Consistently ranked in the top tier of legal directories, we remain at the forefront of legal developments in the pharma industry. Bristows acts as the go to team for blue-chip multinationals executing global strategies as well as younger companies navigating a complex market.

Clients come to us for advice on a wide spectrum of issues including patents, trade marks and licensing, freedom to operate opinions, collaborations, mergers and acquisitions, financings and the coordination of disputes in multiple jurisdictions. We also advise on the complex regulatory and competition law issues associated with this sector, and provide market-leading life cycle management expertise.


Bristows has been involved with the biotech sector from its earliest days when we handled the first ever UK biotechnology patent case in the 1980s, representing Genentech in defence of its patent for recombinant tPA.

We have stayed close to the industry throughout the years advising on a wide range of legal issues from IP rights to commercial transactions to full-scale litigation. We also advise regularly on freedom to operate issues, particularly with regard to antibody-based platform technologies. We have applied this full-service approach to our recent work with Genomics England on their genetic sequencing project.

Regenerative Medicine

Regenerative medicine is an ever evolving industry in which clients creating new biological tools and technologies are being met with a number of complicated legal and regulatory challenges. From collaboration agreements to joint ventures to litigation strategies, we help clients navigate those challenges and even create opportunities.

Medical Devices

The medical devices industry is among the most essential to the health care of patients worldwide. Companies in this space develop products ranging from thermometers to the latest in medical robots; as well as combination products composed of a delivery device and a medicinal substance. Developments come at a swift pace and it can be challenging to keep up with the legal, commercial and regulatory issues that develop just as fast. Bristows advises a range of medical devices clients on dispute resolution, regulatory issues, competition, product liability, transactions, financing, property and tax.

Digital Health

Digital health is an exciting area for Bristows. With plenty of scientists and technology enthusiasts among our lawyers, we are not only able to keep up with industry trends but we are, perhaps more importantly, able to understand the science and technology behind them as well as the legal issues that may arise. From health apps and the collection of healthcare data to the development of new software and technologies, we are able to draw on the depth of knowledge and experience of our leading Life Sciences and TMT practices to offer a complete legal offering.

Plant Varieties

We act for a number of clients operating in the plant or agricultural industry on a wide range of matters. Whether it is advising on the patentability of a new plant breed, negotiating a licensing agreement or evaluating the competition landscape, Bristows has a deep understanding of the legal issues affecting companies operating in this space. We also have a deep understanding of the science involved as many of our lawyers have science degrees including biology and biochemistry.

Health Care

Our health care expertise spans all practices and involves clients from different parts of the industry. We work health care providers as well as those organisations who supply or serve the health care industry. We value our relationships with the CMA, the private healthcare industry and the wider medical regulatory environment. Our experience includes advising many of the UK’s private healthcare providers on complying with the CMA’s Private Healthcare Order as well as advising on the responsibilities and risks involved when dealing with sensitive health care data.

Animal Health

Whilst obvious parallels can be drawn between the Animal Health sector and its human counterpart, there are in fact as many differences as similarities between the two industries.

Bristows is uniquely placed to provide targeted legal advice to animal health clients by drawing upon its lawyers’ unrivalled combination of clinical, commercial and legal expertise.

Our team advises on legal issues arising out of the day-to-day running of the business, from early clinical stages of veterinary medicinal product development to commercialisation and product maturity. This covers such diverse areas as patent advice and enforcement, regulatory data protection, advertising, regulatory compliance and competition advice.