Twitter Logo Youtube Circle Icon LinkedIn Icon

United Kingdom > London > TMT (technology, media and telecoms) > Pharmaceuticals and biotechnology > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings

Editorial

Other

Index of tables

  1. Pharmaceuticals and biotechnology
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Next generation lawyers

Next generation lawyers

  1. 1

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Pharmaceuticals and biotechnology clients in London using The Legal 500's new comprehensive database of law firm/client relationships. Instantly search over 925,000 relationships, including over 83,000 Fortune 500, 46,000 FTSE350 and 13,000 DAX 30 relationships globally. Access is free for in-house lawyers, and by subscription for law firms. For more information, contact david.burgess@legal500.com.

CLICK HERE TO VISIT THE WHO REPRESENTS WHO SITE

Allen & Overy LLP significantly enhanced its patent litigation and regulatory practice in 2016 when Marc Döring and Marjan Noor joined from Simmons & Simmons; the result, according to one client, is that it is now ‘one of the top city firms in the pharma area’, with Noor and Döring marked out as ‘superb all-round litigators who combine top-level litigation nous with boundless charm’. The team is co-led by IP litigator Nicola Dagg (‘an excellent strategic thinker with a global strategic view’) and Jim Ford who specialises in non-contentious transactions. The firm’s clients include a number of leading global pharmaceutical companies, including Warner-Lambert, for which it is handling patent litigation relating to its blockbuster drug Lyrica, including acting in infringement proceedings against numerous generic suppliers and validity proceedings against Mylan and Actavis. In other highlights, the team acted for Merck in High Court and appeal proceedings concerning the revocation of two patents owned by Ono Pharmaceutical and Bristol-Myers Squibb related to anti-PD-1 antibodies for the treatment of cancer; and advised Life Healthcare on its £800m acquisition of Alliance Medical Group. Notable IP litigators include Mark Ridgway, who is ‘massively bright and thorough’; and Neville Cordell, who is ‘a versatile litigator’ and well known for both trade marks and heavy duty patents cases. The firm also has an ‘impressive and formidable’ raft of talent outside of partner level: Rafi Allos, Shohta Ueno and Tom Edwards are all recommended.

Noted for its ‘deep and broad understanding of the life sciences sector’, Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer LLP particularly excels in pharmaceutical regulatory matters. Its practice acts for a number of multinational pharmaceutical companies on complex and high-stakes regulatory matters, transactions and litigation. IP litigator Christopher Stothers is acting for Heraeus in a multi-jurisdictional trade secrets dispute with Biomet, involving parallel proceedings in the US and across Europe; Jeremy Willcocks advised on the UK corporate, regulatory and employment aspects of Diversis Capital's acquisition of the majority assets of Caligor RX; Lincoln Tsang is assisting a client with an internal cross-border investigation arising from interactions with healthcare professionals. It also defended a number of major product liability actions, including multi-party group actions, unitary claims and actions arising from clinical trials. Demonstrating this, product liability specialist Ian Dodds-Smith is defending Grünenthal in a class action claim arising from allegations that the prescription of thalidomide to pregnant women during the 1950s and 1960s resulted in birth defects; and Adela Williams successfully defended Bristol-Myers Squibb in a claim alleging that a compulsive gambling addiction arose from the use of its product Abilify, which was prescribed for the treatment of schizophrenia. Other highlights included handling an arbitration in relation to the termination of collaboration and licence agreement due to breaches of good clinical practice, and assisting a pharmaceutical company with securing EU product approval and positive pricing and reimbursement approval, as well as developing EU-wide policy on compliance with advertising and promotional rules. Alison Brown is highly regarded for handling class-action proceedings and is experienced in European regulatory compliance matters and internal investigations. Also recommended are Tim Frazer, who is particularly experienced in handing pharmaceutical public procurement matters, and Jacqueline Mulryne, Kathy Osgerby and Ewan Townsend, who are all ‘excellent and highly knowledgeable lawyers’.

A ‘go-to’ firm for pharmaceutical and biotechnology clients, Bird & Bird LLP’s clients single out the team for its ‘pragmatic, commercial and solution-oriented approach’ and for its ability to handle highly complex patent litigation. The practice is regularly called on to advise innovators and generics clients on regulatory, corporate and commercial, data protection and competition matters. In an illustration of its track record advising multinational pharmaceutical clients in high-stakes matters, the team acted for Polpharma on the patent revocation proceedings against Biogen regarding its patent for a dosage regime for natalizumab; successfully represented Merck in a High Court breach of contract and trade mark dispute against US-based Merck Sharp & Dohme Corporation; and assisted Chiesi Pharmaceuticals with a series of multi-jurisdictional patent licensing transactions with The Medicines Company and AstraZeneca. Practice head Mark Hilton and newly promoted partner Tim Harris also acted for Dr Reddy’s Laboratories in patent infringement proceedings brought by Napp Pharmaceuticals in respect of its patent for a buprenorphine transdermal patch. Other key figures within the 27-partner team include Robert Williams, who is noted for providing ‘sound and practical advice in a timely fashion’; ‘seasoned patent litigators’ Neil Jenkins, Morag Macdonald, Jennifer Jones and Patrick Kelleher; and Sally Shorthose and Simon Allport, who are the key names to note for IP transactions, and public and private M&A transactions, respectively. Associate Simon Llewellyn is recommended for his ‘deep knowledge and excellent organisational skill’.

