Canada’s leading biotechnology lawyers

Lexpert presents the Canada’s leading biotechnology lawyers based on the results of our comprehensive yearly peer survey

Lexpert presents the Canada’s leading biotechnology lawyers based on the results of our comprehensive yearly peer survey. The complete list of the nation’s most recommended lawyers and law firms in the field can be viewed in our practice area rankings.

In our survey, biotechnology law encompasses legal issues stemming from how technology is used in the life sciences. The practice includes intellectual property protection arising from many disciplines, including biochemistry, microbiology, pharmacology, immunology, molecular biology and genetics. It also involves advise and representation relating to innovations applicable to agriculture, human and veterinary medicine and environmental protection and remediation.

Most frequently recommended biotechnology lawyers

Eileen M. McMahon

Law firm: Torys LLP


Year called to the Bar: 1987
City: Toronto

Eileen M. McMahon is a partner and the chair of the intellectual property and food and drug regulatory practices at Torys LLP. She specializes in the areas of IP, and food and drug regulatory law. McMahon advises on regulatory clearance and IP protection of products. Her expertise includes giving advice on identifying IP and regulatory assets, obtaining and maintaining market exclusivity using IP and regulatory laws, exploiting IP assets and enforcing IP rights. McMahon is a registered patent and trademark agent in the U.S. and Canada. She is highly recommended for her IP, biotechnology, licensing and regulatory practice in various publications internationally. McMahon is a member of the board of trustees of the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health. Her memberships and affiliations also include BIO, Intellectual Property Institute of Canada, Intellectual Property Owners Association, Food and Drug Law Institute, American Intellectual Property Law Association and Licensing Executives Society.

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Consistently recommended biotechnology lawyers

Anthony (Tony) Creber


Law firm: Gowling WLG


Year called to the Bar: 1981
City: Ottawa

Anthony Creber is a senior partner at Gowling WLG, where he is also past head of its intellectual property litigation practice group. He specializes in chemical, biotechnology and pharmaceutical patent litigation. Creber is also an expert in trademark litigation, regulatory issues and advising on IP life cycle matters. He regularly appears in both the trial and appellate levels of the Federal Court. Creber has also represented clients in the Supreme Court of Canada (SCC) on patent matters, including questions of patentability of life forms, patent licensing and the infringement of biotechnology patents. Some of the most important cases he has appeared in include the SCC’s decisions in Monsanto v. Schmeiser and Apotex v. Sanofi-Synthelabo, a case for which Creber as lead partner, won the Milestone Case of the Year 2014 and Patent Case of the Year 2009 awards given by Managing Intellectual Property (MIP). Recently, he also represented Novartis in protecting its patent on Gleevec and Biotech Canada in an access to information case before the SCC.

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Gunars Gaikis

Law firm: Smart & Biggar


Year called to Bar: 1983
City: Toronto

Gunars A. Gaikis serves as of counsel at Smart & Biggar. He has more than three decades of experience in intellectual property law. Gaikis boasts extensive experience in the procurement, litigation and enforcement of pharmaceutical and biotechnology patent rights and strategic advising. He has appeared as lead counsel in many precedent-setting IP cases before the Ontario, Federal and Supreme Courts. Gaikis is a licensed pharmacist and a registered patent and trademark agent.

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Joseph A. Garcia

Law firm: Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP


Year called to the Bar: 1997
City: Vancouver

Joseph A. Garcia is a partner at Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP. He practises in the areas of corporate finance and mergers and acquisitions. He advises public and private companies, investment dealers, venture capital and private equity funds and acts as independent counsel to boards of directors. Garcia also has extensive experience advising on all types of domestic and cross border, M&A and corporate finance transactions, including public and private equity and debt financings, takeover and issuer bids, share and asset acquisitions and divestitures and regulatory and stock exchange compliance work. Prior to his career in law, Garcia worked in corporate finance with a national investment bank and in clinical research with a multinational pharmaceutical company. He is a director at Genome BC and chair of its audit committee. He is also director emeritus of Life Sciences BC, director of the Canadian Glycomics Network and member of the BIOTE Canada Legal Affairs Advisory Board, Canadian Bar Association and American Bar Association.


