LMG Life Sciences review

Belmore Neidrauer

IP firm Belmore Neidrauer is one of Canada's top practices for life sciences patent litigation, exemplified by its consistent representation of pharmaceutical clients in high-profile cases. The firm earns a recommended ranking nationally for its strong practice in the area.

Peter Wilcox is a leading trial attorney at the firm, described by a peer as "top-of-the-heap" and by another as "the bulldog you need" in litigation. He acted for Janssen in a noteworthy case against Teva under the new PMNOC regulations, resulting in a decision in favor of Janssen. The matter is now on appeal. Wilcox was shortlisted for the Canadian Patent Contentious Attorney of the Year award in 2020 for his work in the area.

Another standout at the firm is Marian Wolanski, who acted alongside Wilcox in the Janssen matter, as well as separate actions for the client under the new PMNOC regulations opposite Apotex, Pharmascience and Dr Reddy’s.

DLA Piper

DLA Piper is a global law firm with a significant presence in the Canadian life sciences space. The firm advises a number of industry clients with matters including corporate financing, transactions, IP, and product liability litigation.

IP and technology group chair Sangeetha Punniyamoorthy is frequently active for pharmaceutical clients in the patent litigation as well as in IP counseling and strategy. Punniyamoorthy is currently active for Vertex Pharmaceuticals in connection with brand protection and strategy.

David Neave and Rebecca von Rüti are standouts in the firm’s product liability and class actions practice, supporting the firm’s national recommended ranking in the area. ‎Both are currently active for a number of high-profile pharmaceutical clients, including Bristol-Myers Squibbs in a proposed class action in British Columbia related to opioid products. Neave was shortlisted for the Canadian Product Liability Attorney of the Year award for his work in the area.

In the financial and corporate space, Noam Goodman is one of the firm’s well-versed practitioners for life sciences deals. His practice focuses on assisting life sciences companies in corporate financing, transactions, licensing agreements, and other areas. Goodman recently advised Bloom Burton Development Corp on its investment into Triumvira Immunologics. He was shortlisted for the Canadian Financial & Corporate Attorney of the Year in 2020.

Fasken Martineau DuMoulin

Fasken Martineau DuMoulin offers a full-service practice for life sciences clients, with capabilities in product liability litigation, patent disputes, financial and corporate matters, and regulatory advice. For the firm's outstanding activity across practice areas, Fasken was named the 2020 Canadian Life Cycle Firm of the Year by LMG Life Sciences.

“Fasken's has provided strategic and insightful guidance in the face of considerable uncertainty,” a recent client for patent strategy says. “The opinions we have obtained have been concise, organized and practicable, and have been of tremendous assistance in shaping the organization's strategy regarding these new launches.”

Peter Pliszka is co-leader of the life sciences industry group, and one of leading attorneys in Canada for product liability litigation. He is currently representing Sandoz and Novartis in class action matters related to slow-release opioid pharmaceutical products. He is also acting for Sandoz and other drug makers being sued in class actions related to blood pressure product valsartan. The firm was awarded Canadian Product Liability Firm of the Year in 2020, the second year in a row the group earned the honor.

Also co-leading the life sciences group is Sylvie Bourdeau, who is one of the firm's top advisors for all matters financial and corporate. Her specialties include mergers and acquisitions, commercial agreements, joint ventures and licensing. She recently assisted GenePOC in its sale to Meridian Bioscience, a transaction which earned an award as one of the 2020 Impact Deals of the Year.

For intellectual property, Julie Desrosiers offers significant experience in life sciences patent litigation. She recently acted for Lupin in its challenge of a recent decision refusing to codify zaxine, a patented medicine used to treat hepatic encephalopathy. In lateral news, the firm made a high-profile hire with Jason Markwell joining the firm’s IP group, bolstering its capabilities in life sciences patent litigation. “He is a flexible thinker and is willing to talk through issues, particularly where the law is not well settled,” a client says, adding that his opinions are “very well-organized and can be readily implemented because he has a good understanding of the industry.”

