Life Sciences & Healthcare

United Kingdom

Discovery, innovation, market awareness and understanding are key to those life sciences and healthcare entities providing services and finance towards, and developing therapies and services for, the improvement of patient outcomes.

Due to the highly regulated nature of the industry, as an operator, investor, adviser, developer or licensee, you will be dealing with complex legal and regulatory requirements to launch, maintain and deliver your products and services to the market.

Our Life Sciences team is immersed in the sector and we appreciate our clients' technology; we are not just lawyers, we are immunologists, geneticists, chemists and engineers. With this background we are ideally placed to really understand your business, how it is changing and what you want from a trusted advisor. Highly relevant to this sector is our fully integrated European patent attorney practice. Spanning multiple disciplines, both legal and scientific, our lawyers and patent attorneys operate as one team with a common outlook and objective for our clients - providing pragmatic, innovative and effective advice, efficiently.

Our Healthcare team is truly immersed in the sector with over 25 years of advising and shaping the sector through in depth experience, knowledge and sector associations and collaborations. We have significant experience of working within the public and private sectors, giving us a complete perspective of the issues you face, allowing us to offer you commercial and well rounded advice.

With active memberships in major industry bodies such as the ABPI, ABHI, BIVDA, EUCOMED / MedTech Europe, Healthcare UK and the BPF, we help shape the legal and compliance frameworks impacting the life sciences and healthcare sectors.

As well as clients' significant, complex and strategic transactional, financing and structuring matters, we regularly advise on day-to-day business operations, covering areas such as public procurement, tax, competition, IP protection, exploitation and enforcement, product liability, supply chain, outsourcing and other commercial agreements and employment and pensions matters, as well as regulatory, disputes, risk and compliance advice. Truly a full service.

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"A one-stop-shop for us: its remarkable and successful mix of talent makes it stand out from the rest, and makes our lives much easier."

Chambers UK, 2015

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    Recent years have seen an increase in the numbers of biotech IPOs and more investment in the sector, however it can still be challenging accessing the finance necessary to fund R&D and to bring products to the market. As part of the biotech industry you will expect your lawyers to assist you in tackling these difficult financing and market challenges. Our team of sector specialists, including lawyers with technical backgrounds, understands the commercial drivers in this industry and can advise you on the full spectrum of legal matters.

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    Devices & Diagnostics

    In an increasingly competitive healthcare market, medical device and diagnostics companies need to ensure return on investment when developing innovative and reliable medical technologies and services. Devices and diagnostics are subject to complex regulatory and compliance frameworks and are often subject to competitive tendering so you will need lawyers who can reliably advise on pragmatic, compliant solutions.

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    With technology and digital innovation at the forefront of many advancements in the lifesciences industry and in healthcare delivery, organisations look  to consistently push boundaries to bring products and services to both the consumer and professional market. However, the regulation of ehealth solutions, devices and services is often outpaced by the novelty and innovation in the solutions themselves and at CMS, we understand the challenges this presents.

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    The healthcare sector in the UK and internationally continues to experience a period of dynamic change underpinned by significant legal reforms and devolution to the four British nations. As an owner, operator or service provider in this sector, you are facing a highly regulated environment combined with increased public scrutiny. With increasing opportunities for the private provision of healthcare along with an ageing population, but with shrinking public healthcare budgets, operating within the healthcare sector presents both challenges and opportunities.

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    With ever increasing costs of gaining marketing authorisations for new drugs, fewer opportunities for blockbuster products and ongoing pressure on pricing, operating successfully in the pharmaceutical sector can be challenging. Our sector-focused team, many of whom have technical backgrounds, are able to help clients overcome these challenges and maximise the commercial opportunities.

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    High­lights of our ex­per­i­ence in Life Sci­ences & Health­care...
    Law-Now: Lifes­ci­ences
    Vis­it Law-Now for leg­al know-how and com­ment­ary


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    Vi­tal Signs
    UK Life Sci­ences Re­port
    Cov­er­age for Spoof­ing: some US au­thor­ity
    “Spoof­ing” in­volves dis­guising an email to make it ap­pear to come from a sender from whom it did not ac­tu­ally ori­gin­ate. A fraud com­mit­ted via a spoof email does not ne­ces­sar­ily re­quire the re­cip­i­ent’s IT sys­tem se­cur­ity to have been com­prom­ised.
    11 November 2018
    Life Sci­ences sec­tor spe­cial­ists
    Gov­ern­ment Is­sues Brexit Tech­nic­al No­tice for Life Sci­ences
    On 23 Au­gust 2018, the UK Gov­ern­ment (the "Gov­ern­ment") is­sued the first wave of its tech­nic­al pa­pers de­signed to provide guid­ance to com­pan­ies to help pre­pare for a "No Deal" Brexit. In this scen­ario, there will be no "trans­ition peri­od" but rather the UK.
    1 May 2017
    CMS, Nabarro and Olswang com­plete largest ever mer­ger...
    Cre­at­ing a new fu­ture-fa­cing firm
    Court of Ap­peal finds em­ploy­ers can be vi­cari­ously li­able for ac­tions...
    Sum­mary In Barclays Bank v Vari­ous Claimants, the Court of Ap­peal re­af­firmed that the “in­de­pend­ent con­tract­or de­fence” no longer ex­ists; or­gan­isa­tions can now po­ten­tially be li­able for the acts of third party con­tract­ors.
    21 March 2017
    Olswang ad­vises two new VC cli­ents on Series B in­vest­ment...
    New MHRA guid­ance on Brexit im­ple­ment­a­tion peri­od and the lifes­ci­ences...
    On 6 Au­gust 2018, the MHRA re­leased new guid­ance on what the Brexit im­ple­ment­a­tion peri­od means for the lifes­ci­ences sec­tor, as well as an up­date on the ap­plic­a­tion of the new EU Clin­ic­al Tri­als Reg­u­la­tion for phar­ma­ceut­ic­als fol­low­ing Brexit.
    7 March 2017
    Olswang ad­vises IP sup­port ser­vices busi­ness RWS Hold­ings...
    Im­port­ant role for Leg­al Ad­visers in grow­ing Life Sci­ences Sec­tor
    Scot­land is an ideal loc­a­tion for a strong glob­al life sci­ences in­dustry, rank­ing as a top three na­tion for re­search pro­ductiv­ity and im­pact. The 19 Scot­tish uni­ver­sit­ies and high­er edu­ca­tion in­sti­tu­tions at­tract some of the best in­ter­na­tion­al tal­ent with­in.
    14 February 2017
    Health Tech 2017: a case for great­er con­nec­tion
    EU Product Li­ab­il­ity Dir­ect­ive still an ad­equate tool, ac­cord­ing to...
    On 7 May 2018, the European Com­mis­sion pub­lished its fifth re­port on the per­form­ance of the EU Product Li­ab­il­ity Dir­ect­ive (Dir­ect­ive/85/374/EEC) in the mem­ber states. The dir­ect­ive in­tro­duced the concept of strict li­ab­il­ity for pro­du­cers of de­fect­ive products.