According to one client, Bristows LLP is ‘the complete package’. The firms advises on the full remit of IP, with an emphasis on patent litigation, as well as transactional, regulatory, competition and contentious matters for high-profile clients across the pharmaceutical, biotechnology and medical devices indistries. It also has particular expertise advising charities and other not-for-profit organisations on fundraising, collaborations, licensing transactions and corporate governance. Leveraging its strong expertise in the areas of IT, digital communications and data privacy, the firm is regularly called on by clients to advise on matters at the intersection between life sciences and technology; highlights included advising a number of med-tech companies on new collaborations, product launches and regulatory compliance. In another illustration of its reputation in the market, the team continues to assist Novartis with the enforcement of patents for its blockbuster medicines. I also assisted biosimilar manufacturer Celltrion with its action to revoke three European and UK patents belonging to Biogen, F Hoffman La Roche and Genentech, relating to the use of a chimeric anti CD20 antibody for the treatment of chronic lymphocytic leukaemia and rheumatoid arthritis; and advised AstraZeneca on the sale to Avara of its pharmaceutical manufacturing business and facility in Avonmouth, Bristol. Laura Anderson is an ‘excellent negotiator and influencer and a pleasure to work with’ and jointly heads the group with patent litigator Liz Cohen. Maria Manley is ‘a tenacious litigator who always strives to obtain the best for her clients’. Corporate partners Mark Hawes and Marek Petecki, competition specialist Pat Treacy, Unified Patent Court (UPC) expert Edward Nodder and associate Rachel Mumby are also recommended.

CMS significantly enhanced its healthcare practice when it merged with Olswang LLP and Nabarro LLP in May 2017. The combined team now covers the full spectrum of life sciences matters, with particular strength in handling patent litigation and big-ticket M&A transactions. In an illustration of its track record in the patent space, it is advising a leading global pharmaceutical company on potential patent infringement claims against generic companies, and is advising a pharmaceuticals company on the challenges to SPC validity (including the validity of paediatric extensions to SPCs) concerning a number of different pharmaceutical products. Other mandates included assisting Convergence Pharmaceuticals on the £524m sale of the company to Biogen Idec, advising CooperSurgical on the acquisition of the business and assets relating to the Wallace product line from Smiths Medical International, and representing GlaxoSmithKline in its appeal to the Competition Appeal Tribunal against infringement findings and penalties imposed by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) following a reverse patent settlement competition investigation in the UK. Key figures include Niall McAlister, David Day, Sarah Hanson and Carina Healy, who are the names to note for corporate and commercial transactions; patent attorney Robert Stephen, who is highly recommended for his opposition and appeal experience at the EPO; Shuna Mason, who is singled out for regulatory, compliance and product liability cases; Brian Sher and Caroline Hobson, who focus on EU and UK competition matters; and patent litigator Gareth Morgan, ‘a super star’ with notable experience of acting in IP trials concerning patent entitlement, patent validity and infringement, SPCs and the interpretation of IP licences. Patent specialist Jane Hollywood has been heavily involved in securing European patent protection for the high-profile CRISPR-Cas9 gene-editing tool. Other representative clients include Medtronic, Bayer, Eli Lilly, Boston Scientific and Sandoz.

Simmons & Simmons is a market leader for global patent, regulatory and transactional matters. The team is led by the highly regarded Michael Gavey, who ‘always responds promptly to correspondence’, ‘has a superb knowledge of the industry’ and ‘provides clear and concise advice’. He is also ‘able to call upon a large team of specialists providing tax and corporate finance advice, which he is able to access seamlessly’. Gavey advised GlaxoSmithKline on the establishment of the £40m Apollo Therapeutics joint venture fund (a collaboration with Johnson & Johnson Innovation, AstraZeneca and the technology transfer offices of Imperial College London, University College London and the University of Cambridge), and advised the Institute of Cancer Research on a royalty monetisation mandate concerning its product Zytiga. Charles Mayo advised Venture Life Group on its acquisition of Periproducts as well as its fundraising, and assisted Alzheimer’s Research UK on its investment in UK Dementia Research Institute. Rowan Freeland is a ‘brilliant litigator’ who is noted for his ‘excellent understanding of how the court works’; he is handling a number of high-stakes patent disputes for a number of industry giants. Scott Parker was part of a multi-jurisdictional team that represented ViiV Healthcare in major litigation against Teva across Europe relating to the patent of anti-HIV drug Kivexa, which is owned by ViiV. Lydia Torne and Amy Crouch are singled out for their ‘deep technical understanding’.

