OVERVIEW & EXPERTISE

 

​The life sciences industry, including the pharmaceutical, biotechnological, medical device and diagnostic sectors, has seen explosive growth as a result of increasing demand for health-related goods and services as well as major leaps in technology. This growth has paralleled expanded and more stringent regulatory requirements, aggressive patent acquisition and enforcement, strategic M&A activity, and increased product liability and other litigation.

Internationally recognized for our life sciences expertise, we combine our regulatory, intellectual property, commercial, transactional, M&A, antitrust/competition, litigation and other expertise to meet the needs of many participants in the life sciences industry. Our clients include established and emerging multinational pharmaceutical, biotech, medical device, diagnostic product, consumer product and pharmacy businesses as well as health-related service providers, research institutions, financial institutions and investors.

A distinguishing feature of our practice is our expertise in the vast array of regulatory regimes at the federal and provincial levels. We advise numerous clients, including manufacturers, wholesalers and pharmacies, on all matters, including product approvals and labelling, pricing and reimbursement, price controls, product listing agreements, rebates, professional allowances, interchangeability of drugs, conflict of interest issues, procurement matters, freedom of information matters, drug advertising, drug import and export issues, clinical trials, and recalls. One of our lawyers is also a qualified pharmacist.

Clients also retain Blakes for strategic advice on protecting their innovations and collaborating with others in the research and development of pharmaceutical, biological, device and combination products. We handle patent and other intellectual property protection, portfolio management, risk management and litigation. Many Blakes practitioners have advanced degrees in life sciences and other related technologies.

We also have significant experience in research and development, product acquisition, distribution, licence, technology transfer, collaboration, strategic alliance, joint venture and other industry specific arrangements. As life science companies look to consolidate operations, acquire products or technology, divest themselves of non-strategic products or functions, or attract partners and research funding, they rely on Blakes, a leader in M&A, securities, finance and competition law.

When disputes arise, Blakes is a leading choice for representation. Successfully advocating for life sciences industry clients in high-profile litigation matters, we have one of the most experienced Class Actions teams in Canada and are among a small number of Canadian firms with notable success at trial and on dispositive applications and motions. Recognized as leading Canadian lawyers in product liability defence, we have handled precedent-setting cases, including the first medical device class action to go to trial in Canada.

Additionally, we advise on income tax, commodity tax and cross-border tax issues, including transfer pricing, marketing and advertising, privacy, employment and real estate matters.

We are active in industry organizations and offer timely and insightful industry information to help our clients stay abreast of legal developments and trends.


Representative Matters

  • Obtaining a favourable ruling for one of the world’s leading manufacturers of life-saving cardiac devices dismissing the claim after an 18-month trial, in the first medical device product liability class action to go to trial in Canada.
  • Defending product liability class actions across Canada against multinational manufacturers of pharmaceutical and over-the-counter medicines and medical devices, including gastro-intestinal, pain, antipsychotic, cough and cold medicines, contraceptive, obstetric and gynecological products, and cardiac and orthopedic devices.
  • Advising several multinational life sciences companies on the Canadian aspects of global acquisitions, including competition/antitrust matters, post-closing integration, commercial, intellectual property and regulatory issues.
  • Advising a major distributor of health-care systems, medical supplies and pharmaceutical products in its C$925-million acquisition of a major retail pharmaceutical banner business, an independent franchise retail pharmaceutical business, and an ownership interest in software to support pharmacy dispensary systems and related intellectual property.
  • Preparing and prosecuting extensive intellectual property portfolios, including those relating to novel DNA markers for identifying certain forms of cancer, humanized antibodies for treatment against certain infections, prosthetic spinal implants, and the production of recombinant proteins and specialized in-situ delivery systems for such proteins.
  • Advising and assisting numerous pharmaceutical and device manufacturers and wholesalers and pharmacies on product approvals, pricing and reimbursement, product listing agreements, rebates, professional allowances, interchangeability of drugs, conflict of interest issues, procurement matters, and freedom of information requests relating to pricing.
  • Providing advice on Patented Medicine Prices Review Board issues, drug advertising, drug import and export issues, and clinical trials.
  • Advising, drafting and negotiating industry-specific agreements, including those relating to collaborations, technology transfers, licences, and product manufacturing and distribution
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 INDUSTRY RECOGNITION

