Multi-jurisdictional disputes

Recent experience includes:

Primer Design Limited and Novacyt S.A.

Acted for Primer Design Limited and its dual-listed (Euronext and LSE) French parent company, Novacyt S.A., defending a £134m claim brought by the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care and PD's £81m counterclaim to recover sums due from DHSC under unpaid invoices. Both claims arose out of a +£200m commercial contract to supply COVID-19 testing kits, instruments and ancillary services.

The dispute involved high-value claims both by and against both parties, namely the Government and a leading publicly listed company in the Life Sciences sector. The dispute arose from conduct by the government and NHS at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, involving high-value public procurement decisions. It was the largest claim of its kind.

The case was listed for a four week trial June-July 2024, and settled on the first day.

GlaxoSmithKline (GSK)

Advised global healthcare company GSK on a number of matters, including:

  • Acting as coordinating counsel in relation to what was probably the largest piece of trade mark pharmaceutical litigation to date. The dispute was between two of the largest pharmaceutical companies globally, related to the third best selling pharmaceutical product of all time and spanned 30 different countries. Jurisdictions included UK, Germany, Norway, Sweden, South Korea, Denmark, Ireland, Estonia, Latvia, Australia, and the United States.
  • Providing a global 3D trade mark protection and enforcement strategy to GSK in relation to its multi billion pound medical device. As part of its work, Stephenson Harwood acted as coordinating counsel to achieve successful preliminary injunctions in Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Germany and South Korea against multiple generic companies. Proceedings were also initiated in the UK but settled shortly before trial.
  • Working with local counsel to obtain a successful preliminary injunction in Sweden against a generic company that had copied our client’s distinctive colour combination getup. This matter is currently before the Swedish supreme Court.

Vaccine Developer

Advised an international COVID-19 vaccine developer in relation to a dispute with BEIS / UKHSA regarding a claimed refund of cash flow advances and pre-payments pursuant to a Vaccine recommendations, including advice on settlement strategy.

Joint venture dispute

Providing Hong Kong law advice and arbitration representation to a pharmaceutical company in relation to multi-jurisdictional claims surrounding rights to medical technology in Mainland China.

International specialist healthcare company

Advised this company in relation to a multi-million pound claim for unpaid royalties under a patent and know-how licence.  Following the initiation of legal proceedings, the dispute was settled successfully at mediation resulting in a significant payment to our client.

Purple Surgical UK Limited

Advised the Plaintiff (a leading medical appliances manufacturer in UK, which is also a long time supplier of the National Health Service of the government of UK) which in May 2020 entered into a sale and purchase agreement to purchase five million 3M surgical masks from the Defendants with a purchase price of US$27 million. The full amount of purchase price was transferred to an escrow agent in California, the USA.

Multinational biopharmaceutical company

Secured a successful settlement shortly before trial in relation to the defence of a claim for approximately £60 million in allegedly unpaid royalties under a patent and know-how licence relating to antibody technology.

Biopharmaceutical company

Advised this company in relation to a dispute regarding the alleged misuse of third party confidential information in pharmaceutical manufacturing technology.


Advised India's largest biopharmaceutical company in relation to a cross-border product liability dispute against a French listed company specialising in cancer medications.

Laya Healthcare

Advised this company within the framework of a litigation of claim cover in progress before the High Court of Montauban in connection with compensation for bodily injury.

UK litigation - Preventing unauthorised use

Advising on a dispute in which a third party was using our client’s name to sell substandard PPE. Following our involvement, the third party promptly rebranded.

UK litigation - Protecting well known getup

Advising on a passing off dispute in relation to our client’s OTC emollient product for the treatment of eczema and other skin conditions. The third party had copied our client’s well known getup and agreed to change following our firm’s involvement.

Copyright - Patient Reported Outcome Questionnaires

Providing a copyright enforcement and protection strategy in relation to our client’s FDA approved patient reported outcome questionnaire in relation to patient’s experience with varicose veins during therapy.

Trade mark disputes

Advising in relation to a trade mark dispute to ensure our client can use its preferred name for its interventional and immuno-oncology business.

Trade mark clearance advice (including regulatory name safety)

Providing trade mark clearance advice, including regulatory name safety clearance, in relation to the launch of multiple prescription products in the UK, EU and beyond.

Trade mark disputes

Advising a French pharmaceutical company in relation to a third party that was infringing one of its trade marks.

Parallel imports

Advising a well known pharmaceutical company in relation to a parallel importer that was applying our client’s trade mark to products that were not put onto the market with our client’s consent.

3D and colour protection

Obtaining multiple 3D and colour trade marks in the UK, EU and beyond for our pharmaceutical clients.