Baker McKenzie continued to act for leading global pharmaceutical and biotechnology sector clients on non-contentious issues and in high-stakes patent litigation. In 2016 Jane Hobson and Julian Thurston were part of a sizeable multi-disciplinary team that advised Baxter International on the spin-off of its biopharmaceutical division, creating new company Baxalta. In other highlights, Ben Allgrove is advising a technology company on its collaborations with NHS trusts, which involves handling data protection issues, medical devices regulations and Freedom of Information Act issues, while IP litigator Hiroshi Sheraton represented a global pharmaceutical company in multi-jurisdictional patent litigation. Joanna Ludlam leads the compliance and investigations group and represented Biogen in a claim against a distributor regarding unpaid invoices, including advising on competition law and reputational risks. The team also assisted a pharmaceutical company with an internal investigation following a set of allegations made internally by a whistleblower in connection with alleged breaches of regulatory, competition and anti-bribery laws. Regulatory specialist Julia Gillert provides ‘excellent-value adding advice in a timely fashion’. Product liability defence specialist John Leadley and commercial lawyer Duncan Reid-Thomas are also names to note.

Covington & Burling LLP is also ranked.

Fieldfisher is singled out for its ‘strong market knowledge’ and its ability to ‘always be one step ahead in horizon-scanning and flagging up future developments that are likely to have on impact on clients’ business’. It is also praised for ‘providing clear strategic advice’ and ‘executing plans with excellence and ensuring excellent communication with the clients, barristers and lawyers in other jurisdictions’. The patent litigation practice was further strengthened when it hired three patent litigators from Rouse IP Limited in May 2016: the ‘very experienced’ Diana Sternfeld is singled out for her ‘exceptional client care’, Nicole Jadeja is praised for her ‘exceptional technical abilities’, and Rebecca Baines is ‘thorough and unflappable’. The practice is acting for GlaxoSmithKline in a multi-jurisdictional patent dispute with Pfizer relating to vaccines against Meningitis B, and is representing Sandoz and Hexal in a dispute with G.D. Searle and Janssen Sciences Ireland UC concerning the interpretation of SPC regulation. Alison Dennis has particular expertise in medical devices, advising a number of global companies on regulatory issues including pricing and promotions matters. Other key clients include Align Technology, which it advised on compliance and regulatory matters, as well as on its patent and trade mark enforcement strategy in the UK and Europe. Regulatory and public law partner Sarah Ellson is ‘exceptional in her approach’. Neil Matthews and Dominic Gurney-Champion are the key names to note in the corporate space. Data privacy expert Hazel Grant is also recommended.

Gowling WLG has ‘a very responsive and strong team with a wealth of experience in delivering practical and reliable advice’. The team, which includes highly regarded patent litigators Paul Inman and Luke Kempton, has had a knockout year; highlights included successfully represening Fujifilm Kyowa Kirin Biologics in patent litigation regarding the validity of certain Humira dosing regiments against AbbVie. Patrick Duxbury heads the life sciences practice from its Birmingham office, and is assisted by London-based corporate lawyer Ian Piggin, who is ‘a very strong, business-oriented and creative negotiator’. The team handles a steady flow of collaboration transactions in 2016, as well as a number of corporate and investment mandates; highlights included assisting Heptares Therapeutics with its $3.37bn agreement with Allergan, advising Crescendo Biologics on its collaboration with Takeda Pharmaceutical Company for the development and commercialisation of therapeutics aimed at cancer indications with a high unmet medical need, and acting on the collaboration deal and commercialisation of Argenx’s preclinical-stage human antibody ARX-115 with AbbVie.

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP’s client roster features a healthy balance of global innovator pharmaceuticals and generics companies. Sebastian Moore has ‘the expert touch’ in patent litigation, having acted for blue-chip multinational clients including Roche, Genentech, Biogen and Sanofi Pasteur. In 2016, Moore successfully defended Gilead Sciences in a patent infringement case brought by Idenix Pharmaceuticals (a subsidiary of Merck) and counterclaimed for revocation of Idenix’s European patent; in a separate matter, it is defending the same client in a revocation action initiated by Teva UK in the English Patents Court relating to a SPC protecting Gilead’s HIV medicines. Moore and Andrew Moir are also representing Ariosa Diagnostics in patent proceedings brought against it in the English High Court in relation to its Harmony non-invasive prenatal test. Alan Montgomery is highly regarded in the public and private cross-border M&A space, and co-heads the pharmaceuticals sector M&A team with Robert Moore. The corporate team advised Claris Lifesciences on the $625m sale of its injectable business to Baxter International, and is handling Genus’ partnership deal with Hermitage Genetics. Other highlights included advising a pharmaceutical company on an antitrust complaint arising from abuse of dominance issues and a subsequent settlement arrangement; and assisting a number of pharmaceuticals companies with data protection and security issues. Howard Watson is a key name to note for product liability, health and safety and high-value personal injury related matters. Highly regarded patent litigation specialist Sophie Rich and senior associate Jonathan Turnbull are recommended for multi-jurisdictional litigation.

