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Science, Research & Commercialisation

Clear advice for tomorrow's world.

As recognised external in-house lawyers, we provide legal advice quickly and in a form that is readily useable.


Becoming part of your internal team

Our team is made up of commercial lawyers focused on science and industry. Many of them have worked as in-house lawyers in STEM organisations, as well as in leading private practice law firms; and this team has gained the highest recognition by the Legal 500. In short, clients gain the benefit of City experience without incurring the fees normally charged by City law firms.

Our technical expertise includes the full range of intellectual property rights to enable the creation and negotiation of agreements for effective protection and exploitation of those rights, data protection and data/ material transfer agreements, guidance around security and governance, collaboration arrangements, large scale publicly funded consortium (and related) agreements, licensing and other research-based agreements. 

Focusing on your best interests

As the only law firm to be part of the Foundation for Science & Technology, our extensive network enables us to identify connections for our clients.

Meet our Science, Research and Commercialisation team

Our areas of focus

The speed and agility you need

We support publicly funded STEM, and work with principal investigators, research owners and the internal legal departments of a major UK and European universities, learned societies and institutes, together with a wide range of partners.

Our legal expertise includes advice on IP, research collaboration agreements, consortium agreements, licence agreements and the mainstream commercial agreements that result.

Our team is partner-led and holds highly specialist knowledge, contributing to STEM decision-making forums across the UK. We can act quickly on complex matters and within short timescales, and understand that, sometimes, your funding is dependent on our response.

We work with public and private funders

Oterm has allowed us, first hand, to appreciate and understand the various grants available to STEM organisations, plus the associated subsidy control (formerly State aid) issues.

We’re experienced in dealing with the particular sensitivities that can be attached to maintaining effective relationships with Government departments and other public and private funding bodies. We can help you choose the most appropriate procurement route, advise on running the tender process, prepare contract notices, review and advise on PQQ and ITT documents, and draft tender documents.

Clarity and certainty for spin-outs

Whether you’re based in a larger corporate organisation or a university, we appreciate the importance of tech transfer and when it is and is not appropriate; and draw on our deep expertise across the STEM spectrum. We work alongside you to negotiate key contracts, ensuring the outcomes reflect your needs. Our clients regularly ask us to prepare and help to implement their IP policies to ensure they recognise what’s of real value to them.

We always tailor our services and the way we work toegther to suit your goals and help you make decisions with confidence. As a client, you’ll also become part of our growing corporate network, which could help you develop new opportunities and expand your contacts in this area.

Pragmatic advice and clear direction throughout your clinical trials

We are legal commercial specialists for clinical research and translational medicine. 

We work to meet your critical deadlines, securing patients into clinical trials by identified start dates without ever compromising your patient safety, quality of care or IP.

Our work covers a wide range of academic institutions, NHS organisations, pharmaceutical companies, drug discovery companies, charitable organisations, charitable trading arms and CROs, across the UK and beyond. We have particular expertise in the biotech and medical device fields; along with knowledge in the sub-sectors of drug discovery and development, and e-health too, where our expertise extends to drug registration, regulation, pre-clinical trials, clinical trials, platform related services, and spin-outs.

Proceed with confidence

We are experienced in complex research collaboration and consortium agreements, together with a wide variety of other IP rich agreements; and understand the principles behind FRAND (fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory) licensing. Our technical expertise includes preparing and negotiating inter-institutional agreements and other types of multi-party research collaboration agreements to research and develop patentable scientific inventions and  technology; plus option agreements and licensing / assignment arrangements  for such inventions and technology ensuring a return to the funding partners subject to applicable State Aid / Subsidy control regime. You can rely on us to give you the clarity and certainty you need to draw up and negotiate your agreements with you and ensure the best possible outcomes for your valuable IP.

We design dependable data ecosystems

Drug discovery work is data-rich, and we have experience securing medicines all the way to front line clinical. We help design trustworthy and secure data ecosystems with applicable contractual frameworks to support them, and we partner with other practice areas in our firm to provide holistic advice on the establishment of complex data trust and data institution, or other data sharing arrangements. .

Seeing the bigger picture

Through broad business acumen and sharp insight into the life sciences sector, we advise boards, board committees, individual directors, officers and company managers on their duties, obligations and Corporate Governance liabilities; including those with oversight of audit, compensation, director nomination and governance matters. We also design and implement rules, practices and processes that balance the interests of the various stakeholders; including shareholders, management, customers, suppliers, funders, government and the wider community.

BPE partners are heavily involved as non-executive directors, and regularly appear as guest speakers at life sciences events.

Essential funding and IP protection

We work with several leading STEM universities in the UK and in Europe, providing clear, pragmatic advice and certainty on research related areas where panel firms can’t easily be used.

We know deadlines and funding can be tight, and we tailor our services and the way we work together to suit your goals; securing and protecting IP on behalf of universities, Catapults, spin-outs and commercial partners.

Experts in early stage tech, scale and venture capital

We’re experts in technology transfer, drawing on our lawyers’ deep expertise in STEM and the life science sector for universities and spin-out companies. Our expertise includes investment agreements, shareholder agreements, necessary assignments, licences and collaborations to protect the technology that will be your foundation. We also provide support in negotiating founders’ agreements and advise on employee benefits as spin-outs develop and hire key team members.

Showing a clear way forward

Our agile approach and clear direction always make it quicker and easier to resolve issues and make decisions with certainty. We prepare legal agreements to a high level of detail, ensuring compliance with both regulatory and legal requirements. Our team has experience of leading the negotiation of contracts and collaborative arrangements with international pharma companies, university teams of academics and legal/governance support and funding agencies; putting in place the contractual framework and legal agreements required for setting up research collaborations, research studies and pre-clinical to clinical trials.

We’re well connected too

Many of our technology lawyers have worked in the City’s top firms, and bring wide ranging experience and business acumen. We work with learned societies as well as major Government funded not-for-profit companies. Our intimate knowledge of the local ecosystem, combined with our extensive contacts in the sector, can help you develop new opportunities and grow your network further.

We lead the way in the future of data sharing

We’ve always been innovators. Now we’re the first law firm in the UK to establish and help operate data trusts, also known as data institutions.

Insights from big data, pooled through the legal framework of a data trust, could help us manage some of the biggest issues facing our planet, including climate change, food poverty, equal access to healthcare and reducing waste. Our Technology team has the experience needed to help you create and operate data trusts and we are one of only two law firms in the country to be awarded the tender to collaborate with the Open Data Institute on innovative data trust projects.

We help you run and use data trusts legally, practically and effectively

We apply our experience and knowledge of both technology and third party ownership of data to explore and demonstrate how data trusts can be used practically and effectively. We advise on all legal, contractual and regulatory aspects of data trusts to ring fence your liability and help you make complex decisions with certainty.

Our services include structuring the legal frameworks that enable data trusts to act as a neutral steward for the ethical and fair sharing of data, the preparation of Members Participation Agreements, scheme Rules, governance documents and outsourced managed service agreements with the platform’s technology provider(s).

We work with a range of organisations, helping them to submit data to trusts fairly and securely and in response to multiple, rolling projects. This ensures members can receive the data analytics and reports they need for public or industry benefit. We are helping to establish common rules for data security, competition, privacy, and confidentiality that enable all members of trusts to collaborate in this way.

Our projects include a pilot scheme for a collaboration between Local Authorities in London and the UK’s first fully functioning data trust which is pooling historic data at their industry level. Our life sciences expertise also includes working with cell lines and the de-identification of health data.

Sector Insights

Get in touch

Talk to us about your legal challenges and discover how our expert, pragmatic legal advice and broad commercial acumen can help.