues and complex carve-outs.

Practice head(s):

Robbie McLaren

Other key lawyers:

Frances Stocks Allen


‘The team is very good, thoughtful and balanced in approach. It makes good recommendations and is responsive.’

Key clients


Acino Pharma



Astellas Pharma


Atnahs Pharma


BC Partners

CVC Capital Partners





Ligand Pharmaceuticals

Meira GTx

Mereo BioPharma

Nordic Capital



Novo Holdings


Osler Diagnostics







McDermott Will & Emery UK LLP

The healthcare and life sciences team at McDermott Will & Emery UK LLP primarily advises on joint ventures, M&A and corporate and clinical governance. Additionally, it provides niche regulatory advice in digital health and diagnostic technologies, as well as genetic testing and cancer care. Lead partner Hamid Yunis deals primarily in healthcare transactions, including PPPs and joint ventures, while Gary Howes is noted for his work in patent licensing agreements and IP and regulatory matters. Partner Sharon Lamb focuses on M&A and complex digital health and data privacy issues. Associate David Gibson is noted for his work in commercial healthcare.

Practice head(s):

Hamid Yunis; Gary Howes; Sharon Lamb

Other key lawyers:

David Gibson


‘Sharon Lamb has her finger on the pulse – she leaves no stone unturned on behalf of clients.’

‘Sharon Lamb knows everything there is to know about healthcare law.’

‘Their approach and knowledge sets them apart from their competitors.’

‘Good practical approach to operating commercial contracts with non public entities while operating in a public environment.’

‘We have a great personal relationship and understanding with the lead partner.’

‘Phenomenally determined. Knowledgeable, creative, thorough, relentlessly energetic.’

‘The team works together extremely well, and has a depth of knowledge about the industry.’

‘The team are very knowledgeable and responsive.’

Key clients

Schoen Clinic London


Invitae Corporation

Babylon Healthcare


Emirates Medical Group

Alliance Medical

Eight Roads Holdings Limited

Cleveland Clinic London

Guildhouse UK

Work highlights

  • Represented an American multinational healthcare company on their acquisition of the elements, which when combined, constitute a drug.
  • Instructed by Lifeways to support on a judicial review challenge with respect to funding provided to Lifeways by local authorities in the UK during the pandemic.
  • Advised Eight Roads, a global proprietary investment firm backed by Fidelity, in relation to the sale of the Optegra Group to H2 Equity Partners.

Mills & Reeve LLP

Mills & Reeve LLP has multidisciplinary experience across pharmaceuticals and biotech, medical devices and digital health, with a particularly strong offering for overseas biotech clients. The team has significant experience in research collaborations and licensing transactions across a wide range of therapeutic areas. Practice head James Fry specialises in advising life sciences sector businesses on IP and complex commercial transactions.

Practice head(s):

James Fry

Other key lawyers:

Dona Ardeman


‘James Fry is brilliant to work with as he has a very calm and measured approach.’

‘James Reeve is extremely responsive and provides thoughtful, practical advice on key issues. Importantly, James is able to take a commercial view which is vitally important when negotiating deals.’

‘The people are their strength.’

‘The Mills & Reeve team has deep expertise that is able to support us across our full range of activities: R&D, manufacturing and commercial. There is an excellent team outside of healthcare able to support us on corporate matters, and a network of affiliates that we have used on numerous occasions to support international transactions.’

‘Very diverse team. Highly knowledgeable. Always responsive.  Well prepared capped quotation with range of costs covered.’

‘A fast-moving and knowledgeable team. They can support companies from IP licenses to investment as well as employment and other areas. Their billing is transparent and accurate and they can be flexible on costs.’

‘James Fry – excellent pragmatic advice on life science issues.’

Key clients

ALK Abello

Diurnal Group

Sphere Fluidics


Calypso Biotech

F-star Therapeutics

MD Orthopaedics


University of Exeter

The Binding Site Group

IQ Capital Partners LP


ADC Biotechnology


L.D. Collins & Co.