Hogan Lovells International LLP fields ‘a superb team with excellent partners and very high-quality associates’, which excels in assisting innovators in the pharmaceuticals, biotechnology and medical devices arenas. According to one client, it has ‘the best patent group in London’, while another client consider it to be ‘a go-to firm for English and EU product liability law advice’, as demonstrated by its excellent record in high-value pharmaceutical disputes in the High Court and the Supreme Court. It is defending Merck Sharp & Dohme in an action brought by Shionogi against its HIV medicine Isentress and is appealing the UKIPO’s refusal of Merck’s application for an SPC on the combination cholesterol product Atozet. Other highlights included acting for Zimmer Biomet and its European subsidiaries on personal injury claims concerning Biomet's all-metal prosthetic hip replacements, and assisting with a number of big-ticket M&A mandates for leading pharmaceuticals companies. Within the ‘excellent’ team, John Meltzer is ‘particularly good at understanding the client’s objectives’, and leads the product liability team with ‘great authority and skill’; Stephen Bennett is particularly experienced at representing innovator companies in litigation with generics companies and advising on extension of patent rights through SPCs and paediatric extensions; highly experienced consultant Caroline Moore has an extensive advocacy track record, giving her ‘a natural forensic awareness which allows her to understand how points will play out in court’; Matthew Felwickcombines a sharp intelligence with strong commercial awareness’, and has forged a particular niche in the new technology sector. Also recommended are Sahira Khwaja, who is noted for her ‘experience and keen eye for detail’; the ‘commercially mindedCharlie Winckworth; Richard Welfare, who focuses on regulatory compliance matters; and patent litigators Daniel Brook and Paul Brown.

Pinsent Masons LLP is praised for its ‘high level of competence and responsiveness’. It regularly handles big-ticket transactions and fundraisings for life sciences sector clients, as demonstrated by its work for Teva Pharmaceutical Industries on the £603m sale of its UK and Ireland business Actavis Generics to Accord Healthcare. Other highlights included advising Oxford Sciences Innovation on a series of spin-out transactions from Oxford University Innovation, and assisting The Binding Site with its collaboration with the Mayo Foundation. The team also handles product liability claims relating to medical implants, assisted a UK-based pharmaceutical company with a parallel import trade mark infringement case, and acted for Actavis in appeal proceedings against Novartis before the EPO. Clare Tunstall and patent and trade mark attorney Adrian Murray jointly lead the team, which enhanced its regulatory practice when it hired patent litigator and life sciences regulatory specialist Catherine Drew from Olswang LLP in 2017. Allistair Booth handles commercial transactions including licensing, collaboration and partnering transactions; criminal regulatory lawyer Zoe Betts has ‘excellent client and presentational skills’; Charles Waddell advises on financings, M&A transactions and joint ventures. Senior associate Christopher Sharp joined from Herbert Smith Freehills LLP.

Powell Gilbert LLP has a market-leading reputation in the IP litigation space, covering patent litigation, SPCs, and contractual disputes relating to technology contracts and patent licences. 2016 has been another prolific year; highlights included successfully defending Actavis at the Court of Appeal in Pfizer’s patent infringement claim against it relating to the blockbuster drug Lyrica, and representing Biogen in proceedings at the UK High Court against AbbVie relating to biosimilars to AbbVie’s blockbuster drug Humira. Penny Gilbert, Tim Powell and Zoë Butler have ‘exceptional technical background combined with a real understanding of litigation and litigation tactics’. Also recommended are Alex Wilson and Tim Whitfield are ‘superior thinkers and executers’. Peter Damerell and Bethan Hopewell were promoted to the partnership in 2016.

Taylor Wessing LLP advises a broad range of clients including pharmaceutical, biotech, medical device, diagnostics and research tool companies, as well as service providers. Cambridge-based Malcolm Bates heads the 19-partner life sciences group, and Tim Worden leads the regulatory group. Charles Lloyd advises on filing and prosecution strategy and IP licensing transactions. Patent litigators Simon Cohen and Nigel Stoate are also highly recommended; Cohen handles patent infringement and validity and regularly co-operates with lawyers conducting parallel litigation in the US and other European jurisdictions. Corporate lawyers David Mardle and Mark Barron (who splits his time between Silicon Valley and London) are other key names to note. Recent highlights include handling a multibillion-pound acquisition, advising Kymab on its $100m Series C financing and assisting the same client with a collaboration and cross-licence agreement with EpimAb Biotherapeutics.

