Life Sciences 2018: Transactional Analysis

In this section, we highlight 218 transactional lawyers who have been selected for their outstanding work in the life sciences sector. Those included are the world’s leading experts when it comes to the corporate side of life sciences practices, and focus on a wide range of matters including mergers and acquisitions, IPOs, securities and venture capital transactions, outsourcing, and investment agreements and joint ventures.

The practitioners listed in this year’s guide are spread across 38 countries, with those based in Europe accounting for 54 per cent of the total listings. American law firm Cooley boasts a particularly strong presence in the corporate life sciences market, achieving 15 nominations across three continents. International firms Covington & Burling and Ropes & Gray also perform well, achieving eight and six listings respectively across multiple locations.



Thought Leaders
1. Stefano Codoni Walder Wyss Ltd, Lugano
2. Patrick Duxbury Gowling WLG, London
3. Allistair Booth Pinsent Masons LLP, London
4. Per Lagerkvist Advokatfirman Delphi, Stockholm
5. Tom Vantroyen Altius, Brussels
The Thought Leaders are those individuals who received the highest number of nominations from peers, corporate counsel and other market sources this year. Our research has identified them as being truly outstanding practitioners and the very best in their field.

Leading Firms

Who's Who Legal does not list law firms, only individual lawyers. The leading firms are those in each region whose listed practitioners received the most total nominations in our research.

International law firm COVINGTON & BURLING boasts a strong corporate practice and is home to five leading individuals who are highlighted for their proven track record assisting major corporations in the life sciences sector with commercial transactions.
James Gubbins is a highly recommended practitioner who sources describe as “a big name in the biotech venture capital space”.
James Halstead impresses commentators with his vast experience advising on a range of commercial transactions including technology transfers, licensing and joint ventures.
Daniel Pavin is a key figure in the market who regularly advises prominent life sciences clients on strategic commercial agreements.

American international law firm COOLEY also performs well in our research, with three outstanding practitioners highlighted.
John Wilkinson is a “well-respected” lawyer who regularly advises pharmaceutical, biotech and medical devices companies on an array of transactional, regulatory and IP matters.
Nicola Maguire is “renowned” in the life sciences sector and has more than 15 years’ experience advising major corporations in the sector on complex cross-border transactions.
Stephen Rosen is “a well-established practitioner” who receives widespread recommendations for his experience acting for investors and venture capital funded companies in the life sciences sector.

Three top-tier practitioners from CLIFFORD CHANCE’s European offices are also recognised for their transactional expertise.
Ulrich Reese has “extensive experience” in this space and draws praise for his “sharp analysis” of complex mandates.
Peter Dieners is a “veteran” in the life sciences area who receives recognition for his excellent work advising well-known pharmaceutical companies on mergers and acquisitions.
Miquel Montañá is internationally renowned as a leading name in this space, and stands out for his broad life sciences practice.

TAYLOR WESSING also performs well, achieving an impressive two nominations.
Malcolm Bates leads the firm’s life sciences group in the UK and is held in high esteem thanks to his proven track record advising on a variety of transactional matters including licences, distribution agreements and IPOs.
Tim Worden is an accomplished practitioner with a well-developed life sciences practice. He frequently advises pharmaceutical, medical devices and biotech companies licensing agreements and commercial transactions.

Leading Swiss firm WALDER WYSS boasts a strong life sciences practice, and sees two leading lawyers highlighted for their transactional know-how.
Stefano Codoni has “significant experience in the sector” and is widely regarded for his impeccable knowledge of life science and technology-related transactions. He deservedly leads our listings in Europe this year.
Florian Gunz Niedermann is “a very talented practitioner” who focuses his leading practice on international and domestic venture capital and M&A transactions in the life sciences space.

London law firm BRISTOWS is internationally renowned for its life sciences offering. The firm is home to two outstanding practitioners with extensive experience handling international transactions.
The “excellent” Fiona Nicolson is a specialist IP transactional lawyer who impresses market commentators with her sharp mind and professionalism.
Laura Anderson is “an outstanding practitioner” who garners praise for her expertise when it comes to managing commercial arrangements in the IP space.

At PINSENT MASONS, we recognise two lawyers for their expertise in the field.
Allistair Booth is a market-leading individual who sources consider a “standout name” in the life sciences arena.
Charles Waddell is a corporate finance specialist who boasts extensive experience advising on financings and M&A transactions both locally and internationally.

