Healthcare & Life Sciences

William Fry is recognised as a leading law firm for Healthcare and Life Sciences work, providing transactional and regulatory advice to some of the world’s leading companies.  Our client base includes a number of the top Pharmaceutical, Biotechnology and Medical Device companies, as well as leading healthcare providers, pharmacies, health insurers and related professionals.

Our integrated team operates on a cross-departmental basis, enabling us to provide specialist advice on a range of issues, including:

  • Clinical advisory work to healthcare professionals, institutions and indemnifiers 
  • Healthcare litigation in cases of clinical negligence claims, fitness to practice hearings,  Coroner’s Inquests
  • Regulatory issues around the research, manufacture, labelling, advertising, marketing and distribution of pharmaceutical, biotech and related products,
  • Product liability and recall issues
  • Judicial review of regulatory authorities.
  • Intellectual property law advice, including patent licensing, infringement and invalidity issues
  • Corporate structuring and commercial agreements
  • Fund-raising 
  • Taxation advice
  • Mergers, acquisitions and IPO’s

Our knowledge and experience in advising companies in this sector enables us to understand our clients’ needs and to work with them to provide innovative solutions to legal issues.

BioMarin Pharmaceuticals Inc on its agreement to buy a bulk biologics manufacturing plant from Pfizer for US$48.5m

The Sodexo Group on the purchase of a majority interest in Zehnacker Ireland Holdings Limited which will trade as Sodexo Zehnecker Healthcare

Olympus Corporation in the sale of its worldwide diagnostic systems business to biomedical test products maker, Beckman Coulter Inc, for a consideration of approximately €630 million. This was a multi-jurisdictional transaction that involved a complex pre-sale hive down restructuring

Pfizer (Warner Lambert, a wholly-owned company of Pfizer) in its successful defence of its Lipitor patents, blocking generic production of its product until expiry. Lipitor is the world’s largest selling anti-cholesterol drug, which generates annual worldwide sales of €7.7bn

AstraZeneca in the successful conclusion of the defence of its patent protecting its best selling drug Nexium

BiancaMed on its sale to ResMed, and on an on-going basis,  in the commercial exploitation of its patents with strategic partners including negotiating agreements with Omron Healthcare, a Japanese leader in healthcare solutions, Dorel Inc., one of the leading providers of healthcare solutions in the United States and iRhythm a leading international player in the cardiac rhythm monitoring sector

Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc on the Irish aspects of the US$200m acquisition by Eurofins Scientific SE of Lancaster Laboratories Inc

University of Pittsburgh Medical Centre (UPMC) in relation to its investment in the Beacon Hospital which involved a complex corporate restructuring, with tax, banking, intellectual property and detailed property and construction advices.  On an ongoing basis, we advise UPMC on its day to day operations at the Beacon Hospital.  We also act for UPMC in relation to its investment in the Whitfield Clinic in Waterford

Trinity Biotech plc on the €66m sale of its diagnostic coagulation business to Stago International S.A.S.

Millipore Corporation in connection with its €53bn global takeover by Merck KGaA

The Medical Protection Society on medical negligence claims, regulatory and medical ethics issues, attendances at Inquests in the Coroner’s Court and in relation to complaints against MPS Members to the Medical Council

EirGen Pharma Limited in respect of fundraisings and ongoing commercial and patent advice
Crospon Limited on an innovative mix of high tech and biotech to produce an industry first skin patch that acts as a “smart” drug delivery device. This transaction between a smaller Irish medical device company and an IT industry giant has attracted significant international industry and media interest
The State Claims Agency in defending a cohort of clinical negligence claims in the Circuit and High Court jurisdictions

Barchester Healthcare on the recently opened Knightsbrook Village retirement community and primary care centre in Trim, County Meath, Stewarts Hospital and other private healthcare providers

International Investment and Underwriting (IIU) and Hibernian Health (formerly VIVAS) Management on the recent sale of their majority stake in the health insurer VIVAS to Hibernian Group

Helix Health Group Limited on the €5m investment by the Diageo Ulster Bank Equity Fund Limited Partnership, and on-going commercial and intellectual property law advice

Pharmacies in the Irish pharmacy sector including Boots Retails (Ireland) Limited and Uniphar plc, on protection of their trade mark portfolios and other matters.

Oireachtas Finally Catching Up With Radical Developments in Assisted Human Reproduction

The General Scheme of the Assisted Human Reproduction Bill 2017 was approved by the Government on 3 October 2017. This long-awaited piece of legislation addresses legal issues over establishing parentage and introduces measures that will protect the best interests of all parties involved in AHR.

