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Life Sciences Disputes

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Our Life Sciences disputes and investigations specialists advise clients across the breadth of the sector, including pharmaceutical, medical device and biotech companies. 

We offer: 

  • Quality and depth of resources. With more than 900 dispute resolution specialists, we have the expertise and capacity to handle the most complex disputes. 
  • Global reach with local insight. We think and act internationally while delivering local results.
  • Proven high-stakes advisers. Clients trust us with their most sensitive, difficult and business-critical cases.
  • Sector specialists. We work with industry experts to provide you with commercial legal solutions to your industry-specific issues.

Highlights of our recent experience:

  • GlaxoSmithKline as the lead appellant in the first ever reference to the European Court of Justice (CJEU) by the Competition Appeal Tribunal (CAT) in the paroxetine case.
  • The Association of British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI) in relation to its role as an interested party in appeal to the Court of Appeal of a judicial review brought by Bayer and Novartis against NHS Darlington CCG and Others regarding the use of unlicensed products when a licenced product was available.
  • Teva Europe in relation to an application at the European General Court for annulment of the Commission Decision refusing a marketing authorisation for Teva’s generic cabazitaxel product due to regulatory exclusivity said to exist for the reference product.
  • Sandoz in relation to patent infringement proceedings, a regulatory challenge against its pharmaceutical product marketing authorisation, and its claim on the cross-undertaking in damages against Napp Pharmaceuticals, significantly larger than any that have preceded it.
  • Various clients in relation to group litigation orders or threatened group litigation orders arising out of product liability claims.
  • The ABPI and the Association of British HealthTech Industries to intervene in the Supreme Court appeal in Lloyd v Google, the leading data protection class action.
  • Takeda in relation to a £500m+ shareholder dispute arising out of an acquisition of a global pharmaceutical company.
  • A global healthcare company in relation to the defence of a claim by a distributor for breach of a pharmaceutical exclusive distributorship agreement and for a mandatory injunction requiring the client to continue to supply.
  • A multi-national pharmaceutical company in relation to internal investigations and responding to the regulator on whistleblowers‘ allegations.
  • A drug wholesaler in relation to a dispute regarding an exclusive distribution agreement between a Canadian pharmaceutical wholesale supplier and an Indian drug manufacturer whose product had consistently failed to meet regulatory standards and testing requirements.
  • A UK-based institution in relation to legal and commercial matters relating to its Covid-19 vaccine development programme.

"CMS is one of the strongest city firms in this sector. They have real and deep rooted expertise in regulatory issues and in litigation involving medical devices."

Life Sciences, Legal 500 UK, 2021

"They deliver a Rolls-Royce service to some of the world’s most successful life sciences companies – many of whom they have deservedly achieved coveted “trusted adviser” status. They are one of the elite departments in this field. It is unsurprising that they have such a loyal client base."

Life Sciences, Legal 500 UK, 2021

"They provide excellent advice."

Life Sciences, Chambers UK, 2021

“A 21st century 24/7 powerhouse."

Commercial Litigation, Legal 500, 2021
High­lights of our ex­pert­ise in Life Sci­ences Dis­putes
High­lights of our ex­pert­ise in Life Sci­ences Ar­bit­ra­tions


