Text colour | Print

Our people


Maria Isabel Manley

+44 (0)20 7400 8000

Biography What others say

Maria Isabel Manley is a partner and head of the Regulatory Department at Bristows.  Maria Isabel specialises in IP matters with a particular focus on European and UK regulatory and competition law in the bio-pharmaceutical, chemical, medical devices, cosmetics and food sectors.  She advises on a broad spectrum of matters, both contentious and non-contentious, that arise in the conduct of a pharmaceutical or a biotechnology business (in particular those arising in the context of the life cycle management of medicinal products, including advertising and product liability).

She has represented a number of the world’s leading pharmaceutical companies in litigation before the European and the English Courts.  For example, she represented Novartis before the ECJ regarding the interpretation of the SPC Regulation. She also successfully represented Servier Laboratories Limited before the NICE Appeal Panel and before the English Court of Appeal for Judicial Review on part of that decision (the NICE guidelines now have to be reviewed to take into account all sub-groups of patients). She is currently representing a pharma company before the General Court regarding the Commission’s refusal to grant a Marketing Authorisation for an orphan drug. She also regularly represents pharmaceutical companies before UK and EU institutions (EMA, MHRA, NICE, DOH and the European Commission) as well as the PMCPA.  For example, she is currently representing a leading pharma company under investigation by the EU Competition Commission as well as representing them in an action before the English Courts. She is also experienced in coordinating EU and overseas litigation.

Maria Isabel has an international background having previously worked in Switzerland, New York and Brussels.  She is fluent in English, French and Spanish, and has a working knowledge of German, Italian and Catalan

  • LLB Swiss Law, Lausanne University
  • LLM in European law, Lausanne University
  • LLM in International Law, Columbia University School of Law, New York
  • Postgraduate Diploma in EU Competition Law, King's College, London
  • Qualified 1998 (New York)
  • Qualified 2003 (England and Wales)
  • Partner 2005
Recommended for
  • UK Life Sciences Star for Regulatory - LMG Life Sciences Europe (2014)
  • Regulatory - Who’s Who Legal (2014)
  • Life Sciences: Regulatory (Key Individual) - Chambers and Partners (2015/2014/2013/2012)
  • Life Sciences-Regulatory, IP and Product Liability - Who's Who Legal (2013)
  • London Top 100, London Top 50 Women and EU Law - Super Lawyers UK (2013)
  • Commercial, IP & Regulatory - The Lawyer Hot 100 (2012)
  • Life Sciences - Best Lawyers UK (2012)
  • Life Sciences: Regulatory - PLC Which Lawyer (2012)
  • Pharmaceuticals and Biotechnology (Leading Individual) - The Legal 500 (2014/2013/2012)

"Maria Isabel Manley advises on contentious and non-contentious matters concerning UK and EU regulatory frameworks affecting healthcare and life sciences. Sources say: 'She is doing some impressive work in the sector'."
 - Chambers and Partners 2015

"It has also developed strong regulatory capabilities, with the ‘charismatic and tenacious' Maria Isabel Manley recently representing Shire in EU proceedings against the European Commission regarding market authorisation for an orphan drug product." - The Legal 500 2014

"London-based Maria Isabel Manley heads Bristows' regulatory practice and is highly thought of by the market for her expertise in UK and European regulatory law and product liability. She is especially well recognised in the pharmaceutical and biotech industries." - Chambers and Partners 2014

"Maria Isabel Manley is considered one of the leading regulatory lawyers in the UK, with sources describing her as 'a leading expert' in the area." - Chambers and Partners 2014

"The 'superb' Maria Isabel Manley is commended for her leadership of instructions concerning the National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) and the Medical and Health products Regulatory Authority (MHRA), and for her handling of mandates involving EU and competition regulations." - Chambers and Partners 2013

"Bristows’ regulatory team, led by Maria Isabel Manley, has ‘the technical and commercial acumen to secure a competitive advantage’." - The Legal 500 2012

Maria Isabel Manley is known as a ‘hugely user-friendly lawyer’ with expertise in life sciences regulation, EU law and judicial reviews.” – Chambers and Partners 2012

“Regulatory practice head Maria Isabel Manley is ‘enthusiastic, pragmatic and aggressive when needed'. She successfully represented Servier Laboratories in its landmark Court of Appeal case against NICE.” – The Legal 500 2011

Finalist for Regulatory Team of the Year - Legal Business Awards 2011

"Maria Isabel Manley impresses interviewees with her knowledge of EU regulation. She successfully represented Servier in the Court of Appeal, leading to the National Institute for Health & Clinical Excellence (NICE) being ordered to make a fresh decision regarding an osteoporosis treatment, strontium ranelate." - Chambers and Partners 2011