National Institute for Biological Standards and Control

Achilles Therapeutics

Wren Therapeutics

Charnwood Molecular

Work highlights

  • Advised Diurnal on the out-licensing of its first drug candidate (Alkindi) to Eton Pharmaceuticals for US markets.
  • Acted for F-star Therapeutics on its successful reverse merger with NASDAQ-listed Spring Bank Pharmaceuticals.
  • Assisted the Binding Site on a major in-licence of patented technology and know-how from Californian biotech OncoTracker, Inc. relating to the use of sBCMA as a biomarker for blood cancers.

Mishcon de Reya LLP

Mishcon de Reya LLP's life sciences group provides both contentious and non-contentious advice across regulatory, contract, M&A and competition law across the sector. The department assists clients across the pharmaceutical, medical devices, biotechnology, agrochemical and veterinary medicine fields. The team is recommended for insurance-related work connected to coverage issues and commercial litigation disputes.  Practice head Martyn Hann is recommended for product development agreements and for licensing, collaboration and supply agreements.

Practice head(s):

Martyn Hann


‘Mishcon de Reya provides an excellent full-range IP service, including life sciences and healthcare within the support framework of a full-service firm.’

‘They are highly competent and take a pragmatic approach. They are present when needed and supporting the business needs in the best possible way. They are knowledgeable beyond the borders of their specialty and can also reach a large pool of experts to further leverage knowledge.’

‘Martyn Hann has shown me in the years we have collaborated together that he truly puts the client first and goes the extra mile to deliver to clients.’

Key clients

Dr Reddy’s Laboratories (UK) Limited

Lupin Limited

O’Brien Group (including OBG Pharmaceuticals Limited, Pharmaserve Northwest Limited, Ayrton Saunders, Ransoms Naturals, JM Loveridge and Hubron)


Hempire Limited

Alternative Foods Limited


Work highlights

  • Represented Dr Reddy’s Laboratories Limited in a significant damages enquiry in relation to Warner-Lambert’s second medical use patent relating to pregabalin.
  • Acted in a ground-breaking matter for Lupin relating to Gilead’s Supplementary Protection Certificate (SPC) for Truvada, found invalid by the Court of Appeal following a reference to the CJEU.
  • Advised the O’Brien Group on various matters including legal, regulatory and commercial matters in addition to corporate and intellectual property structures and strategy advice.

Morgan, Lewis & Bockius UK LLP

US firm Morgan, Lewis & Bockius UK LLP's London office advises big-name pharma and life sciences clients on a range of matters - recent work has focused on capital raising for early stage and growth biotech companies, led by corporate partner Timothy Corbett, and complex competition issues, led by London managing partner Frances Murphy. Employment specialist Louse Skinner is another key member of the London team, while regulatory and commercial consultant Paul Ranson is praised for his 'knowledge, experience and understanding'.

Practice head(s):

Tim Corbett

Other key lawyers:

Frances Murphy; Omar Shah; Tom Cartwright; Paul Ranson; Louise Skinner


‘They are knowledgeable, reliable and highly competent. Any queries are dealt with quickly and efficiently.’

‘Customer service is outstanding and everything they do feels like they are prepared to go the extra mile’.

‘Paul Ranson is an excellent lawyer and a consummate professional. Paul’s knowledge, experience and understanding in the pharmaceutical/healthcare sector really is second to none. He delivers everything with excellence, on time and on budget. Paul is a great communicator and always conducts all his business in a calm and friendly manner.’

Key clients

Advanz Pharma

Replimune Group




uniQure NV

Work highlights

  • Advised Replimune Group Inc. in its public offering of 5,625,000 shares of common stock and pre-funded warrants to purchase 1,562,500 shares of its common stock.
  • Advised Advanz Pharma Corp. in its acquisition of the rights to the alprostadil product portfolio from UCB Pharma for €75m.
  • Led Focus Pharma’s defence in relation to alleged market exclusion and pay-for-delay under Chapter I / Article 101 in respect of the anti-nausea drug Prochlorperazine.


RPC is particularly recommended for life sciences product liability work, especially relating to medical devices, and advises on regulatory matters including clinical trials, marketing approval and product recall requirements. Team lead Dorothy Flower has experience defending liability claims, acting for manufacturers and suppliers; she also has a strong track record of handling disputes arising from clinical trials.