Cooley (UK) LLP is particularly strong in the transactional space, where it advises on regulatory, competition, IP and contentious matters. Highlights included advising Apollo Therapeutics on a joint venture between three global pharmaceutical companies (AstraZeneca, GlaxoSmithKline and Johnson & Johnson) and three universities (Imperial College London, the University of Cambridge and University College London), assisting F-Star with its collaboration agreement with Denali to research and develop antibodies for the delivery of medicines across the blood-brain barrier into the central nervous systems, and representing Illumina in a number of high-value patent oppositions and appeals. The firm’s London office has expanded significantly since its establishment in 2015, most recently welcoming patent attorney Colm Murphy and special counsel Tanya Heare-Rowlands from Venner Shipley LLP and ‘experienced’ corporate partner Stephen Rosen from Olswang LLP. According to one client, John Wilkinson’s industry knowledge is ‘among the best in the pharma field’; he is ‘great to deal with’, according to another. Nicola Maguire and Ed Lukins are particularly known for their experience in M&A transactions, joint ventures, collaboration agreements and other commercial transactions. Associate Tom Goodman is singled out for his ability to ‘understand and articulate complex issues’.

DAC Beachcroft LLP is ‘one of the market leaders in product liability claims’, with ‘in-depth medical and pharma-industry experience’. Its client roster features pharmaceutical companies as well as medical device manufacturers and their insurers. It is handling a number of high-profile product liability cases involving PIP breast implants and metal-on-metal hip replacement products. The team is representing BMI Healthcare Group and Spire Healthcare in High Court group litigation relating to the silicone gel in breast implants manufactured by PIP, and is acting for Novartis International and its subsidiary Alcon in a claim arising out of a phase 2 clinical trial for a drug being tested for the treatment of myelofibrosis. The practice is led by consultant Simon Pearl and includes Alison McAdams, who has ‘extensive and in-depth knowledge’, and senior associate Olya Melnitchouk.

DLA Piper stands out for its expertise in the IP and competition space; it is advising clients on appeals to the European Commission concerning its decisions in the perindopril and citalopram cases. Other recent highlights include advising Ascendis Health on its €335m acquisition of Remedica, and acting for Merck in its appeal to the Competition Appeal Tribunal (CAT) of the CMA’s decision in the GlaxoSmithKline’s Paroxetine case, in which the CMA imposed fines of £45m. Practice head Bonella Ramsay is assisting two biotechnology companies with a series of global collaborations relating to diagnostics businesses, including advising on IP licensing as well as distribution and co-branding matters. Other clients include AbbVie, West Pharmaceutical Services, Brainomix and International Stem Cell Corporation. Competition specialists Sarah Smith and Alexandra Kamerling are highly recommended. Adam Cooke retired from the partnership but remains a consultant.

Linklaters LLP has ‘extensive experience and knowledge in the healthcare sector’. The team amply draws on its expertise in all areas of corporate finance, M&A, banking, IP, data protection and outsourcing, product liability, regulatory and antitrust projects; according to one client, it demonstrates ‘extraordinary commitment and responsiveness to overcome challenges that clients’ businesses face within the industry’. Recent highlights include acting for Accord Healthcare on its successful £603m acquisition and related financing for Allergan’s former pharmaceutical generics business in the UK and Ireland from Teva Pharmaceutical Industry; acting for Sanofi and Regeneron Pharmaceuticals as co-defendants in a high-value patent litigation action brought by Amgen relating to a new class of medical treatments for lowering the level of cholesterol; and assisting US-based Merck & Co with the defence of a trade mark infringement claim brought by Merck. New York-based competition expert Thomas McGrath, corporate partner Aisling Zarraga and TMT specialist Marly Didizian co-head the global healthcare practice. Didizian is ‘highly commercial, a pleasure to work with and a trusted adviser’. Ian Karet focuses on handling the IP aspects of acquisitions and disposals, as well as patent and trade mark disputes. IP litigator Nigel Jones and counsel Yohan Liyanage are also highly recommended.

IP specialist Marks & Clerk Solicitors has deep knowledge of the life sciences sector and strong experience of representing biopharmaceutical companies in patent litigation concerning biosimilar monoclonal antibody therapeutics. The practice also advises on SPC filing and litigation strategy and handles commercial IP transactions. Demonstrating this, it acted for Pfizer in multiple disputes with GlaxoSmithKline regarding the infringement of patents concerning Meningitis B vaccines; assisted Amgen with an action brought by Pfizer to invalidate an Amgen patent concerning anti-PCSK9 therapeutics antibodies; and represented AbbVie Biotechnology and AbbVie in the defence of a claim brought by Fujifilm Kyowa Kirin Biologics relating to Humira. Mike Gilbert is ‘quickly able to pick up complex matters’ and ‘prepared to go the extra mile to understand his client’s needs’. Will James’s ‘scientific background’, ‘wealth of experience at the coal face of some of the biggest patent litigation cases, natural ability in and appetite for the fight, but also his ability to step back and see things from a commercial perspective and in the round’ make him ‘a fearsome and highly respected patent litigator’. Trevor Crosse is ‘able to delve into and understand the fine detail of a matter’. William Cookprovides solid advice, always with a view to the business perspective’. Graham Burnett-Hall, who heads the medical devices practice, is another name to note.