Top Swedish commercial law firm ADVOKATFIRMAN DELPHI also sees two individuals recommended.
Per Lagerkvist is a top name, recommended for his “expansive experience in the life sciences space”. He is particularly well known for his specialist knowledge of M&A transactions and corporate financings.
Elisabeth Eklund is “a skilled practitioner” who also stands out for her top-tier work in the sector.

Other Leading Individuals

We highlight individuals at other firms who also scored very highly in our research.


The “excellent” Martin Brodey at DORDA RECHTSANWÄLTE is a leading light in the field who draws praise for his expertise in mergers and acquisitions and restructurings.


Thought Leader Tom Vantroyen of ALTIUS ranks as one of the go-to transactional lawyers in Belgium and wins praise for his “deep knowledge and significant experience in the life sciences sector”.


Patrick Duxbury at GOWLING WLG is “a big name” in the market who regularly represents some of the most recognised companies in the life sciences space on major M&A transactions and collaboration agreements.

The “very thorough and knowledgeable” Simon Portman at MARKS & CLERK SOLICITORS is a favourite among clients who praise his “exceptional level of technical expertise”. One impressed commentator notes: “He is something of a unique expert.”

Sally Shorthose at BIRD & BIRD ranks prominently for her transactional IP practice, receiving wide-ranging endorsements for her deep knowledge of the protection and exploitation of IP rights in standalone transactions and acquisitions.


Mikkel Vittrup of PLESNER ADVOKATPARTNERSELSKAB is “very involved in specialised transactional work” and receives wide-ranging endorsements for his technical expertise.


With more than 30 years’ experience, Paule Drouault-Gardrat at PDG AVOCATS is a long-standing fixture in the market who is widely recognised for her expertise in pricing and reimbursement.


Matthias Nordmann of SKW SCHWARZ RECHTSANWÄLTE is “a highly skilled lawyer” who specialises on advising international clients on a range of contractual and corporate matters.


“Experienced transactional lawyer” Francesco Setti of FRANZOSI DAL NEGRO SETTI ranks prominently in our research and is warmly described as “a leading individual in the life sciences sector”.


Tord Fondevik of SCHJØDT is “a world-class lawyer in the life sciences area” according to one impressed commentator, who notes that “he always operates at a very high level analytically as well as being extremely prompt in his advice”.


Patricia Barclay at BONACCORD ECOSSE is highly commended by the international life sciences community thanks to her “pragmatism and professional approach”.


Oliver Künzler at WENGER PLATTNER is a top-tier practitioner who “combines a solid understanding of the life sciences industry with M&A expertise”. Sources are consistently impressed by his “ability to come up with innovative, sound proposals to resolve difficult situations to the benefit of his clients”.


Oleksiy Didkovskiy of ASTERS is “a talented lawyer” who is widely regarded as an M&A specialist. He is highly sought after thanks to his “extensive experience in the life sciences arena”.


Thought Leaders
1. John Hurvitz Covington & Burling LLP, Washington, DC
2. Marc Rubenstein Ropes & Gray LLP, Boston
3. Barbara Kosacz Cooley LLP, Palo Alto
4. Kingsley Taft Goodwin, Boston

Leading Firms

COOLEY leads the way in the US, with an impressive 11 practitioners highlighted from across its offices in California, New York, Massachusetts and Virginia.
Barbara Kosacz is “a great transactional lawyer” who is a key name in the market thanks to more than 25 years of experience counselling major clients in the life sciences space.
Fred Muto is a highly recommended corporate lawyer who boasts extensive experience managing major business transactions for multibillion-dollar companies in a range of industry sectors.
Bob Jones receives plaudits for his broad-based corporate practice and regularly advises life sciences companies on the full range of corporate and securities law matters.
Sources describe Barclay Kamb as “a standout transactional lawyer”. He wins praise for his excellent work representing biotech, digital health and medical technology companies.
Jane Adams is internationally regarded as a leading name in the field thanks to the depth of her commercial and corporate financing knowledge.

Global law firm GOODWIN sees four leading lights in the commercial life sciences sector highlighted for their extensive expertise.
Kingsley Taft is “one of the big names in the market” who sources warmly describe as “a very talented lawyer”. He is recognised as a Thought Leader this year for his superb work in the area.
Michael Bison is “a highly skilled practitioner” who boasts “wide-ranging experience advising companies in the life sciences sector”.
“Talented lawyer” Sarah Solomon is held in high esteem by commentators who admire her international technology and life sciences practice.
“Superb lawyer” Mitchell Bloom is “very active in the life sciences market” and is applauded for his expertise negotiating corporate financings.

