Life Sciences

What people say about us

Life sciences

The directories

Chris Shelley helps research institutions, their spin-outs and emerging biotech innovators find investors and capital markets funding, and advises on collaboration and licensing agreements. 'Chris is an absolutely solid and very experienced practitioner in the Oxford start-up scene.'

Chambers UK - 2021 edition

Chris Shelley in Oxford and the London-based Anna Frankum oversee the IP offering at Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP. Respectively known for their work in life sciences and education, they handle a broad range of matters covering patent licensing and passing-off.

The 'outstanding' team acts for both buyers and sellers in mid-market M&A transactions, particularly in the technology and life science sectors. Will Axtell and James Went operate from the Oxford office; the former leads on large technology transactions, while the latter specialises in M&A and venture capital financing.

The 'brilliant' team 'knows what needs to be done for early-stage companies without over-complicating'. It is also noted for its 'outstanding' technology transfer expertise and is involved in a raft of spin-out work.

Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP has a cross-office biotechnology practice with a significant presence in Cambridge, where commercial IP specialist Rachel Bradley is the lead partner. The firm frequently acts for funders and universities in spinouts from academic research groups. Employment partner Hilary Aldred also plays a key role.

The Legal 500 - 2021 edition

Penningtons Manches Cooper offers 'very practical and helpful advice' to major clients in the life sciences, technology and renewable energy sectors. Oxford-based partners Will Axtell and James Went specialise in M&A, fundraisings and AIM capital markets.

Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP's IP team has strong sector experience in life sciences and technology, handling a range of contentious and non-contentious cases for clients including patent and know-how licensing. Practice head Chris Shelley is notable for his work with universities and their spin-out companies, while senior associate Holly Strube is also a key team member.

Biotechnology is a key industry sector across the national network of offices of Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP, and the key lawyers in Cambridge advise start-ups and established life sciences companies on corporate, IP, IT, property and finance matters. The team has a dedicated IP, IT and commercial lawyer in partner Rachel Bradley and an experienced employment partner in Hilary Aldred.

The Legal 500 - 2020 edition

At Penningtons Manches LLP, biotechnology is a key industry sector across the firm's national network of offices and the key lawyers in Cambridge frequently advise start-ups and established companies in the sector on corporate and finance matters. Corporate partner Ross McNaughton plays a key part in the firm's life sciences team and last year he assisted a drug discovery company with drafting and negotiating a master services agreement for the provision of data room services by a US company, which involved complex issues around data protection. Senior associate Rachel Bradley in the IP, IT and commercial practice has more than 12 years' experience, which includes a stint as corporate counsel for a pharmaceutical company.

Life sciences continues to be another area of specialism for the firm in the Thames Valley; technology and life sciences expert Will Axtell advised the management team of Timico on a £50m investment from Lyceum Capital and Chris Shelley advised the shareholders of Oxford Gene Technology on its acquisition by Sysmex Corporation.

The Legal 500 - 2019 edition

Chris Shelley of Penningtons Manches LLP advises on licensing agreements of the treatment of IP rights in corporate transactions. Interviewees say: ‘He is a very good technical lawyer who also has very good commercial awareness.’

Chambers UK - 2018 edition

The patent practitioners at transactional titan Penningtons Manches deploy their keen commercial instincts and deep sectoral knowledge to superb effect. The South East is their natural stomping ground, thanks to offices in London, Basingstoke, Cambridge, Guildford, Oxford and Reading; but their patrons hail from all corners of the world.

IAM Patent 1000 – The World’s Leading Patent Practitioners 2016

This 'formidable player in licensing' is number one choice for licensors and licensees in the innovative high-technology industries of the Thames Valley region; clients originate from both public and private sectors.

IAM Strategy 250 – The World’s Leading IP Strategist

Our clients

Evotec has, for more than 15 years, had excellent contact with what I consider to be the leading law firm in Oxford and the Thames Valley. Their lawyers all have top experience and deliver really excellent services - at rates which are not as high as London City hourly rates.

Christian von Spiegel, Senior vice president legal, Evotec AG

The team pulled out all the stops in an often complex negotiation, working to tight timescales with key participants located in UK, USA and Australia. We are delighted with the successful outcome.

Steve Ruston, CEO, Prolysis (now Promic)

We appointed them as our lawyers and have been very pleased with the responsiveness and commercial attitude of the team.

Chas Taylor, CEO, Veryan Medical

Throughout the transaction process, we were able to rely on timely and effective guidance from the Penningtons Manches team and would like to thank them for their support on this important strategic milestone for our business.

Cepta Kelly, Legal director, Rayner Group

The quality of advice, the service and the commitment that we received from the firm was just superb.

Mike Adlam, Chief executive officer, Particle Therapeutics

The lawyers we have worked with have expertise in the various intellectual property, regulatory and technical issues that we face on a daily basis. They are responsive and deliver advice in a succinct, precise and refreshingly straight-forward manner.

Frida Grundberg, Senior counsel, UCB Celltech

You’re very easy to get on with – very personable. [Working with you] is a very collaborative experience.

Zoe Evans, Ex-general counsel and company secretary, EUSA Pharma

I deal with a lot of lawyers of different persuasions but I can honestly say that the two of you are by far the best I have worked with. Your professionalism, knowledge and legal acumen has been outstanding. [You are] tenacious and loyal and not afraid of a fight, but with an understanding of the landscape that we found ourselves in. I am glad you guys are on my side.

Stephen Carter, CEO, SUDA

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Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP

Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP is a limited liability partnership registered in England and Wales with registered number OC311575 and is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority.

Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP