Healthcare + Life Sciences

The healthcare and life sciences industry is facing unprecedented change and growth brought about by rapid technical advances, profound changes in healthcare needs, the changing economics and constraints of healthcare and the fallout from COVID-19. Our healthcare and life sciences experts combine a commercial approach with in-depth technical and industry knowledge to help clients realise their objectives in this complex and rapidly evolving area.

Our Approach

Our multi-disciplinary healthcare and life sciences team comprises sector specialists from all parts of the firm. Many have technical life sciences qualifications in addition to their legal expertise. This breadth of expertise means we can respond to clients’ needs across the full spectrum of healthcare and life sciences matters.

Our services include:

  • Capital raising
  • Competition
  • Corporate, project finance and tax
  • Cyber security
  • Data and Privacy
  • Disputes and investigations
  • Employment
  • Real Estate + Infrastructure, including PPPs
  • Intellectual property + patents
  • Mergers & acquisitions
  • Private equity
  • Therapeutic Goods Regulation
  • Technology and digital

We advise:

  • Government departments, agencies and research bodies
  • Healthcare service providers, including hospital and day surgery operators and pathology, imaging and other diagnostic service providers
  • MedTech and digital health businesses
  • Pharma and biotechs
  • Private equity, venture capital and other investors
  • Private health insurers
  • Research institutes and clinical research organisations

International capabilities

We advise on global transactions. We work on cross-border and international deals as Australian counsel or lead counsel advising on transactional, competition and financing issues for some of the largest global healthcare players. The matters our IP and litigation lawyers are engaged in are invariably multi-jurisdiction disputes concerning globally significant technologies. Most of our partners and many of our lawyers have also practised in other jurisdictions at top-tier overseas firms (particularly London, New York, Tokyo, Hong Kong and Singapore). We enjoy close “best friends” relationships with the leading firms in all key foreign jurisdictions. This means we are not tied to the pre-determined connections of larger international firms but can provide seamless cross-border advice utilising the best lawyers in each jurisdiction.

Competition + Regulation

  • FitBit in relation to the Australian aspects of Google’s acquisition of its businesses.
  • Mylan on the Australian aspects of its merger with Pfizer’s Upjohn division to form Viatris
  • Elanco in relation to ACCC clearance for its US $7.6 billion acquisition of Bayer AG’s animal health business.
  • Microsoft on the Australian competition aspects on their $25 billion acquisition of Nuance Communications.
  • Allergan on the Australian aspects of its US$63 billion acquisition by AbbVie Inc.
  • Pfizer on the Australian competition law aspects of its US$66.8 billion merger with rival drug maker Wyeth.
  • Sanofi-Aventis on the competition aspects of its successful $560 million bid for the consumer business of Symbion Health.
  • Synthes on Australian regulatory and competition issues in relation to the US$21.3 billion merger with Johnson & Johnson.
  • Mylan on the US$5.3 billion acquisition of the Established Pharmaceuticals Division of Abbott Laboratories, Inc. in developed markets outside the US in relation to regulatory and competition issues in Australia.
  • Biomet on Australian competition law aspects of the US$13.35 billion merger with Zimmer.
  • Healthscope on the regulatory strategy and obtaining clearance from the ACCC to acquire Hunter Valley Private Hospital.
  • Amplifon on regulatory requirements to import, manufacture, distribute, advertise and offer for sale hearing aids and accompany software (as registered medical devices).

Intellectual Property + Patents

  • Clinical Laboratories, marketers of the “Harmony” non-invasive foetal DNA screening test, in relation to claims of patent infringement by Sequenom, Inc, which offers the competing “MaterniT21” genetic test. 
  • Engeneic on its patent dispute against Vaxiion Therapeutics in relation to the development of a unique mini-cell therapy for the treatment of cancer.
  • iNova Pharmaceuticals: representing iNova in an advertising injunction against Reckitt Benckiser, including a complaint to the TGA’s advertising compliance unit.
  • ResMed on multi-jurisdictional high stakes patent litigation to troubleshoot patent infringement allegations by Fisher and Paykel in Australia and a number of other jurisdictions, including the US, Germany and New Zealand.
  • A global agtech tech leader on highly complex tri-partite commercial arrangement for the development, and commercialization of genetically modified seed technology.
  • Healthshare NSW on IP projects and patent licence disputes, entitlement investigations, contractual licence issues and the formulation of effective dispute resolution plans.
  • Advising a leading medical innovator on a research and collaboration arrangement with an EU medical device company in the field of orthopaedics including strategic IP protection and licensing advice.
  • A leading Australian medical device manufacturer in relation to patent litigation, product development, regulatory issues and high value commercial arrangements in relation to surgical products.
  • Providing strategic advice on the clearance of new brands, protection and expansion overseas as well as managing either whole or part of the trade mark portfolios of a diverse range of clients across a range of sectors including leaders in the life sciences and healthcare sector, including: Edwards Lifesciences; Healius Health Care; iNova; Novotech; Sydney Children’s Hospital Foundation; and Selfcare. We also act for Fred Hollows and numerous pro bono clients across a diverse range of sectors.