Ireland and the European Medicines Agency Prepare for Brexit

Ireland has set its sights on ensuring uninterrupted supply of medicines and assuming a greater role in EU regulatory activities post-Brexit.

EU Court of Justice holds that vaccines can be considered to be cause of illness even if absence of scientific link

The Court of Justice of the European Union has recently ruled that courts may consider vaccines to be the cause of an illness, even in the absence of scientific evidence confirming a link

Number of Companies Fined for Data Breaches Doubles in UK – A Sign of Things to Come

The number of companies fined for data breaches by the UK Information Commissioner's Office doubled last year, an indication for Irish businesses of what is to come when the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) takes effect next May

Further Delays to Ratification of Unified Patent Court Agreement

German President requested to delay the signing of legislation implementing the Unified Patent Court system

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"William Fry was instrumental in guiding us through all aspects of the complex transaction and due diligence. The expertise include Irish law, government contracting, tax, property, bank restructurings, real estate/leasing as well as general advice on the Irish business culture….Overall, the service provided by William Fry was excellent. At all times they approached matters with professionalism and with UPMC’s best interest……Our business objective was successfully completed. It would have been impossible without the counsel of William Fry. It was well worth the investment spend…..Excellent advisor to contracting matters with the Irish government.”
David Farner, Senior Vice President and Chief of Staff, UPMC


Department - Intellectual Property

"Very responsive and aware of the business aspects of a deal."
"Even though we are a small company, the firm gives us its full attention."

Chambers Europe, 2015 - Intellectual Property


William Fry ‘consistently delivers in-depth and accurate legal advice with speed and cost-effectiveness’. 
Legal 500 EMEA, 2014 - Intellectual Property


"The service has been second to none. The team consistently delivers and turns around in-depth, thorough and accurate advice with speed and cost-effectiveness."
"The team's outlook is always innovative and modern. The team is always very responsive and keeps us in the loop so we know where they are and what they are doing."

Chambers Europe, 2014 - Intellectual Property 


Sources say: “The advice we get is always grounded in our business interests.” “The team's outstanding knowledge of IP is second to none.”
Chambers Europe, 2013 - Intellectual Property


William Fry – Ranked as leading ‘Gold’ firm for Patent Litigation and Licensing in Ireland.


“One of the most prominent firms in the market”, William Fry Solicitors expertly handles a raft of contentious pharmaceutical mandates. 
IAM Patent 1000 – The World’s Leading Patent Practitioners 2012


Sources say: 'It is everything you need from a law firm. The team has the best knowledge of my sector that I have come across.' 'It is accommodating for small companies; we really feel like we get the best from it.'
Chambers Europe, 2012


William Fry ranked "Tier 1" as a leading intellectual property law firm in Ireland for contentious patent lawsuits.
Managing Intellectual Property Patent Survey 2012


Department - Litigation & Dispute Resolution

 "The team understands the process and issues, and can simplify any complexities. The lawyers are extremely responsive and go above and beyond what is expected of them." "This firm offers individuals with expertise and determination, who are easy to work with."
Chambers Europe, 2015 - Dispute Resolution


"Elite dispute resolution firm."
Legal 500 EMEA, 2015 - Dispute Resolution


Impressive client list and broad expertise including banking and financial services, IP and regulatory matters. Active in the field of professional discipline, covering a broad range of sectors including financial services and medical defence. "The lawyers can pull in all the firm's resources, and are commercially minded and responsive."
Chambers Europe, 2014 - Dispute Resolution

William Fry remains a popular choice with clients; ‘the strength of the team is of the highest order’.
Legal 500 EMEA, 2014 - Dispute Resolution

Sources say: “One hell of a practice. It got to grips with the practicalities and was a great sounding board for bouncing ideas off.” “I always feel as if I am the centre of attention and that I am a valued client.”
Chambers Europe, 2013 - Dispute Resolution


William Fry is ‘top class’.
Legal 500 EMEA, 2013 - Dispute Resolution


Sources say: 'William Fry always delivers, and will always exceed our expectations.'
Chambers Europe, 2012 - Dispute Resolution


William Fry provides "a practical yet innovative approach".
Legal 500 EMEA, 2012 - Dispute Resolution


Department - Corporate

"The legal advice is always given in a digestible, user-friendly format, and the team understands market practices well, not just in Ireland but internationally. It is sophisticated in what it does."
"The team is good at cutting through to the key issues and comprehensive in terms of identifying risks. The team is responsive, the level of care and attention is strong and the advice is clear to understand."

