Consistently ranked in the top tier of legal directories, we remain at the forefront of legal developments in the pharma industry. Clients come to us for advice on a wide spectrum of issues including intellectual property disputes – whether patents, trade marks or confidential information – and freedom to operate analysis, as well as disputes arising from collaborations and other contractual arrangements.

We advise on the complex regulatory and competition law issues associated with this sector, and provide market-leading life cycle management expertise and the coordination of disputes in multiple jurisdictions.

Our transactional lawyers advise on collaborations, M&A, divestments and the vast range of commercial arrangements associated with getting pharmaceutical products to the market.

Key contacts

Brian Cordery

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Sophie Lawrance

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Experience

Advising Johnson & Johnson (Janssen Sciences) in its defence of SPC revocation proceedings for an SPC covering the active ingredient in Prezista, Janssen’s blockbuster medication for the treatment of HIV-1. The case concerns the interpretation of Article 3(a) of the SPC Regulation and the appropriate test for determining whether a product is “protected” by a patent and therefore eligible for SPC protection. We are involved in proceedings before the CJEU and the co-ordination of litigation across a number of key European markets.

Over the last five years, we have advised AstraZeneca on a number of divestments of mature products and assets, including the sale of the European commercial rights to Seloken in a deal worth more than $300m and the sale of the US and European rights to Entocort for €380m and €215m respectively.  We have advised on the transfer of assets, licensing of trade marks, long term supply arrangements, regulatory, competition and merger control aspects of divestments.

Advising GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) on the restructuring of its distribution model for its UK product portfolio, moving from a direct-to-pharmacy model to a reduced wholesaler model.  Our advice included competition, regulatory and data privacy advice as well as helping to put in place the new commercial arrangements with GSK’s suppliers.

We are advising on the current investigations by the UK Competition and Markets Authority into the supply of generic pharmaceuticals.

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What others say

“Bristows was a valued partner in the success of making our vision become a reality.”

Stephanie Morris, Director of Industry Partnerships and Commercialisation at Imperial College London

“They enabled a very positive conclusion to the overall deal.”

Richard Fagan, Director of BioPharma at UCL Business

“Their expertise made them the perfect partner to work with on the highly complex Apollo transaction.”

Richard Fagan, Director of BioPharma at UCL Business

“UCLB has worked with Bristows for over 25 years, in relation to intellectual property licensing transactions as well as corporate transactions such as spinout formation.”

Richard Fagan, Director of BioPharma at UCL Business

“Bristows’ knowledge of the life sciences market and players, as well as their licensing expertise, was invaluable as we navigated this complex transaction.”

Iain Thomas, Cambridge Enterprise’s Head of Life Sciences

Recent rankings and awards

Life Sciences - Band 1
Chambers and Partners UK 2019

Life Sciences: IP/Patent litigation - Band 1
Chambers and Partners UK 2019

Life Sciences: Transactional - Band 2
Chambers and Partners UK 2019

Pharmaceuticals and Biotechnology - Top tier
Legal 500 2019

Life Sciences - Band 3
Chambers and Partners Europe 2019