Technology + Digital

  • Calvary on its joint venture with Medibank for the delivery of the My Home Hospital program for Wellbeing SA, one of Australia’s largest hospital in the home programs and which includes the delivery of acute medical care at home.
  • eHealth NSW on its Health Grade Enterprise Network (HGEN) project, a state-wide program to replace networking infrastructure across the State’s Health sites and hospitals.
  • Healius on the procurement of a new Laboratory Information System. This new system will transform the way that Healius’ laboratories operate and, once implemented, will drive efficiencies in its operations. Also advised on the implementation of business process outsourcing (BPO) of its accounts receivable and general accounting functions.
  • Healthshare NSW on the procurement of a new RIS PACS Solution as a Service. NSW Health is replacing its existing technology with a system that will improve current clinical practices and operation output through recording and tracking procedures. This work included advising on Procure IT.
  • An Australian health services platform in connection with data breach and privacy failure issues, as well as providing assistance in respect of an investigation by the OAIC, including dealings and communications with the Commissioner.
  • New Horizons on the procurement of a new CRM system that is to be delivered by multiple vendors.  We worked with New Horizons to negotiate agreements with each of the vendors, as well as to put in place arrangements designed to ensure the delivery of an end-to-end solution and to limit “finger-pointing” between vendors.
  • eHealth NSW on the proposed digitisation of the maternity “yellow cards” and baby “blue books” in NSW.
  • Metlife Australia on the design and implementation of a health and wellbeing platform and associated apps and health and wellbeing programs for use by its employees and nominated partners’ subscribers to improve health and wellbeing outcomes, including advising on the use, storage and transfer of personal information and data in connection with the new platform; providing Australian privacy and outsourcing regulatory advice in connection with MetLife global finance and cloud outsourcings, including data transfers offshores and reviews of internal privacy risks assessments.

Corporate - M&A & Equity Capital Markets

  • The Carlyle Group and Pacific Equity Partners on their joint $1.23 billion acquisition of iNova Pharmaceuticals.
  • Sonic Healthcare on the $750 million acquisition of Aurora Diagnostics and Independent Practitioner Network and on its $600 million placement to fund the acquisition of Aurora.
  • Crescent Capital Partners on the acquisitions of Clinical Laboratories; St John of God Pathology; the MyHealth Medical business; Sun Doctors; Healthcare Australia; National Dental Care; and National Home Doctor.
  • Australian Clinical Labs on its $408.6 million IPO and ASX Listing
  • Ansell on the US$600 million sale of its sexual wellness business.
  • Quadrant Private Equity on its acquisition of a 50% interest in St Ives Home Care Group.
  • TPG Capital on the acquisition of Novotech and Novotech’s subsequent acquisition of Clinical Network Services, the merger of Novotech and PPC to create Novotech Health Holdings and the sale process in relation to Novotech Health Holdings.
  • Johnson & Johnson on the sale to SK Capital Partners of its global narcotics business.
  • The Carlyle Group and Hellman & Friedman on the Australian aspects of their US$3.9 billion global acquisition of Pharmaceutical Product Development Inc.
  • Bain Capital Credit on the M&A roll-up of a series of aged cared businesses worth over $250 million.
  • Royal Philips on the acquisition of Australia Pharmacy Sleep Services.
  • Croma-Pharma Gmbh on the sale of its subsidiary, Croma Australia Pty Ltd, to Hugel America.
  • KKR in its acquisition and financing of Laser Clinics Australia.
  • Various clients on initial public offerings on the ASX for Doctor Care Anywhere (DOC), CleanSpace (CSX), Pacific Smiles Group (PSQ), Elixinol Global (EXL), Cover-More Group (CVO) and Lifehealthcare Group (LHC).
  • JP Morgan as lead manager and underwriter of the $1.2 billion placement by Ramsay Health Care.
  • Morgan Stanley and UBS (as Joint Lead Managers) on Healius' (then known as Primary Health Care) $250 million accelerated nonrenounceable entitlement offer to fund future strategic growth initiatives.
  • Credit Suisse and UBS on the underwriting of Mayne Pharma’s $850 million capital raising to fund its acquisition of Teva Pharmaceuticals.