Ser­i­ous ir­reg­u­lar­ity: Eng­lish High Court re­af­firms high bar for chal­len­ging...
The Eng­lish High Court has con­sidered the scope of chal­lenges to awards for ser­i­ous ir­reg­u­lar­ity on the ground that the ar­bit­ral tribunal failed in its duty to act fairly. The Court held that there was...
Scot­tish courts provide fur­ther guid­ance on the rel­ev­ant ac­know­ledge­ment...
The Court of Ses­sion de­cision in Colquhoun & Ors v Clin­ic­al Re­search Solu­tions GmbH & Crom­source SRL has provided use­ful guid­ance on what may con­sti­tute a “rel­ev­ant ac­know­ledge­ment” of a claim so...
In pur­suit of trivi­al ex­pos­ure: pre-1965 low dose ex­pos­ure as­bes­tos dis­ease...
Two judg­ments in late Novem­ber and early Decem­ber 2022 gave fresh con­sid­er­a­tion to the state of know­ledge and fore­see­ab­il­ity of risk of in­jury in claims in­volving ex­pos­ure to as­bes­tos pri­or to 31 Oc­to­ber...
In­ter­na­tion­al Dis­putes Di­gest - 2022 Winter Edi­tion
Wel­come to the winter edi­tion of the In­ter­na­tion­al Dis­putes Di­gest, our bi-an­nu­al pub­lic­a­tion that con­siders and ana­lyses cur­rent trends in glob­al dis­pute-res­ol­u­tion and their wider im­pact. With war ra­ging...
Glob­al Life Sci­ences & Health­care For­um 2022: Fa­cing the op­por­tun­it­ies...
Di­git­al ad­vances and in­nov­at­ive ther­apies are push­ing the bound­ar­ies of health and the leg­al world has to keep pace Life sci­ences are fizz­ing with in­genu­ity and in­nov­a­tion with re­volu­tion­ary gene and...
Pro­tec­tion from protests
Protest on the streets, protest on­line, even lit­ig­a­tion used as a vehicle for protest.Protest­ors tar­get­ing a busi­ness may be stand­ing in a crowd, hold­ing a plac­ard or shout­ing slo­gans. But they may also be be­hind a com­puter screen or pur­su­ing a claim against the busi­ness through the courts. They may even be work­ing in­side the busi­ness, pre­par­ing to com­prom­ise its sys­tems or leak con­fid­en­tial in­form­a­tion.Wheth­er they are act­iv­ists, em­ploy­ees or cus­tom­ers, all these protest­ors may present a sub­stan­tial chal­lenge and a real threat to busi­nesses, in areas in­clud­ing its se­cur­ity, repu­ta­tion and bot­tom line. 
Glob­al Life Sci­ences & Health­care For­um 2022: Life Sci­ences are reap­ing...
Di­git­al trans­form­a­tion in life sci­ences is cre­at­ing op­por­tun­it­ies to counter health­care’s most in­tract­able prob­lems from treat­ing rare dis­eases to ac­cel­er­at­ing dia­gnostics and re­du­cing treat­ment back­logs...
Sun­set Strip: the Re­tained EU Law (Re­voc­a­tion and Re­form) Bill and its...
Hav­ing re­tained EU law un­der the European Uni­on (With­draw­al) Act 2018 (EU­WA), which came in­to force on 31 Decem­ber 2020, the Gov­ern­ment has put in train the pro­cess by which such “re­tained law” is...
CMS Ex­pert Guide to European class ac­tions
Class ac­tions have been on the rise in Europe for a num­ber of years, but the rate is ac­cel­er­at­ing. New pro­ced­ur­al devices in­ten­ded to bet­ter fa­cil­it­ate col­lect­ive re­dress con­tin­ue to be in­tro­duced. Of­ten...
In­ter­na­tion­al Dis­putes Di­gest
Ana­lys­is and com­ment­ary on glob­al dis­pute res­ol­u­tion trendsWel­come to our In­ter­na­tion­al Dis­putes Di­gest, a bi-an­nu­al pub­lic­a­tion fea­tur­ing ana­lys­is and com­ment­ary on the key trends cur­rently shap­ing the glob­al dis­pute res­ol­u­tion mar­ket. In these un­cer­tain times, glob­al busi­nesses in al­most every sec­tor are fa­cing chal­lenges brought about by an un­pre­ced­en­ted op­er­a­tion­al cli­mate. Ac­tions and de­cisions taken may be sub­ject to even great­er scru­tiny than nor­mal and, to­geth­er with new le­gis­lat­ive de­vel­op­ments around the world, we bring you the latest news on im­port­ant glob­al is­sues, op­por­tun­it­ies and chal­lenge.See be­low all edi­tions of the In­ter­na­tion­al Dis­putes Di­gest.
On the Pulse
Wel­come to CMS ‘On the Pulse’ video/pod­cast series for all Life Sci­ences & Health­care pro­fes­sion­als – leg­al, com­pli­ance, reg­u­lat­ory
Man­aging in­vest­ig­a­tions: plan­ning pres­sures and pit­falls video series
With more in­tern­al re­port­ing of con­cerns with­in busi­nesses thanks to im­proved train­ing and con­trols, and with com­plex reg­u­lat­ory, crim­in­al and HR in­vest­ig­a­tions be­com­ing more com­mon­place, cor­por­ates need...