Mills & Reeve LLP specialises in advising higher education bodies, start-ups and spin-outs on a range of matters. In 2016, it acted for Mercia Technologies on funding a spin-out from Warwick University specialising in commercialising the transdermal pain relief Tepi patch; advised Bupa on the sale of Bupa Home Healthcare to Celesio UK; and represented a group of hospitals on threatened patent infringement proceedings relating to diagnostics tests for cancer. In another highlight, venture capital specialist Zickie Lim advised IQ Capital on its investment in Fluidic Analytics, a University of Cambridge spin-out, as part of a £5.3 Series-B fundraising. Alasdair Poore and Kevin Calder co-head the practice.

Norton Rose Fulbright’s ‘professional’ team is singled out for ‘providing timely and quality advice in a practical manner’. It continues to assist Horizon Pharma with the development and commercialisation of its products in the UK and Ireland; is acting for Oxford Nanopore Technologies in a patent infringement claim brought by Pacific Biosciences; and handled Reckitt Benckiser’s acquisition of the K-Y brand from Johnson & Johnson. IP litigator Huw Evans heads the life sciences and healthcare group, which includes Mike Knapper, who specialises in transactions involving the exploitation of IP rights, Jonathan Ball, whose recent work includes a patent and trade mark infringement and invalidity case, and of counsel George Cameron, who is ‘always very responsive’. Associate Inga-Marlene Pietsch is also recommended.

Slaughter and May’s transaction-led practice is supported by substantial contentious capability and is praised for its ‘deep expertise and responsiveness’. On the M&A front, David Johnson and Simon Nicholls led a team, which included IP and antitrust specialists, advising Actelion on a $30bn takeover by Johnson & Johnson; Martin Hattrell assisted Shire with its combination with Baxalta; and Nilufer von Bismarck advised GE Healthcare on the acquisition of Biosafe Group. Johnson is ‘a great business negotiator’ with ‘unparalleled expertise in constructing joint ventures’, and IP litigator Susie Middlemiss is ‘outstanding for her depth of knowledge, tactics and acute commercial understanding of the implications of a case’. ‘Bright and very hardworking’ associates Anthony Doolittle and Claire Jackson are also recommended.

Squire Patton Boggs advises a large number of global leading pharmaceuticals and medical devices companies on the full range of regulatory issues, from early research and development to marketing and advertising. The team assisted a medical devices client with the cessation of manufacture of its product portfolio and advised a pharmaceutical company on issues relating to internal and external controls and policies relating to publication of clinical work and research developments. Commercial lawyer Andrew Wilkinson heads the team, which includes consultant Adrian Spooner, who is particularly skilled at ‘analysing complex areas of new and future regulation in a way that supports business planning and risk evaluations’. Director Paul Jinks is also recommended.

Ashurst’s team is led by Mark Lubbock and advises a range of clients including clinical and non-clinical service providers, pharmaceuticals companies, universities and university spin-outs, and medical devices companies on high-value corporate and commercial transactions. Lubbock also regularly advises on data protection and IP aspects of M&A, management buyouts and joint venture transactions. In 2016, it advised LGC Group on the acquisition of BRC Global Standards, assisted Kinnevik with its investment in Babylon Health, and handled Universal Health Service’s £377m acquisition of Cambian Group’s adult services division (a provider of specialist behavioural health services). Eric Stuart is recommended for international capital markets and M&A transactions.

Carpmaels & Ransford LLP is noted for its ‘strong handling of litigation successfully and efficiently against even the biggest players’. Its ability to field a specialist team of patent attorneys makes it a popular choice among global pharmaceutical companies, for which it handles the full range of IP mandates. Recent highlights include defending Crawford Healthcare in High Court patent infringement and trade mark infringement proceedings and parallel EPO opposition proceedings; and handling a global trade mark and unfair competition dispute. Hugh Goodfellow heads the life sciences team and focuses on prosecution and opposition proceedings, including appeals. Other key figures include Camilla Balleny, who is ‘an experienced IP litigator with excellent judgement and a wonderful client manner’; Ian Kirby, ‘a no nonsense litigator who tells it like it is’; and David Wilson, who is ‘a hugely experienced patent litigator with superb technical knowledge and good judgement’. Other names to note include patent attorney Cameron Marshall, who is noted for his ‘excellent quality of work and advocacy’, Jake Marshall, who specialises in transactional matters involving IP and technology, and ‘thorough and diligent’ senior associate Jennifer Antcliff.

