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 is a very good firm, particularly in coordinating multi-jurisdictional litigation. They have a good network of colleagues across Europe.”

Chambers and Partners Europe 2024

“They are really great, client-centric, and very knowledgeable about the industry. The Bristows team comes up with pragmatic solutions, and adds a personal touch to advice. They have a solid team across the board. I do not see them as just there to make a profit. They are efficient and true partners.”

Chambers and Partners Europe 2024

“They are very strong in the life sciences area with deep understanding of the regulations and requirements. They deliver as promised, are friendly to work with and communicate clearly and openly.”

Chambers and Partners 2024

“One of the UK’s leading life sciences practices. Across the firm, there is tremendous strength in depth. Great understanding of the market through acting for a wide range of clients.”

Legal 500 2024

“A ‘truly exceptional’ [Life sciences] practice which assists clients with the full gamut of commercial, regulatory and IP-related issues.”

Legal 500 2024

Recent rankings and awards

Life Sciences: Transactional - Band 2

Life Sciences: IP/Patent litigation - Band 1

Life Sciences and Healthcare - Tier 1

Life Sciences - Band 1

Life Sciences - Band 4

Life Sciences - Band 4

Life Sciences & Pharmaceutical Sector (International & Cross-border) - Band 2

Best Life Sciences Law Firm - Europe

Life Sciences