DibbsBarker Welcomes New Special Counsel with Life Sciences and Healthcare Expertise

DibbsBarker is pleased to announce the arrival of Andrew Rankine as a new special counsel in the Sydney office.

Andrew is an intellectual property law specialist whose practice encompasses both litigation and advisory work. Armed with honours degrees in medicine and biological science, as well as five years as a practising clinician before moving into law, Andrew brings unique industry insight to his work and will further strengthen DibbsBarker’s life sciences and healthcare offering. He joins the firm from Ashurst.

Andrew has acted for major players in the pharmaceutical, medical device and biotechnology spheres over many years. He has represented both generic pharmaceutical companies such as Apotex, Actavis and Sandoz, and originator companies including Wyeth (before its merger with Pfizer) and Sanofi-Aventis.

Andrew is well versed in patent litigation, having conducted numerous revocation, infringement, amendment and interlocutory injunction proceedings in the Federal Court of Australia and the Full Federal Court. His long list of credentials includes acting for global biotechnology company Novozymes, a world leader in bioinnovation, in patent infringement and validity proceedings relating to enzyme technology. Andrew is also experienced in conducting opposition proceedings before the Australian Patent Office, and providing strategic advice on freedom to operate, patent validity and patent term extensions.

Andrew has intimate knowledge of Australia’s regulatory regime in the pharmaceutical, medical device and biotechnology spheres, underpinned by his experience working in the Office of General Counsel at the Australian Government Solicitor. In that role, he advised the Department of Health and Aging on Australia’s therapeutic goods legislation and the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme.

Andrew’s other intellectual property litigation experience encompasses copyright infringement, trade mark infringement, misleading and deceptive conduct, passing off and trade secrets cases in the Federal Court and Federal Circuit Court. He acted for Sanofi-Aventis in high profile copyright infringement proceedings relating to a product information document for a pharmaceutical product, and represented Pharmacor in preliminary discovery proceedings in which an innovator pharmaceutical company alleged misleading and deceptive conduct arising from marketing claims relating to bioequivalence.

Melissa McGrath, head of DibbsBarker’s Intellectual Property, Technology & Competition team, has described Andrew’s arrival as “a huge coup for our team, and for the firm as a whole.” She said: “Andrew is a triple threat – he is a technically excellent lawyer on both the litigation and advisory sides of the coin, and he has unrivalled industry insight with his background in the healthcare sector. Andrew will be an invaluable member of DibbsBarker’s Life Sciences & Healthcare industry group, which has been moving from strength to strength.”

Commenting on his appointment, Andrew said: “What attracted me most to DibbsBarker was the firm’s clear focus on life sciences and healthcare. The firm’s existing client base is truly outstanding, which I think is a testament to the breadth and depth of expertise on offer. DibbsBarker is genuinely well placed across the board to provide a full suite of services to clients in these industries. I think that’s unusual, and I am excited to be on board.”

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