Ingrid VanderElst continues to be an authority on IP and regulatory matters. She currently advises a number of life sciences clients, including a biomedical research client on device development matters. “Ingrid is a very knowledgeable practitioner, but what I appreciate most about her is her practicality,” a client says. “She understands that businesses move in real time and have to be able to quickly separate the real risks from the theoretical risks.” Standout partner Timothy Squire was named the 2020 Regulatory Attorney of the Year in Canada for his leading position in the market and notable representations.

McCarthy Tétrault

Headquartered in Toronto with additional offices in Vancouver, Montréal and Québec City, McCarthy Tétrault is a full-service law firm with a strong presence in the life sciences space. The firm is ranked nationally in Canada for patent litigation, product liability and financial & corporate matters. In addition to these areas, the firm also has a significant practice focused on regulatory counseling.

Steven Mason is head of the firm's national intellectual property litigation group and represents several high-profile life sciences clients. He regularly assists in-house counsel at large pharmaceutical companies with their complex intellectual property issues. Recent representations include Bristol-Myers Squibb in connection with generic challenges to its blockbuster drug Eliquis. Standout partner David Tait is also lead on the Bristol-Myers Squibb matter. His practice is life sciences-focused with expertise in PM(NOC) proceedings and patent infringement litigation.

Based in the firm's Vancouver office, David Frost is co-chair of the firm's life sciences group and regularly assists clients with public offerings, transactions, and corporate governance matters. In addition, Frost represents cross border venture capital investors interested in the Canadian life sciences market. He recently advised client Zymeworks in financings and other related transactions. Philippe Leclerc also has significant experience in a variety of financial and corporate matters for life sciences clients. He operates from the firm's Montréal and Québec City offices. For his significant activity, Leclerc was shortlisted for the 2020 Financial & Corporate Attorney of the Year award in Canada.

In the product liability area, Michel Gagné and Frank McLaughlin are two of the firm’s stellar practitioners. Gagné was recently active for Abbott Labs in opioid-related class actions, and in a matter related to its drug Biaxin that was the first common issues trial in a prescription drug product liability trial in Canada. Gagné was awarded Product Liability Attorney of the Year in 2020 for his work in the area.

Partner Ranjeev Dhillon is a notable expert for regulatory matters, often acting for life sciences clients as they navigate market entry for their products and commercial issues. He currently serves as co-lead of the firm’s cannabis law group.

Smart & Biggar

Smart & Biggar is a premier IP firm in Canada with significant expertise in patent litigation and counseling. The group serves a broad client base, including universities, research institutions, startups and multinational companies. Smart & Biggar is ranked nationally for branded patent litigation, patent prosecution and regulatory counseling. The firm notably saw senior counsel and firm leader Gunars Gaikis inducted into the LMG Life Sciences Hall of Fame for a stellar career in the industry.

Firm chair Daphne Lainson has a strong reputation in the market as a life sciences patent strategist and counselor. In addition to her leadership at the firm, she also acts for several multinational clients in patent prosecution and portfolio management. For her significant work in the area, Lainson was named 2020 Patent Strategy Practitioner of the Year in Canada by LMG Life Sciences.

Also taking home an award was partner Sheldon Hamilton, who is the 2020 Patent Litigator of the Year in Canada. He recently impressed with his involvement in one of the LMG Life Sciences Patent Impact Cases of the Year, AstraZeneca Canada v Sandoz Canada, which clarified procedure related to the PM(NOC) regulations. Recognized practitioner Nancy Pei was also active on the matter. Her practice focused on life sciences patent litigation further bolsters the firm’s strength in the area. Yoon Kang has more than two decades of experience in law. Her practice focuses on patent litigation and prosecution for clients in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology sectors.

In the regulatory area, Alice Tseng stands as one of the market’s most respected practitioners. She is currently advising several clients in regulatory, advertising and commercial matters. Tseng was shortlisted for the Canadian Regulatory Attorney of the Year, an award she won last year for her accomplishments in the area.