March 29, 2019

Building a Healthcare Practice - A Business Lawyer Perspective

In today’s global marketplace, attorneys, whether they be in-house or in private practice, are being required to step in to resolve or opine on issues that are increasingly international in scope, particularly as such issues relate to the health law and life sciences field. For some attorneys, this can be a daunting task when one is unfamiliar or does not have a general working knowledge of international transactions and common pitfalls. Our program, while broad in scope, will provide an overview of a range of international transactions as they relate to the health law and life sciences field in an effort to highlight key considerations that health law attorneys should keep in mind as they navigate international transactions. Such transactions will include Mergers & Acquisitions, Clinical Trial-related transactions, and general commercial transactions.

First and foremost, when handling an international transaction of any kind, it is important to understand the culture of the countries involved. For example, there are some countries where it is expected that contractual terms are non-negotiable, or if negotiable, discussions or tracked changes in a working document cannot be conducted in English. Further, some countries require several transactional/administrative hurdles to ensure a contract is fully-executed and binding, such as payment of a duty stamp, or registration. Cultural differences also play a factor in how you interact with players in international transactions, including determining the acceptability of customary gifts while ensuring compliance with regulatory requirements such as anti-bribery/anti-corruption (ABAC) and physician payment reporting requirements. These hurdles can be challenging, particularly for attorneys who do not have a great deal of access to resources. Overcoming these hurdles generally comes with experience as one grows more comfortable handling commercial transactions in a given territory; however, our panelists will offer some suggestions and tips on how they have overcome some of these issues and hurdles in their respective practices.