NETfacts: Business

Meet our Associate Member Spotlight for March: Gowling WLG

This month’s Spotlight is Gowling WLG for their continued contributions and involvement with CHP Canada and the consumer health products industry.

1. Describe your business, your clients and the products/services you provide.

Gowling WLG is an international law firm with 18 offices around the world and industry-leading expertise across a number of practice areas — including product regulatory, advertising, corporate finance, mergers and acquisitions, intellectual property, tax, real estate, and employment and labour law.

Whether you’re a producer, manufacturer, importer, distributor or retailer, our leading team of business law professionals can provide you with integrated, cost-effective advice. From navigating complex regulatory regimes to obtaining the necessary government agency approvals, our team can help your business overcome challenging hurdles on its path to success.

2. Describe how your business benefits the OTC/self-care market.

Gowling WLG is well equipped to manage the broad spectrum of regulatory concerns that inhere in the NHP, food and beverage industry. Our service offering includes:

  • Label and packaging review, including nutrition claims and French language requirements
  • Representation before government departments and agencies
  • NHP licence and applications and amendments (NPN, or Natural Product Number), NHPID submissions and site licence submissions
  • Temporary Marketing Authorization Letters (TMALs) for non-compliant foods, food additive submissions and novel food submissions
  • Advice on product claims, such as organic, natural and gluten-free, health and weight-loss claims
  • Advice on safety and efficacy support requirements
  • Advice on product formulation, ingredient and environmental review
  • Pre-market product reviews

3. What innovative new products/services are you working on?

In response to the legalization of recreational cannabis in Canada in October 2018, Gowling WLG has established a team dedicated expressly to helping clients navigate the regulatory frameworks surrounding Canada’s burgeoning cannabis sector. Our professionals have rich insight into the unique issues and opportunities the sector faces, as well as a nuanced understanding of the regulations that govern it — including in relation to the Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations (ACMPR), the Cannabis Act and other government agency approvals.

From IPOs and consumer protection issues to intricate matters involving licensing, distribution, packaging and labelling, our professionals have the experience and skill to help your business succeed in this emerging sector.

4. Tell us about your people. What sets them apart from your competition?

Lewis Retik is a partner in Gowling WLG’s Ottawa office, practising primarily in the area of corporate commercial and regulatory law. Lewis’ practice focuses on regulatory and commercial issues relating to the commercialization of products, including regulatory licencing, product distribution, manufacturing, advertising, packaging and labelling. He regularly interacts with senior officials of government within such departments and agencies as Industry Canada, Competition Bureau, Health Canada, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency and Environment Canada.

Dr. Jon-Paul Powers is a partner and scientific adviser in Gowling WLG’s Ottawa office. He advises clients on a range of complex regulatory and compliance matters pertaining to foods, supplemented foods, natural health products and pet supplements. In addition to product and site requirements, J.P. assists clients in need of scientific support pertaining to health claim substantiation and marketing, health risk assessments, product testing and quality management systems. Prior to joining the private sector, he worked as an assessment officer and unit head with Health Canada’s Natural and Non-prescription Health Products Directorate, where his responsibilities included evaluating clinical trials and product license applications.

Outside of his consulting practice, Powers is a member of the board of directors of the Canadian Health Food Association (CHFA) and currently chairs both the CHFA’s Government Relations Committee and Natural Health Products Regulatory Affairs Advisory Council. 

5. Describe your mission and vision, and why your company makes a great business partner.

At Gowling WLG, we believe the best way to help our clients succeed is to be completely attuned to the realities of their business, placing as much emphasis on the commercial and practical sides of their industry as we do on legal issues. This approach helps us better understand your world and allows us to anticipate challenges and opportunities well in advance.

We pair this insider industry knowledge with an unwavering “client first” ethos. Members of our global firm work across borders and practice areas to ensure our service offering is precision matched to your unique needs. No matter the task, we build our teams around your world, delivering commercial value alongside outstanding legal advice.

For more information, contact Lewis Retik, Partner at Gowling WLG.

Your company can be featured in an Associate Member Spotlight!
Please contact Sherri Sheney at the CHP Canada office for more details.