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Current risk management issues in life sciences

Current risk management issues in life sciences

Various factors have recently combined to present challenges to life sciences businesses. As the Covid lockdown lifts and supportive measures put in place by the UK government and others across the world fall away, there is an increased risk of insolvencies and disputes arising from supply issues caused by the pandemic and Brexit.

Inflation has been entering economies across the world causing difficulties. Added to that, in response to the humanitarian disaster caused by the war in Ukraine, the worldwide sanctions on Russia and those aiding the Russian state and boycotts are also likely to cause business disruption globally.

Over recent months we have also seen developments in English law and procedure affecting the rights on termination of contracts in insolvency cases, and the law relating to force majeure has been reviewed in light of Covid - we have already had three judgments from the commercial court on force majeure so far this year. Another area of emerging risk is in relation to the growth of group actions and collective redress. Fuelled by litigation funders, the threat to larger corporates is growing.

On the regulatory side, the Competition & Markets Authority launched 10 antitrust cases in the pharmaceutical sector in the last six years with record fines imposed and directors disqualified and it continues to keep the sector under close scrutiny.

In light of the above, we will look at some topical risk management issues for life sciences businesses and provide an overview of key considerations in dealing with:

  • Rights and remedies where performance issues arise, including a review of the current state of the law in relation to force majeure
  • Termination of contracts. This can present challenges and getting it wrong can have significant consequences. We will look at some key do’s and don’ts in light of recent developments
  • The growth of collective and group redress and understanding how that risk might impact life sciences businesses and the effect of litigation funding
  • The types of conduct the CMA has targeted and what businesses can do to mitigate competition law risks

We will be joined by guest panellist Dr Rick Greville, Director, The Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry.

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