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Meet our Associate Member Spotlight for October: Norton Rose Fulbright

The “Associate Member Spotlight” is a chance for CHP Canada to profile the associate members who contribute to the achievements of CHP Canada and the success of the consumer health products industry as a whole.

Each month a different associate member is put in the “spotlight.” This includes being featured on our website homepage, blog, and e-newsletter, outlining the fantastic services and/or products the associate member has available to our members.

This month’s “Associate Member Spotlight” goes to Norton Rose Fulbright for their continued contributions and involvement with CHP Canada and the consumer health products industry.

We conducted a short interview with Randy Sutton, Partner and Chair Canadian Life Sciences and Health Care Practice, which provides a better understanding of what this great company has to offer:

1. Tell us about Norton Rose Fulbright Canada:

Norton Rose Fulbright is a global law firm with 3800 lawyers and legal staff based in more than 50 cities around the world. In Canada, we have offices in Calgary, Montréal, Ottawa, Toronto, Québec City, and are expanding into Vancouver as of January 1, 2017 by way of a merger with Bull, Housser & Tupper.

As a firm, we distinguish ourselves from many other Canadian law firms due to our global reach and our industry focus. One of the industry sectors we focus on is the life sciences and health care sector. As a result, we have had the opportunity to assist many innovative pharmaceutical, consumer health, biotechnology and medical device companies, including many CHP Canada members with market-leading legal advice. 

Our industry-centered approach allows us to bring together lawyers, patent agents, trade mark agents and other legal staff whose focus is to gain an understanding and to provide advice on the legal dimensions of not only our client business, but also the life sciences and health care industries more broadly so we can ensure our advice is commercially sound and consistent with trends in these industries.  

We advise clients on a full range of their legal issues, including intellectual property, consumer protection, product liability, commercial, regulatory, employment, competition, marketing and advertising. 

Many of our lawyers and professionals have scientific backgrounds enabling us to advise on all aspects of a product’s life cycle,  from innovation, development, commercialisation and exploitation, through to contentious proceedings before the courts and regulatory authorities.

2. What are the biggest challenges you face as a legal company in Canada?

Both the legal and the consumer health products industries have undergone significant transformations in the past few years. An important challenge therefore, as a legal service provider, is to ensure that we are able to provide high calibre legal advice that reflects this ever-changing environment. To meet this challenge, we have continued to ensure our team invests the time and energy required to understand market trends our clients are facing. For example, we recently launched a risk advisory practice which works with clients in the life sciences and health care sector to identify current and future risks, and ensure they have a firm understanding of their risk exposure and a robust governance, risk and compliance strategy in place to manage and minimize risk. Our involvement with CHP Canada is extremely valuable in this regard, as we gain insight into impact of trends and developments on this industry in Canada.

As a law firm, the globalisation of the legal profession has also brought new challenges and opportunities. Clients are subject to more demanding regulatory regimes and significant legal risks both globally and locally. At the same time, they are looking for efficiencies and cost savings in the provision of legal services. We have taken on this challenge and are in the midst of our Project 2020, focusing on globally aligned business process efficiencies like legal hubs and the development of innovative agile working techniques through our “Working Differently” program. We expect the legal profession will be transformed and we want to ensure we are leading that transformation.

3. What are some recent trends that Norton Rose Fulbright has witnessed in our industry?

Increased regulation both in Canada and globally: Consumer health products continue to be a specific focus of regulators in Canada. In addition, we have seen increased regulation, which impacts this sector, whether it be anti-spam, privacy, consumer protection, product safety or even anti-corruption regulations. We expect this trend will continue, which is why organizations such as CHP Canada are critical to ensure the industry’s voice is heard.  

Increased litigation targeting consumer health product companies, particularly in the form of class actions: Consumer health product companies continue to be targeted in relation to claims arising from recalls, alleged misleading advertising and product safety issues. We have been involved in a number of cases in which plaintiffs have taken litigation from the United States and tried to advance it in Canada.

4. What do you value most about your involvement with CHP Canada?

As a member of CHP Canada, we value the opportunities the association provides for members to dialogue about issues relevant to the industry, including regulatory developments. We also think that CHP Canada’s events and education are very worthwhile and we frequently suggest that our legal staff attend these events to take part in the conversation with those in the industry. CHP Canada represents for us a strong voice and connector to industry and brings the tools, forum and opportunity to play a significant role in its mission to represent its members.

Want to learn more about the Associate Member Spotlight?
Contact Sherri Sheney at the CHP Canada office.