Chambers Europe, 2015 - Corporate & Commercial


William Fry’s team has ‘tremendous industry knowledge and experience’.
Legal 500 EMEA, 2015 - Corporate & Commercial


"We use William Fry because it has such a broad base. When you are doing a deal and it spans a number of sectors you get someone co-ordinating matters." "It is very much solution-oriented and presents us with a spectrum of outcomes which really helps with the decision-making process."
Chambers Europe, 2014 - Corporate

William Fry is "a very professional firm with a great breadth of legal and business acumen". 
Legal 500 EMEA, 2014 - Corporate & Commercial

Sources say: “If you are looking for exceptional work from smart, responsive people William Fry is the place to go.” “We get a Rolls-Royce service. The team can tackle any problem and I am treated like an individual not just a faceless client.”
Chambers Europe, 2013 - Corporate


William Fry will "stay at the table for as long as it takes to close the deal’ and its lawyers are ‘very strong negotiators'.
Legal 500 EMEA, 2013  - Corporate & Commercial


Sources say: 'William Fry is fabulous. It understands the issues clients face and ensures transactions progress smoothly.'
Chambers Europe, 2012 - Corporate/M&A 


William Fry’s 'first-class' team is capable of 'devising and delivering a solution' that clients are happy with.
Legal 500 EMEA, 2012 - Corporate & Commercial



David Carthy
David Carthy is  ‘knowledgeable’.
Legal 500 EMEA, 2015 - Corporate & Commercial


“Overall David was outstanding as our lead attorney and advisor.  His strengths included client relations, listening, communication skills, background of knowledge in healthcare, breadth of knowledge, ability to mobilize firm resources as necessary.  As lead partner for the engagement, David was integral to each aspect of the complex transaction.  His counsel, experience and negotiation skills are excellent.”
David Farner, Senior Vice President and Chief of Staff, UPMC


David Cullen
"An absolute expert and key leader," David Cullen "understands not only where our business is, but what our plans are, how we want to grow and what the consequences are," enthuse clients.
Chambers Europe, 2014 - Intellectual Property

David Cullen is a firm favourite with clients and is described as “calm and considered, with a wealth of knowledge about the area.”
Chambers Europe, 2013 - Intellectual Property


David Cullen is ‘one of the best in the business’.
Legal 500 EMEA, 2013

As well as winning plaudits for his technical ability, David Cullen is lauded as a 'superb negotiator. He can see around corners and anticipate the issues that will arise.'
Chambers Europe, 2012


David Cullen is ‘one of the best in the business’.
Legal 500 EMEA, 2012


Carol Plunkett
Sources are effusive in their praise of outstanding contentious lawyer Carol Plunkett, with one saying: "She's one of the most experienced litigators in Dublin. Having dealt with cases across a huge spectrum, nothing will phase her at this stage." Another comments: "She is practical and knowledgeable, and understands commerciality. She manoeuvres around the issues very smoothly."
Chambers Global 2015 - Dispute Resolution


Carol Plunkett is a ‘seasoned litigator’ with 'great instincts'. 
Legal 500 EMEA, 2015


Carol Plunkett is described by clients as "hands-on and accessible, with excellent communication. She instils this culture in all her team and keeps everyone up to speed."
Chambers Global 2014 - Dispute Resolution

Carol Plunkett is widely acclaimed as “just brilliant. She has fantastic expertise in both intellectual property and commercial litigation.”
Chambers Global 2013 - Dispute Resolution

Carol Plunkett complements her reputation as one of the leading IP litigators in the market with a substantial regulatory practice, and comes highly recommended by her clients.'
Chambers Global, 2012


Fiona Barry
Fiona Barry is 'excellent’.
Legal 500 EMEA, 2015


Fiona Barry is a key member of the insurance litigation team, with notable experience on medical negligence matters. Her clients include Medical Protection Society, Veterinary Defence Society and Dental Protection.
Chambers Europe, 2014 - Insurance

Fiona Barry specialises in healthcare litigation, acting for the Medical Protection Society on the defence of negligence claims.
Chambers Europe, 2013 - Employment


Clients value Fiona's input, praising her as being “receptive to our needs. She supports and assists our clients.”
Chambers Europe, 2013 - Dispute Resolution

Key Contacts

Laura Scott Partner

Fiona Barry Partner

Sinead Keavey Partner

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