PharmaTimes talks to some of pharma and healthcare’s most promising young leaders, already making waves in their companies and brightening the future
Emily Bottle, Herbert Smith Freehills, Senior Associate
What is your background, and what does your current role involve?
I am lawyer and I advise pharmaceuticals and diagnostics companies on patent litigation in the UK and Europe, and on product lifecycle management patent and regulatory strategies. I help life sciences companies resolve patent disputes and think strategically about their products, to protect their investment and enable further R&D.
Why the interest in pharmaceutical law and in particular patent litigation?
I’ve always been a scientist at heart and studied Natural Sciences at Cambridge University. After graduating, I wanted to find a career combining my love of science (and the rigour and logic that comes with it) with something more commercial. Training as a lawyer and then specialising in intellectual property has been a great way to strike this balance. The cases I work on are highly technical, so I need to steep myself in the fascinating innovative technology behind ground- breaking products and have the privilege of working closely with leading scientists. Then I can step back from the detail and apply what I’ve learnt to help clients solve their legal challenges.
Which successes are you most proud of?
So far I’ve been lucky enough to work in London and Tokyo. Now I am based in Milan, HSF’s first office in Italy. Though I’m just one small part of the team that’s made the new office such a great success, I’m really proud to have contributed. It’s been fantastic to see us more than double in size in just over two years, and to be able to work closely with my Italian colleagues and others across our network to provide clients with leading pan-European advice. I’m also really proud of the awards our team has won for cases on which I’ve worked - thanks to our clients, we’ve been recognised a number of times. It’s a real testament to the quality and importance of our work.
What do you hope to achieve in your role at HSF?
I’d like to be recognised not just as a patent litigator, but as a life sciences specialist. The only way to give our clients the best advice is to fully appreciate the environment in which they are operating – not just intellectual property, but regulatory issues, anti-trust concerns, pricing tools and so on. As well as building my own career I would like to help build the careers of others I work with. Women still tend to be in the minority in both science and the legal community, particularly at more senior levels. Our clients and colleagues across the sector want to see increased diversity – diverse teams perform better and are more innovative – and I want to be part of this change.
What drives your passion to succeed?
It is really exhilarating to get to know our clients, and the technology at the heart of their products, and then to look after them all the way from developing a case strategy, to winning at trial and beyond. Working with some of the most innovative life sciences companies and helping them use the legal tools available to enforce their rights and defend themselves ultimately means they can translate their breakthrough science into a positive impact for patients.