Canada is an important forum for life sciences patent litigation, particularly in the pharmaceutical industry. The market is dominated by patented medicines notice of compliance (PMNOC) cases between generic and innovator companies. The large volume of life sciences cases has created a vibrant, highly competitive market of IP-focused firms. These offer clients high service levels founded on deep specialist knowledge and longstanding expertise in the area. Given the tension between generics and innovators, most firms opt to advise either one or the other exclusively, though the line has begun to blur due to the creation of generic branches in innovator companies and vice versa. Either way, the market will remain active and profitable as firms continue to expand their life sciences practices.
Anthony Creber is the leading litigator in Gowling Lafleur Henderson’s Ottawa office. His core expertise is pharmaceutical and patent law and he is “a true patent expert and an insightful litigator”. Sources agree that he is “the big-hitter for innovator litigations”. “No one works harder” than Harry Radomski, head of Goodmans’ IP litigation group; he is hailed as “the most skilled and experienced litigator representing generics” in the market.
Most visible at Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt is David Aitken, who is known for his strong general litigation practice, including life sciences work. He is an “excellent cross-examiner who can really skewer a witness”. Belmore McIntosh Neidrauer founding partner and Gowlings alumnus Neil Belmore has a practice that places special emphasis on pharmaceutical matters; he is commended for his “vast PMNOC experience” and is described as “an inventive, worthy opponent”. Also praised for his strong PMNOC portfolio is Goodmans’ Andrew Brodkin, described as “a master advocate, fabulous on his feet”. Ron Dimock of Dimock Stratton is widely recognised for his patent successes and maintains a broad IP practice; life sciences highlights include work for Mycogen Plant Science, Novartis Vaccines and Boston Scientific. Sources say he is “an expert litigator”. Pharmaceutical patent litigation is at the core of Gunars Gaikis’s practice at Smart & Biggar/Fetherstonhaugh. He is “a highly accomplished and confident litigator” who works largely on behalf of innovator companies. Gardiner Roberts continues to expand its IP practice with the recent addition of the “extremely knowledgeable” Carol Hitchman. She is “an extremely effective defendant” for generic pharmaceutical companies. Patrick Kierans at Ogilvy Renault is lauded for his “wonderful pharmaceutical case knowledge”; he is recognised for his experience advising innovator companies. McCarthy Tétrault’s Andrew Reddon is “a confident trial counsel and a skilled advocate” known for his PMNOC work. William Richardson, founder of McCarthy Tétrault’s life sciences group, is “a very solid, thorough performer”, although he is less hands-on in patent matters than in other areas. Making great strides in the field is Judith Robinson at Ogilvy Renault; she shows “strength and wisdom” in her litigation cases. Most visible at Torys LLP is the “deeply knowledgeable” Andrew Shaughnessy, who wins praise for his “client-focused approach and thorough preparation”.
Cameron MacKendrick LLP founding partner Don Cameron is a “well-respected and capable litigator” whose litigation practice includes patent, copyright and trademark matters. On the life sciences side, he has handled pharmaceutical and medical device cases. Dino Clarizio joined the Goodmans team in 2008; he is “an extremely knowledgeable and solid lieutenant” with impressive contentious and non-contentious patent experience. Recommended at Ogilvy Renault is the “very good” Brian Daley, who maintains a wide-ranging trademark and patent litigation practice. Smart & Biggar/ Fetherstonhaugh’s Steve Garland is commended for his “excellent patent litigation practice”; he is “making a name for himself in life sciences”. Maintaining a broad practice, François Grenier of Leger Robic Richard is recognised as “a skilled litigator with extensive experience in patent law”. Interviewees recommend Sheldon Hamilton at Smart & Biggar/Fetherstonhaugh for his extensive experience in PMNOC cases and his “unflappable courtroom presence”. Fasken Martineau DuMoulin LLP senior partner Marie Lafleur has lately focused on pharmaceutical litigation, usually advising innovator companies. Commentators say she is “a gifted litigator” and admire her “strong back-up team”. John Laskin at Torys LLP maintains a broad business litigation practice, with a focus on IP. Clients commend his “superior advocacy skills”. Robert Macfarlane, heads up the litigation group at Bereskin & Parr; he is a “well-respected, practical IP litigator”. McCarthy Tétrault’s Steven Mason comes recommended for his “sound instincts and deep technical knowledge”. James Mills has recently moved from Gowling Lafleur Henderson to join the partnership at Borden Ladner Gervais LLP; he is “an excellent advocate” whose recent work includes PMNOC cases. Working closely with Radomski and Brodkin at Goodmans is Richard Naiberg; he “really knows his strategy” when it comes to highly technical cases. “Long-time IP expert” Arthur Renaud, who heads up Bennett Jones LLP’s IP group, is “a superb litigator” with growing experience in the life sciences, particularly in generic pharmaceutical work. Leading the Heenan Blaikie LLP Toronto litigation team is Jon Stainsby, who maintains a broad practice; he is “a fearless fighter in court”. Recent successes include prevailing against Eli Lilly on behalf of Novopharm in a precedent-setting case.
Torys LLP up-and-comer Andrew Bernstein is singled out for his “nuanced knowledge of patent law”; interviewees agree he is “incredibly clever”. Bennett Jones LLP’s Dominique Hussey is a young partner praised for her “commercially minded approach”. Bradley White at Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt is also winning a reputation in the field: he specialises in pharmaceutical litigation and is “highly efficient and commercially minded”. The “very effective” young partner Peter Wilcox at Torys LLP is recognised for his extensive experience in pharmaceutical litigations.