Clyde & Co LLP’s recent highlights include representing TDL Genetics in the defence of patent infringement proceedings brought by Illumina and Sequenom relating to pre-natal diagnostic tests for Down’s syndrome and the determination of the sex of a foetus; assisting a pharmaceutical manufacturer of baby feed with a series of product liability disputes; and advising on the IP aspects of acquisitions and collaboration mandates. Simon Gamblin and Ralph Cox head the practice; they specialise in corporate and patent litigation, respectively. Claire Petts and Erika Rainger specialise in product liability litigation and drug trials. IP group head David Wilkinson is another name to note.

Dechert LLP specialises in handling M&A, private equity and capital markets transactions for multinationals and emerging biotechnology companies, with capability extending to IP, litigation and competition. In 2016, practice head Graham Defries and Andrew Harrow acted for the shareholders of Ziarco Group (a Pfizer spin-out) on the sale of the company to Novartis. Other highlights included advising Bicycle Therapeutics on its collaboration with Cancer Research UK to trial a new therapy for advanced solid tumors; representing Norgine in a dispute regarding the licence and supply agreement in the US with Salix Pharmaceuticals; and acting for Advent Ventures Partners on the sale of Specialty European Pharma. Patrick Lyons specialises in stock exchange listings, IPOs and flotations.

Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP’s practice spans regulatory, IP transactions and litigation, as well as competition and commercial transactions. It is active in the mHealth space, which it advises on drug administration, monitoring and delivery. Its recent instructions include advising on compliance with advertising rules in relation to the launch of a new medical device, representing Aspen in defending a High Court claim brought by distributor Perrigo Israel Agencies concerning Eltroxin, and assisting Horizon Pharma with its $800m acquisition of Raptor Pharmaceutical. Simon Crossley heads the global health and life sciences group, and specialises in IP licensing and regulatory matters. Adrian Toutoungi, Mark Davenport and Robin Johnson are also recommended.

Jennifer Bethlehem heads the global healthcare group at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP; she advises on M&A and capital markets transactions. Recent highlights include advising Novartis on its inter-conditional strategic transaction with GlaxoSmithKline, and advising Cancer Research UK on the consortium arrangements behind The Francis Crick Institute. Jonathan Isted and Andrew Austin handle multi-jurisdictional product liability cases and sensitive internal and regulatory investigations.

Kemp Little LLP particularly excels in the area where life sciences intersects with digital technology. The team advises on IP strategy and litigation, regulatory issues, data protection and other corporate transactions. It recently assisted a multinational pharmaceutical company with its procurement process to comply with new requirements under the Falsified Medicines Directive (FMD), represented a NYSE-listed biotechnology company on the enforcement of its patents as well as opposition and appeal proceedings at the EPO, and advised a Fortune 500 company on medical regulatory issues in a number of EU jurisdictions. Highly regarded patent litigator Rebecca Halford-Harrison heads the team, which includes Calum Murray, Charles Claisse, Glafkos Tombolis and Nicola Fulford.

Marriott Harrison LLP added a strong life sciences capability when it merged with Denoon Legal, which resulted in the arrival of Alexander Denoon and Julian Hitchcock in 2017. It is praised for its ‘excellent industry knowledge, responsiveness’, and ‘proportionate, practical and commercial advice’. It continues to handle regulatory, licensing and commercial matters for a large number of clients including Boehringer Ingelheim, CellNovo, Omixy and Renishaw, and advised a French medical devices company in a potential judicial review against a UK body regarding its decision to issue a suspension notice in respect of its medical devices. Denoon and Hitchcock are highly recommended for pharmaceuticals regulation, medical devices and advanced therapy medicinal products, as well as commercialisation of IP.

Mishcon de Reya LLP handles a range of contentious and non-contentious IP matters, with strong corporate and competition expertise. ‘Hugely experienced’ IP litigator David Rose is representing Dr Reddy’s Laboratories in defending a patent infringement claim brought by Warner-Lambert in relation to its second medical use patent for pregabalin, and assisted Dr Reddy’s Laboratories with the counterclaim for revocation of the patent. Competition lawyer Sarah Houghton is assisting a pharmaceutical company with a CMA’s investigation into alleged abuse of dominance in its drug pricing. Other highlights included handling a breach of contract claim involving issues of tempering with the manufacture and production of pharmaceutical products; acting for Lupin in proceedings against Gilead relating to the validity of Gilead’s SPC; and advising a R&D service provider on a series of disposals. IP partners Martyn Hann and Jeremy Hertzog are also key names to note.

Morgan, Lewis & Bockius UK LLP excels in handling high-profile regulatory matters; the team, which includes Frances Murphy, Pulina Whitaker and Paul Ranson, regularly advises on pricing, distribution and data protection issues; it also advises on collaborations as well as licensing and corporate and venture capital mandates. Murphy is advising a medical device company on an EU Commission investigation regarding an alleged anti-competitive agreement. Whitaker and Ranson advised Teva Pharmaceutical Industries on the regulatory and compliance aspects of its acquisition of Actavis Generics, while Matthew Howse advised AmerisourceBergen on its international data privacy compliance. Tim Corbett assisted Replimune with the formation of the company and its Series A financing. Corbett and Tom Cartwright jointly lead the nine-partner team, which also includes antitrust specialist Omar Shah.