 
Members of our Life Sciences group are recognized for their expertise in life sciences, intellectual property, product liability, class action defence, regulatory, advertising and marketing,  tax, transfer pricing, and corporate and commercial law in the most recent editions of the following publications:
  • Chambers Global: The World’s Leading Lawyers for Business
  • The Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory
  • The Lexpert/American Lawyer Guide to the Leading 500 Lawyers in Canada
  • The Lexpert Guide to the Leading US/Canada Cross-border Litigation Lawyers in Canada
  • Who's Who Legal: Life Sciences
  • Who’s Who Legal: Canada
  • Who’s Who Legal: Patent 
  • Who’s Who Legal: Business 
  • Legal Media Group’s Guide to the World’s Leading Litigation and Product Liability Lawyers
  • Legal Media Group’s The Best of the Best
  • Legal Media Group’s World’s Leading Transfer Pricing Advisers
  • Legal Media Group’s Guide to the World’s Leading Women in Business Law
  • Benchmark Canada: The Definitive Guide to Canada's Leading Litigation Firms and Attorneys
  • LMG Life Sciences
  • International Tax Review’s Tax Controversy Leaders
  • IAM 1000: The World’s Leading Patent Practitioners
  • Legal Media Group’s Guide to the World’s Leading Litigation and Product Liability Lawyers
  • Managing Intellectual Property IP Stars
  • The Best Lawyers in Canada

In 2015, Blakes won three LMG Life Sciences Awards. Two of the awards were presented to the following individuals: "Canadian Financial & Transactional Attorney of the Year" to Joseph Garcia and "Canadian Product Liability Attorney of the Year" to Gordon McKee. As a firm, Blakes received the "Canadian Financial & Transactional Firm of the Year". Joseph Garcia also received the "Visionary Leadership Award" from BIOTECanada GoldLeaf Awards 2015 and "Partner/Advisor of the Year Award" from Life Sciences BC Awards 2015. 

 

