Healthcare, Pharma and Life Sciences

We provide transactional, commercial and contentious advice to a range of clients: from the largest multinational pharmaceutical and healthcare groups to investors, start-ups, universities, research institutions and emerging biotechnology ventures. This gives us an unparalleled perspective of the sector and the insight to advise strategically on the most innovative and transformational matters.

Clients come to us for advice on M&A, joint ventures and flotations in the sector. We also regularly advise clients on their most complex and innovative licences as well as on resolving IP disputes crucial to their businesses and future operations.

 We are increasingly involved in digital health and healthtech and draw on expertise across the firm – including competition, tax and litigation – to provide incisive advice on issues affecting clients in the sector.

  • Our team includes lawyers who have medical/scientific backgrounds and many who have worked in the industry for years. They all have a genuine interest in the sector. This provides us with unparalleled perspective, giving us the ability to see round corners, spot issues and identify opportunities for clients.
  • Recognised for our corporate, commercial and IP (both contentious and non-contentious) expertise, we also draw on the firm’s other market-leading practice areas, including tax and competition, to provide our clients with first class advice.
  • Best known for handling market-changing transactions, we find unexpected solutions to our client’s most challenging problems by thinking creatively.
  • Trusted by many clients to look after their highly valuable and global IP portfolios, we provide strategic and innovative insight on developing and safeguarding IP and managing IP risk.
  • Members of our team sit on the Intellectual Property Advisory Committee of the BioIndustry Association, the industry association for biotechnology companies and the editorial board of the Bio-Science Law Review. Our active interest in the sector enables us to anticipate and swiftly address the increasing regulatory and competitive challenges faced by clients in the sector.

You need your lawyers to understand your market, talk your language and provide you with solutions. We are experts in the sector, having advised in the pharmaceuticals, biotechnology and healthcare market for over 35 years, and we understand what drives your decisions and how to address them.

Key experience


Advising GlaxoSmithKline for many years on its complex, strategic and high-value M&A including most recently on:

  • its acquisition of consumer healthcare assets from Pfizer into a new consumer healthcare joint venture
  • its major three part inter-conditional transaction with Novartis: oncology disposal, vaccines acquisition and consumer healthcare joint venture
  • the divestment of Horlicks and other consumer healthcare nutrition brands to Unilever
  • the agreement with Verily Life Sciences (formerly Google Life Sciences) to form Galvani Bioelectronics to enable the research, development and commercialization of bioelectronics medicine.

Advised Actelion on its $30 billion takeover by Johnson & Johnson. As part of this deal, we helped devise a structure which created a new R&D biotech company, Idorsia, which was demerged to Actelion shareholders.


Advised Shire on:

  • the recommended offer by Takeda Pharmaceutical
  • its $32 billion combination with Baxalta Incorporated.

Advised Immunocore, the world’s leading Tcell receptor company, on its collaboration with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Under the terms of the collaboration, the Foundation invested in the development of Immunocore’s TCR-based therapeutics to treat infectious diseases which pose a global health challenge.

Thermo Fisher Scientific

Advised Thermo Fisher Scientific on its agreement to acquire a drug substance manufacturing site in Cork, Ireland, from GlaxoSmithKline for approximately €90 million.

Other clients we have advised in the sector include Reckitt Benckiser, GE Healthcare, Bupa, LGC Science Holdings, Hikma Pharmaceuticals, Novo Nordisk, British Biotechnology, Skyepharma, Oxford Asymmetry and Getinge AG.

Key Contacts

A marriage of magic circle corporate and commercial power with specialist IP and life sciences sector expertise. One client says: ‘Turnaround time is phenomenal, and in providing the legal summary they take the commercial strategy into account and make it easy for the senior management team to come to a decision. Chambers UK