Project Finance

  • Northern Beaches Hospital PPP: Advising Healthscope in relation to all operational, leases, financings, and construction project arrangements, operational associated with the Northern Beaches Hospital PPP.
  • Hobart Private Hospital: Advising Healthscope on the long-term contract to operate the Hobart Private Hospital.
  • Nexus Hospitals: Advising QIC on its acquisition of an approx. 75% interest in Nexus Hospitals.
  • Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre PPP: Assisting the Macquarie-led bidding consortium on the Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre PPP Project.
  • QEII Medical Centre Carpark PPP: Advising the financiers to the successful bidders for the QEII Medical Centre car park PPP.
  • Royal Adelaide Hospital PPP: Advising the Macquarie-led successful consortium on the Royal Adelaide Hospital PPP Project.
  • New Bendigo Hospital PPP: Advising the financiers to the successful consortium’s bid to construct and perform facilities management services for the New Bendigo Hospital PPP in Victoria.
  • Gold Coast Private Hospital: Healthscope in its project financing and project negotiations with Queensland Health and in its negotiations with a consortium of project financiers in relation to the Gold Coast Private Hospital.

Disputes and Investigations

  • Healthscope in relation to a contract dispute regarding the operation of the Northern Beaches Hospital.
  • NIB Limited in Federal Court of Australia proceedings brought by the ACCC, successfully defending allegations of misleading and deceptive conduct and unconscionable conduct in the sale of and changes to health insurance products.
  • A major life insurance company in connection with a significant ASIC investigation concerning claims handling.
  • Aged Care Royal Commission: Advising the Commonwealth and its departments and agencies on its response to the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality & Safety. Including access to and quality of health care services
  • Disability Royal Commission: Advising the Commonwealth and its departments and agencies on its response to the Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability. Including access to and quality of health care services.
  • National Home Doctor Service in its response to the Professional Services Review (PSR) process, which is investigating as to whether NHDS knowingly, recklessly or negligently caused or permitted an employed practitioner to engage in conduct that constituted inappropriate practice.
  • Healius, then known as Primary Healthcare, in two federal court proceedings to protect brands.
  • HealthEngine in relation to an ACCC investigation. This was successfully settled to our client’s satisfaction.

Real Estate

  • BUPA (then known as DCA Group) on the sale and leaseback of over 30 residential aged care facilities for the establishment of an aged care REIT.
  • Crescent Capital on a range of acquisitions including a range of pathology, dental and health related businesses and the sale and leaseback of warehouse and industrial properties.
  • AA Crown on the development and leasing of the Wollongong Private Hospital including lease negotiations with Ramsay Healthcare.
  • Good start Childcare advising a syndicate of charities, on the acquisition of the ABC Childcare Learning portfolio, involving the assignment of over 650 sites and Mission Australia on the acquisition of a smaller number of the ABC Childcare centres

Employment

  • Healius, then known as Primary Health Care, in relation to the separation of its health technology division and the subsequent sale of its subsidiary, Health Communications Network Pty Ltd to Affinity Private Equity. This includes advising Primary on the transfer of business issues related to the separation; carrying out employment diligence in relation to the health technology division; preparing executive service agreements (including retention incentive provisions) for senior executives; drafting letters to senior executives preserving their accrued incentive entitlements and advising on termination benefit issues under the Corporations Act.
  • Life Healthcare in relation to regularly and successful advising on the employment of persons subject to post employment restraints of trade frequently in the context of demand letters from the person’s former employer.
  • Sphere Healthcare in relation to obtaining and executing a civil search warrant and injunction against an employee who was preparing to compete with Sphere. The proceedings were successfully settled on the basis of the employee submitting to agreed orders.

 Merger Control Matter of the Year - Americas - AbbVie's $63 billion acqusistion of Allergan

GCR Awards 2021

Merger Control Matter of the Year - Europe - Google's US$2.1 billion acquisition of Fitbit

GCR AWARDS 2021

Healthcare, Pharma & Biotech Deal of the Year - AbbVie's $63 billion acquisition of Allergan

THE DEAL AWARDS 2020