Life sciences

Straightforward business-friendly advice from lawyers who understand the unique challenges and opportunities presented by the life sciences sector. We enjoy spending time getting to know our clients and working alongside them for the long term. Visit our life sciences hub
  • Profile
  • Experience
  • Key contacts

We work with a wide range of clients from the life sciences sector including:

  • pharmaceutical companies
  • biotechnology companies
  • medical device and diagnostic companies
  • manufacturers, distributors and logistics companies
  • investors
  • banks and financial institutions.

We work with companies of all sizes, from start-ups to multinational industry leaders. Whether it's a complex matter affecting your entire business or a more routine matter, we have the knowledge and commitment to assist you.

We have particular expertise in:

  • acquisitions and disposals
  • investments and financings
  • IPOs
  • licensing deals
  • collaboration agreements
  • manufacturing, distribution and logistics contracts
  • multi-jurisdictional disputes
  • intellectual property
  • tax structuring
  • competition/anti-trust issues
  • employment, pensions and incentives advice
  • data privacy issues
  • real estate for laboratory and manufacturing facilities, including associated planning and environmental matters.
"High-quality advice, personable solicitors, great individual care and attention. A team who genuinely care and want to make a different to their clients whether to win, negotiate or settle."
The Legal 500 UK 2020

Woodford Investment Management

We advised on the set up and launch of Woodford Patient Capital Trust plc, an innovative investment trust offering exposure to early-stage companies with outstanding intellectual property and long-term return opportunities.

Vernalis plc

We have advised this AIM-listed development stage pharmaceutical company on a number of out-licensing and collaboration deals, including the out-licensing of the worldwide rights to its proprietary adenosine receptor antagonist technology to a US company.


We have advised GSK on a number of trade mark matters including a multi-jurisdictional dispute relating to the colour of its global blockbuster inhaler product, Seretide.

BTG plc

We have advised BTG plc, a FTSE-250 international specialist pharmaceutical company, on a range of M&A, financing and licensing matters including its $220 million acquisition of EKOS Corporation, an International vascular business, headquartered in Seattle, US.

ARIAD Pharmaceuticals

We have assisted this specialist oncology company, headquartered in Cambridge (Massachusetts), with commercial, competition, data protection and employment advice related to its entry into the European market.


We have advised this global biopharma company on a variety of significant and more routine commercial contracts and a dispute with a licensing partner.

Piramal Enterprises

We have advised this Mumbai-listed company on a wide variety of matters, including the sale of its domestic formulations division to Abbot Healthcare for $3.8 billion.

Lansen Pharmaceutical Holdings Limited

We advised Lansen on its acquisition from Novartis AG of the rights to sell Sicorten Plus, a dermatological product, in China.

Eisai Europe Ltd

We have advised this Japanese headquartered pharmaceutical company on confidential employment and HR matters in the UK for many years.


We have advised this Global 500 company on corporate governance, data protection, competition law compliance, and medical advertising in Asia.


Alexandra Pygall Partner

T:  +44 20 7809 2137
M:  +44 7881 314 566 Email Alexandra | Vcard Office:  London

Latest news & insights

07 Apr 2022

From Insights

F is for foreign investment: UK’s new foreign investment screening regime – What you need to know?

The UK’s National Security & Investment Act 2021, which entered into force on 4 January 2022, has created for the first time a standalone foreign direct investment reg..


18 Mar 2022

From Insights

E is for equity investment

2020 and 2021 were both bumper years for venture funding but the spotlight was firmly on the life sciences sector. In 2021, £4.5 billion was raised by UK biotech and l..


14 Feb 2022

From Insights

D is for data opt-out

The national data opt-out ("NDO") was introduced on 25 May 2018 enabling patients to opt out from the use of their personal data for research or planning purposes.


13 Dec 2021

From Insights

Life sciences podcast

The Stephenson Harwood life sciences podcast provides an overview of key legal developments relating to the sector.


07 Dec 2021

From Insights

C is for collaboration arrangements

​This month we are exploring, at a high-level, the use of collaboration agreements in the life sciences sector, and some of the issues to consider.


01 Nov 2021

From Insights

Life sciences - Still in the antitrust spotlight

Over the last few years, the UK and EU competition authorities have continued to closely scrutinise the life sciences sector


11 Oct 2021

From Insights

UK Public Procurement Reform – What's the latest?

Earlier this year, we wrote a series of articles setting out our thoughts on the UK Government's bold plans for the reform of public procurement regulation set out in ..


20 Aug 2021

From Insights

D-day announced – UK's new National Security and Investment Act regime to begin on 4 January 2022

On 20 July 2021, BEIS announced that the new screening regime under the NSIA would officially commence on 4 January 2022. Alongside this announcement, BEIS also publis..


29 Jul 2021

From Insights

B is for Biologics License Application

A BLA is a request for permission to introduce, or deliver for introduction, a biologic product into interstate commerce in the US. By way of background, the US has a ..


16 Jun 2021

From Insights

A for Artificial Intelligence

The use of AI within the life sciences industry is a hot topic with many excited about its potential uses, but how will its use be regulated?


08 Jun 2021

From News

Stephenson Harwood advises Apposite Capital on Emblation investment

Law firm Stephenson Harwood LLP has advised healthcare investor Apposite Capital on its investment in medical device company, Emblation.


16 Mar 2021

From Insights

UK Government provides more clarity on the scope of the National Security and Investment Bill (“NSIB”)

We are pleased to share with you our briefing on the UK Government’s response to a public consultation concerning the 17 key sectors subject to the mandatory notificat..


01 Mar 2021

From News

Partner Alexandra Pygall joins Babraham Institute Board

Stephenson Harwood partner Alexandra Pygall has been appointed to The Babraham Institute’s Board of Trustees.


23 Feb 2021

From News

Stephenson Harwood advises Acacia Pharma on €27 million fundraise

Law firm Stephenson Harwood LLP has advised Acacia Pharma Group plc on its successful €27 million fundraise, through the placing of 10 million new ordinary shares with..


03 Dec 2020

From Insights

What the life sciences sector needs to know about supplying to the UK public health service post Brexit

The public procurement regulations that apply in the UK at the moment derive from EU law. So what does the life sciences sector need to know about supplying to the NHS..


24 Nov 2020

From News

Stephenson Harwood advises Oxford Biomedica on gene therapy collaboration

Law firm Stephenson Harwood LLP has advised gene and cell therapy company Oxford Biomedica on its collaboration with biopharmaceutical company PhoreMost, to develop ne..


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