Osborne Clarke LLP is particularly strong in the transactional space, as illustrated by its advice to Actavis UK and Ireland on its £603m divestment by Teva Pharmaceutical Industries to Intas Pharmaceuticals. It is also assisting with a number of CMA investigations, and acted for a biopharmaceutical company in an EPO opposition against the grant of a competitor’s patent relating to a change of dosage regime for a blockbuster cancer drug. Transactional lawyer Janita Good is ‘a very good communicator with a great deal of experience in the industry and a very client-oriented approach’. Lorna Brazell heads the patent litigation group, and has notable experience advising on IP licensing, global patent portfolio management, opposition and appeal proceedings, as well as litigation. Competition lawyers Simon Neill and Marc Shrimpling have notable experience in handling merger control and abuse of dominance matters. Ben Goodger left for an in-house role at ASLAN Pharmaceuticals in November 2016.

RPC is known for assisting medical device companies with product liability claims, and advising US manufacturers of medical devices on UK and EU regulations. It is also experienced in all coronial investigations and advising on liability, regulatory and PR concerns associated with inquests. Practice head Dorothy Flower and senior associate Peter Rudd-Clarke are advising Corin on the metal-on-metal hip implant litigation and are representing Clover Leaf Products in PIP implant litigation. The team also handles clinical trial claims, and recently advised the insurers of a clinical trial with regards to a pre-action claim. It also assisted a pharmaceutical company following the death of a clinical trial participant. Other representative clients include BioPoly, Nonin Medical and Abbot Laboratories.

For some, IP specialist Redd Solicitors LLP is ‘the most experienced team in the UK for trade mark matters in the context of parallel traded pharmaceutical products’. 2016 highlights included a high-profile trade mark dispute, a trade mark infringement and passing-off dispute against a third party, a collaboration mandate, and patent validity and infringement disputes. Sara Ashby is regarded as ‘one of the leading experts on parallel trade in Europe’, and Anna Carboni is highly recommended for trade mark, designs and copyright disputes. John Colbourn ‘consistently provides in-depth opinions’. Duncan Ribbons left for an in-house role in Celixir, and patent litigator Rebecca Lawrence became a consultant.

Sidley Austin LLP’s team in London regularly works alongside its US offices to advise on big-ticket transactions in the life sciences arena. Highlights included assisting BioClinica with EU regulatory aspects of its acquisition by private equity firm Cinven, and advised Johnson & Johnson with EU data protection issues including the interpretation of provisions in the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Other highlights saw practice head William Long advise Myokardia on EU data privacy in the context of clinical trials, and cross-border M&A partner Mark Thompson acting for Mid Europa Partners on the sale of Alpha Medical to Unilabs.

Stephenson Harwood’s recent highlights include advising Cell Medica on a research collaboration with UCL for the development of modified T cell receptor products, handling a series of commercial contracts for UCB and new client Astellas Pharma, and advising BTG in a patent licensing dispute with Genzyme relating to antibody technology. IP specialist Alexandra Pygall is singled out for her ‘excellent sense for litigation strategy’ and ‘deep commercial knowledge of the pharma sector’. Pygall and Andrew Edge recently advised Shield Therapeutics on its admission to trading on AIM with a market capitalisation of £162m. Corporate and commercial partner Anthony Clare, who is particularly experienced in the life sciences and technology space, joined from Ashurst in April 2016.

Stevens & Bolton LLP’s practice is led by Charlotte Tillett, who specialises in IP licensing, joint venture, IP restructuring and transactional work, as well as contentious matters. Tillett’s recent highlights include representing a biopharmaceutical company in a patent infringement claim, and advising on regulatory, data protection and SPC rights related to its orphan drug. The team also handled patent licensing transactions, advised on the IP and competition aspects of M&A transactions, and acted for the UK subsidiary of an international life sciences company concerning claims for breach of contract regarding marketing and promotion of a branded drug. Other names to note include Gustaf Duhs, who focuses on competition and regulatory, Beverley Flynn, who specialises in commercial transactions and data protection, and Michael Frisby, who handles litigation and arbitration.

International comparative guides

Giving the in-house community greater insight to the law and regulations in different jurisdictions.

Select Practice Area

GC Diversity and Inclusion Report

In partnership with...

Press releases

The latest news direct from law firms. If you would like to submit press releases for your firm, send an email request to

Legal Developments in London for Pharmaceuticals and biotechnology

Legal Developments in the UK

Legal Developments and updates from the leading lawyers in each jurisdiction. To contribute, send an email request to

Press Releases in the UK

The latest news direct from law firms. If you would like to submit press releases for your firm, send an email request to