ROPES & GRAY also performs well in the North American market, seeing four practitioners recognised.
Marc Rubenstein is internationally renowned as a leading name in the region, and receives accolades for being “fast, smart and efficient in licensing matters”.
Patrick O'Brien is a leading corporate lawyer with extensive experience representing healthcare, life sciences and technology companies in a range of complex mandates.
Harry Rubin is an expert in the field who receives international endorsements for his strong track record in the life sciences sector.
Mark Bellomy focuses his leading practice on a wide range of matters from advising collaboration agreements and licensing deals to joint ventures and corporate mergers.

Other Leading Individuals


Angela Fan Chi Kung of PINHEIRO NETO ADVOGADOS is an accomplished lawyer with a well-developed life sciences practice. Sources describe her as being “particularly strong when negotiating contracts”.


Jay Lefton at FASKEN is internationally regarded  as “a top expert” when it comes to negotiating multi-jurisdictional transactions and take-over bids in the technology and life sciences sectors.

Vanessa Grant of NORTON ROSE FULBRIGHT is “extremely knowledgeable and connected in the market” according to one impressed source.

Cheryl Reicin at TORYS is one of the leading names in the Canadian market when it comes to advising biotechnology and medical devices companies on strategic transactions and financings.


The “outstanding” John Hurvitz at COVINGTON & BURLING ranks among the elite of practitioners in our research thanks to his “vast experience advising major corporations in the life sciences sector”.

Bruce Jenett at DLA PIPER is a highly skilled expert whose expertise ranges from advising on licensing and distribution matters to joint ventures and M&A.

Thanks to his strong corporate background, David Rosenthal at DECHERT “excels as both a legal and business adviser”, according to one impressed respondent.

Kenneth Clark of WILSON SONSINI GOODRICH & ROSATI is a key figure who stands out for his excellent work in the biotechnology space. He regularly assists some of the biggest names in the sector on strategic alliance and M&A transactions.

Rest of the World

Thought Leaders
1. Yuval Horn Horn & Co Law Offices, Tel Aviv
2. Wee Hann Lim Rajah & Tann Singapore LLP, Singapore
3. David Chertok Meitar Liquornik Geva Leshem Tal Law Offices, Tel Aviv

Leading Firms

ROPES & GRAY performs well in China, seeing two outstanding transactional lawyers recognised for their work in the life sciences sector.
Arthur Mok boasts “a strong practice” in the corporate life sciences space and receives wide-ranging endorsements for his technical expertise.
Geoffrey Lin “stands out” in the international marketplace thanks to his excellent work advising clients across the full spectrum of the life sciences transactions.

Other Leading Individuals 


At ALLENS, Sarah Matheson enjoys a fantastic reputation in the market and is regularly called upon to advise on the IP aspects of commercial transactions.

Mary Padbury at ASHURST regularly acts for an array of Australian and international corporations in the life sciences area and is widely recommended for her expertise.

Bernard O'Shea at NORTON ROSE FULBRIGHT is a commercial lawyer who proficiently advises major players in the biotech, pharmaceutical and technology fields.


Patrick Loofbourrow at COOLEY has long-standing experience counselling life sciences companies on a range of corporate transactions, including initial public offerings, joint ventures and M&A.


Thought leader Yuval Horn of HORN & CO LAW OFFICES tops our listings in Israel thanks to his “vast experience in the life sciences space”. He is a “very talented” lawyer and is internationally regarded as “a big name” in the market.

David Chertok at MEITAR LIQUORNIK GEVA LESHEM TAL LAW OFFICES is a “leader in the field” according to impressed commentators. He is a standout specialist when it comes to handling complex mergers and acquisitions for high-profile life sciences companies.

Liad Whatstein at LIAD WHATSTEIN & CO is a renowned name in the life sciences sphere who receives plaudits for his “brilliant practical advice on both transactional and contentious issues”.


The “excellent” Wee Hann Lim at RAJAH & TANN is a key player in the market who has more than 26 years’ experience advising major companies on cross-border investments and M&A transactions.

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Nominees have been selected based upon comprehensive, independent survey work with both general counsel and private practice lawyers worldwide. Only specialists who have met independent international research criteria are listed.

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