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Life Sciences (Dispute Resolution)

Mishcon's Life Sciences specialists provide both contentious and non-contentious advice across the Life Sciences sector. The team comprises lawyers who are passionate and knowledgeable about this dynamic yet highly regulated sector and are regarded as leaders in their field.  

Our work reflects the full diversity of the sector, ranging from multi-nationals, start-ups and venture backed companies to MNCs, research organisations to grant funders, CROs and technology consultancies.   

Our clients operate in the pharmaceutical, medical device, biotechnology, agrochemical, crop science and veterinary medicine fields. We also work with academic institutions and non-profits, tailoring legal solutions to match their institutional needs and risk preferences.  

We are excited by innovators and entrepreneurs who have a positive impact on the world, and motivated by making great things happen for them. We are ready to work with you to secure your funding requirements and help you establish and execute your commercial strategy.   

Our team of experts have qualifications that include several science degrees and a PhD, with astute commercial judgement that allows us to truly understand our clients’ businesses across the sector.   

We know it is essential to protect and fully exploit the intellectual property at the heart of your business, so we’ll guide you through registration, licensing, and partnerships, to ensure you realise its full value worldwide.  

Our patents group has deep experience in the sector of both contentious and non-contentious patent matters. From new product launches through to patent infringement and validity disputes, our team provides the full spectrum of legal advice.  


Key Services

In addition, we offer legal advice in key areas, such as:  

  • Negotiating the full range of research, development and collaboration agreements for new therapies and medical devices  
  • Advising both pharma companies (as Sponsors) and contract research organisations on the largest multicentre study arrangements, covering interventional, extended use, paediatric and observational studies  
  • Advising on licensing and partnering transactions  
  • Advising on and negotiating the full suite of commercial transactions across the Life Sciences industry  
  • Data protection, data privacy and cyber-security advice  
  • Advising in relation to advertising and marketing issues

  • Advising on relevant market definition applicable to the pharmaceutical sector  
  • Advising on the interplay between competition law and intellectual property, including patent settlement, FRAND issues in relation to regulatory data and potential misuse of the patent system/SPCs  
  • Advising various drug manufacturers and wholesalers on various issues associated with the application of EU competition law to the pharmaceutical sector 

  • Advising financial institutions and other investors on investments in the Life Sciences sectors and related due diligence  
  • Purchases and sales of companies or their assets  
  • Accessing capital markets and IPO  
  • Private equity transactions, including buy outs and buy ins, corporate business acquisitions and disposals, public-to-private transactions, growth/development capital investments  
  • Transactions involving re-organisations and demergers, including advice on TUPE  
  • Fund structuring and establishment, including tax and regulatory advice 

  • Resolution of IP, competition, regulatory and contractual disputes, including through mediation and arbitration  
  • Product liability  
  • Reputation management  
  • Conducting internal investigations  
  • Advising in respect of bribery and corruption legislation/exposure in the UK  
  • Directing and guiding criminal investigations, and conducting private prosecutions (including for fraud, IP breaches, and counterfeiting offences)  
  • Insurance coverage disputes 

  • Managing the full spectrum of contentious and non-contentious employment law, from HR advisory and contractual agreements to advising on team moves, data theft and restrictive covenants  
  • Corporate transactions + post-transactional period  
  • Discrimination  
  • High Court and Tribunal litigation  
  • Worker Status and Gig Economy  
  • Restructuring and Redundancy  
  • Workplace Investigations  
  • Whistleblowing   
  • Team Moves  
  • Handbooks  
  • Strategic Projects  
  • SMCR  
  • TUPE  
  • Day to day HR advisory  
  • Gender Pay Gap reporting  
  • Training 

  • Expertise in business immigration and incentives 
  • Designing and implementing short-term and long-term equity incentives, including HMRC sponsored tax-advantaged option plans (including EMI plans), growth share arrangements, joint ownership plan and bonus arrangements  
  • Designing performance conditions relevant to the business, including ESG metrics  
  • Transactional advice, both ensuring the share plans are designed to meet specific objectives on an IPO or sale event and advising on the share plan elements of the transaction itself and the transition into new arrangements after completion  
  • Implementation of employee benefit trusts and related tax advice  
  • Advising on market trends  
  • Identifying and mitigating reputational risks  
  • Executive hires and terminations; and  
  • The legal and tax implications of incentive structures 

  • Advising on insurance programmes relevant to the pharmaceutical sector and potential gaps in coverage, including product liability policies, bespoke clinical trial policies, D&O insurance  
  • Representing life sciences companies in high-value insurance coverage disputes against their insurers, such as product liability Bermuda Form arbitrations, employment practices liability, directors' and officers' liability  
  • Representing life science companies in claims against insurance brokers for breach of contract/negligence  
  • Insurance coverage advice 

Patents and Supplementary Protection Certificates  

  • Deep rooted experience conducting "clearing the way" programmes for generic pharma entrants including court applications for DNIs (declarations of non-infringement), patent invalidity and "Arrow" declarations  
  • Managing complex multi-jurisdictional disputes relating to validity and/or infringement of patents and SPCs, and patentability issues  

Intellectual Property (non-patents)  

  • Protection, exploitation and enforcement of IP rights across the Life Sciences industry, including advising on complex clearance issues and portfolio management relating to pharmaceutical brands    
  • Anti-counterfeiting strategies including innovative use of civil and criminal remedies (including actions for fraud and for recovery of proceeds of crime) and Border detentions  
  • Trade secrets protection  
  • Advising on parallel imports 

Brand Protection 

  • Brand protection strategy  
  • Trade mark and design clearance (including acquisition) and investigations  
  • Worldwide trade mark and design filing, prosecution and enforcement  
  • Trade mark, copyright and design disputes, including infringement  
  • Trade mark and domain name monitoring  
  • Portfolio management  
  • Domain names recovery  
  • Proceedings before the UK IPO, EU IPO, Intellectual Property Enterprise Court, High Court, Court of Appeal, Supreme Court, General Court and Court of Justice of the EU. Unlike many other IP practices, we also have a significant practice advising on IP crime, including conducting private prosecutions for rights holders alongside our highly experienced White Collar Crime team. 

  • Acquisition   
  • Construction  
  • Real Estate Planning   
  • Real Estate Financing   
  • Asset management   
  • Divestment or Disposal   

  • Advice on obtaining marketing authorisations and acting in cases relating to regulatory decisions  
  • Regulatory and contractual issues relating to clinical trials agreements  
  • Regulation of novel foods and food supplements  
  • Pharmacovigilance issues  
  • Reimbursement and pricing issues  
  • Advice in relation to paediatric and orphan drugs 

You can depend on us as your virtual in-house team, always on hand with proactive business and legal advice. We’ll mirror your drive and ambitions, introducing new opportunities through our network of professional advisors and valuable contacts, including investors, partners, and clients.  

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