 PEOPLE

 
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Partner | Toronto
Toronto: 416-863-2635
Areas of Expertise: Litigation & Dispute Resolution, Copyright, IP Litigation, Technology, Life Sciences, Europe, United States, Business Crimes, Investigations & Compliance, Anti-Counterfeiting , Arbitration
Partner | Vancouver
Vancouver: 604-631-4236
Areas of Expertise: Capital Markets, Mergers & Acquisitions, Corporate & Commercial, Restructuring & Insolvency, Australia, Equity Capital Markets, Mining, Corporate Governance, Life Sciences, Technology
Partner | Montréal
Montréal: 514-982-4117
Areas of Expertise: Tax, Tax Controversy & Litigation, Mergers & Acquisitions, Venture Capital, Technology, Private Equity, Life Sciences, Aviation/Aerospace, Cannabis, Emerging Companies & Venture Capital
Associate | Vancouver
Vancouver: 604-631-3341
Areas of Expertise: Capital Markets, Mergers & Acquisitions, Equity Capital Markets, Mining, Mining Streaming & Royalties, Technology, Life Sciences
Associate | Toronto
Toronto: 416-863-5827
Areas of Expertise: Corporate & Commercial, Mergers & Acquisitions, Life Sciences, Food, Beverage & Agribusiness, Private Equity, Energy
Partner | Toronto
Toronto: 416-863-2269
Areas of Expertise: Class Actions, Constitutional & Charter of Rights, Product Liability, Privacy, Communications, Life Sciences, Infrastructure, Competition Litigation, Freedom of Information, Cybersecurity and Data Breach Response & Litigation, Cybersecurity, Government & Public Sector
Partner | New York
New York: 212-893-8223
Areas of Expertise: Mergers & Acquisitions, Capital Markets, Corporate Governance, Corporate & Commercial, Private Equity, Mining, Equity Capital Markets, Debt Capital Markets, United States, Venture Capital, Life Sciences, Mining Lending, Mining Streaming & Royalties
Partner | Toronto
Toronto: 416-863-2934
Areas of Expertise: Intellectual Property, Information Technology, Life Sciences, Arbitration, Copyright, IP Licensing & Agreements, Patents, Trade-marks, Technology, Anti-Counterfeiting
Patent Agent | Toronto
Toronto: 416-863-3166
Areas of Expertise: Patents, Life Sciences, India, Food, Beverage & Agribusiness, Intellectual Property
Partner | Montréal
Montréal: 514-982-4031
Areas of Expertise: Anti-spam, Drugs & Medical Devices, IP Licensing & Agreements, Information Technology, Privacy, Life Sciences, Retail & Consumer Products, Food, Beverage & Agribusiness, Cybersecurity
Associate | Toronto
Toronto: 416-863-3054
Areas of Expertise: Mergers & Acquisitions, Corporate & Commercial, Capital Markets, Private Equity, Banking, Life Sciences
Associate | Toronto
Toronto: 416-863-3063
Areas of Expertise: Life Sciences, IP Litigation, Technology, Patents
Partner | Toronto
Toronto: 416-863-5840
Areas of Expertise: Trade-marks, Copyright, IP Licensing & Agreements, IP Litigation, Hospitality & Leisure, Food, Beverage & Agribusiness, Life Sciences, Retail & Consumer Products, Anti-Counterfeiting , Cannabis
Associate | Toronto
Toronto: 416-863-2492
Areas of Expertise: Mergers & Acquisitions, Corporate & Commercial, Financial Services Regulatory, Financial Services, Life Sciences, Private Equity, Venture Capital, Technology, Mining, Insurance, Pension Funds Investment
Partner | Vancouver
Vancouver: 604-631-3307
Areas of Expertise: Capital Markets, Mergers & Acquisitions, Equity Capital Markets, Corporate & Commercial, Life Sciences, Private Equity, Technology
Partner | Toronto
Toronto: 416-863-3184
Areas of Expertise: Australia, Foreign Investment, Competition Litigation, Aviation/Aerospace, China, Technology, Misleading Advertising, Financial Services, Manufacturing, Oil & Gas, Energy, Retail & Consumer Products, Life Sciences, Competition & Antitrust, Abuse of Dominance & Reviewable Matters, Cartels & Criminal Investigations, Competition Law Compliance, Merger Review & Control, E-Discovery/SIRs, Mergers, Acquisitions & Divestitures
Partner | Montréal
Montréal: 514-982-4008
Areas of Expertise: Information Technology, Communications, India, Mergers & Acquisitions, Intellectual Property, Life Sciences, Copyright, IP Licensing & Agreements, Patents, Trade-marks, Gaming, Outsourcing, Cybersecurity, Defence, Emerging Companies & Venture Capital
Associate | Toronto
Toronto: 416-863-2399
Areas of Expertise: Class Actions, Product Liability, Constitutional & Charter of Rights, Freedom of Information, Litigation & Dispute Resolution, Life Sciences, Government & Public Sector
Partner | Toronto
Toronto: 416-863-2667
Areas of Expertise: Information Technology, IP Licensing & Agreements, Technology, Outsourcing, Life Sciences, Communications, Cybersecurity, Enterprise Risk & Crisis Response, Fintech, Consumer/Retail Financial Services, Cannabis
Partner | Toronto
Toronto: 416-863-2704
Areas of Expertise: Corporate & Commercial, Equity Capital Markets, Corporate Governance, Mergers & Acquisitions, Manufacturing, Life Sciences, Mining, Private Equity, Retail & Consumer Products, Africa, Europe, India, United States, Pension Funds Investment, Investment Funds, Investment Vehicles, Mining Lending, Mining Streaming & Royalties
Associate | Vancouver
Vancouver: 604-631-4278
Areas of Expertise: Capital Markets, Mergers & Acquisitions, Mining, Equity Capital Markets, United States, Mining Lending, Corporate & Commercial, Life Sciences, Mining Streaming & Royalties
Partner | Toronto
Toronto: 416-863-2467
Areas of Expertise: Mergers & Acquisitions, Corporate & Commercial, Private Equity, Life Sciences, Food, Beverage & Agribusiness, Automotive, Oil & Gas
Partner | Montréal
Montréal: 514-982-5020
Areas of Expertise: Corporate & Commercial, Life Sciences, Information Technology, Intellectual Property, Mergers & Acquisitions, IP Licensing & Agreements, Anti-spam
Partner | Toronto
Toronto: 416-863-3283
Areas of Expertise: Competition & Antitrust, Marketing & Health Regulatory, Life Sciences, Class Actions, Foreign Investment, Competition Litigation, Abuse of Dominance & Reviewable Matters, Cartels & Criminal Investigations, Competition Law Compliance, Merger Review & Control, Misleading Advertising, E-Discovery/SIRs
Associate | Toronto
Toronto: 416-863-2541
Areas of Expertise: Marketing & Health Regulatory, Privacy, Food, Beverage & Agribusiness, Life Sciences, Intellectual Property, Anti-spam, Drugs & Medical Devices, Retail & Consumer Products
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