Practice head(s):

Dorothy Flower

Other key lawyers:

Peter Rudd-Clarke; Natalie Drew


‘A strength of the RPC team is the breadth of its life sciences, healthcare and biotech client base. The team can offer support for clients across all areas of contentious, non-contentious and regulatory work and excels at offering a “joined up” provision of services.’

‘Peter Rudd-Clarke is amenable and knowledgeable. He is capable of putting complex legal arguments into easy to understand English. He has the ability to interpret the clients’ requirements and compile a robust defence.’

‘Dorothy Flower has great experience in the sector and really knows her clients and their priorities. She stands out for knowledge of how the claims landscape in the sector is developing.’

‘Peter Rudd-Clarke is well versed in getting on top of the complex expert evidence that must be considered in life sciences cases. He is skilled in applying that to the legal context and is also adept at considering the insurance aspects of life sciences disputes.’

Key clients

Make Yourself Amazing (MYA)

Corin Ltd

Nagor Limited

Augment Bionics

GR Lane Health Products Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised Augment Bionics on limiting its liability risks and complying with regulations when supplying PPE during the Covid-19 crisis.
  • Defended Make Yourself Amazing against allegations that a claimant was due damages following implantation with breast implants and a diagnosis of BIA-ALCL (breast implant associated anaplastic large cell lymphoma).
  • Advised various clients on the classification of tobacco products, as well as regulatory compliance.

Squire Patton Boggs

The life sciences group at Squire Patton Boggs handles a broad range of regulatory and commercial work, advising on early research and development, marketing and advertising. The team also handles transactions on behalf of healthcare and pharmaceuticals businesses, and has significant contentious capabilities. The practice is jointly led by IP and technology specialist Andrew Wilkinson, competition-focused Diarmuid Ryan and transactional and governance expert William Downs.

Practice head(s):

Andrew Wilkinson; Diarmuid Ryan; William Downs

Other key lawyers:

Adrian Spooner; Paul Jinks


‘Up to date knowledge and experience in a fast-paced changing environment post-Brexit.’

‘Adrian Spooner gives practical advice that can be commercially implemented.’

Stevens & Bolton LLP

Stevens & Bolton LLP advises a roster of clients spanning pharmaceutical companies, biotech companies, digital health providers, medical device manufacturers, trade bodies and regulatory service providers. Key areas of work include competition, compliance, clinical trial agreements, acquisitions and commercial transactions. Michael Frisby is noted for his risk management advice to clients in the sector, as well as for his litigation and international arbitration expertise. IP specialist Charlotte Tillett heads the group.

Practice head(s):

Charlotte Tillett

Other key lawyers:

Michael Frisby; Gustaf Duhs


‘Charlotte Tillet stands out as a specialist in life sciences licensing. Her understanding of the commercial matters helps to adjust the legal advice to the needs of the specific project.’

‘Very capable, professional and friendly team.’

‘I have been impressed by their industry-wide capability on regulatory, IP and commercial issues. The team are approachable and reactive.’

‘Charlotte Tillett really looks out for us as a business. She is highly capable, friendly and always makes time.’

‘Great industry knowledge from the team, particularly Gustaf who has great industry experience and Charlotte who has a scientific background and technical understanding.’

‘Very responsive and able to make the complex simple.’

Key clients

Lonza Biologics Plc

Insud Pharma

The Institute of Cancer Research

Accord Healthcare

Glenmark Pharmaceutical Europe Ltd

SecurMed UK

Blatchford Ltd (formerly Chas A Blatchford & Sons Ltd)

inVentiv Health

BOC Group (Part of the Linde Group)

Octopus Healthcare

Brain Biotechnology Research and Information Network AG

Healthcare At Home

Philips Electronics UK Ltd and Koninklijke Philips N.V.

British Generics Manufacturers Association

Work highlights

  • Advised a global biotechnology company on patent and know-how licensing.
  • Advised a pharmaceutical company on the COVID-19 supply arrangements and manufacturing arrangements for a COVID-19 vaccine.
  • AdvisedSecurMed on the implementation by the UK of the Falsified Medicines Directive and the IT platform that interacts with the European Medicines Verifications Organisation.