K. Vanessa A. Grant

Law firm: Norton Rose Fulbright Canada LLP


Year called to the Bar: 1997
City: Toronto

K. Vanessa A. Grant is a partner at Norton Rose Fulbright Canada LLP’s Toronto office. Her practice focuses on public and private corporate finance and mergers and acquisitions and private equity. Grant advises issuers, investors and underwriters on financings, initial public offerings, public and private M&A, corporate governance, joint ventures and licensing and distribution agreements. She also designs, structures and negotiates complex collaborations, licensing, commercial arrangements and M&A transactions. Grant provides ongoing general corporate and commercial legal advice to several clients and works with national and international clients across all industries, with a focus on technology, including fintech, artificial intelligence and life sciences companies in the fields of digital healthcare, therapeutics, devices, diagnostics and agribusiness. Grant also represents private equity and venture capital funds investing in those industries. She lectures regularly on topics related to M&A, securities law, corporate governance and industry-specific issues. Grant is the co-director of the Osgoode Hall LLM program in business law and teaches a course in corporate finance for the program.

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Jason C. Markwell

Law firm: Fasken Martineau DuMoulin LLP


Year called to the Bar: 1999
City: Toronto

Jason C. Markwell serves as a partner at Fasken Martineau DuMoulin LLP. He has been a litigation lawyer in Toronto for more than 20 years. Markwell represents pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies in patent infringement and validity actions, including cases under the Patented Medicines (Notice of Compliance) Regulations and in disputes relating to data protection, drug approvals and drug pricing (PMPRB). He also boasts extensive experience in patent cases involving the financial services, telecommunications and oil and gas industries. Markwell is a member of The Advocates’ Society and is active in various intellectual property organizations, including the Intellectual Property Institute of Canada and International Association for the Protection of Intellectual Property (AIPPI). He has appeared before the Supreme Court of Canada, Federal Court of Appeal, Federal Court, Ontario Superior Court and several administrative tribunals.


Nancy Pei

Law firm: Smart & Biggar

Year called to the Bar: 1997
City: Toronto

Nancy Pei is a partner at Smart & Biggar’s Toronto office. She boasts hands-on experience as a pharmacist and more than 20 years of patent litigation expertise. Pei has established a successful intellectual property practice focused on the field of life science, including pharmaceuticals and biologics. As a patent litigator, she advocates on behalf of innovative life sciences companies in cases relating to the PM (NOC) Regulations, patent infringement and impeachment actions, s.8 cases, related quantification reference proceedings and judicial review applications. Pei has represented clients before the Federal Court of Canada, Federal Court of Appeal, Supreme Court of Canada and Ontario Superior Court of Justice. She also provides advice on matters relating to patent listing, data protection, Certificates of Supplementary Protection, Patented Medicine Prices Review Board and access to information requests. Pei is a registered patent and trademark agent and pharmacist.

Cheryl V. Reicin

Law firm: Torys LLP

Year called to the Bar: 1985 (New York); 1989 (Massachusetts)
City: Toronto

Cheryl V. Reicin is a partner at Torys LLP. Her practice focuses on biotechnology, medical device, health information and other technology-based companies. Reicin also represents private equity, venture capital funds and investment banks that fund such companies, including academic medical centres and universities, primarily in the U.S., Canada and Israel. She assists companies in formulating domestic and international growth strategies and in sourcing capital. Reicin advises on venture and later-stage financings, IPOs, mergers and acquisitions, licensing transactions and joint ventures or alliances with strategic partners. She also coordinates domestic and international structuring to dovetail with intellectual property and tax planning and regulatory strategy. Reicin is a trustee for The Hospital for Sick Children. She also the founder and chair at Genesis, incubator for social entrepreneurship and part of the external review panel at Health Technologies Fund.

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Judith M. Robinson

Law firm: Norton Rose Fulbright Canada LLP

Year called to the Bar: 1991
City: Montréal

Judith M. Robinson is a senior partner at Norton Rose Fulbright Canada LLP. She devotes her practice to intellectual property litigation, dispute avoidance and resolution and risk mitigation. Robinson is a registered trademark agent and has been active in the pharmaceutical and aerospace sectors. She has a wide experience before the courts, including for cross-border patent trials and damages assessments, and the judicial review of administrative decisions relating to IP. Robinson was also appellate counsel in a statutory appeal in telecommunications that raised significant issues of copyright. She has been active in litigation under the Patented Medicines (Notice of Compliance) Regulations since its introduction in 1993. In mid-2019, Robinson stepped down as the practice group leader of the IP practice after five years in the role and on the management committee of the firm in to focus on the many developments in IP, including in the area of artificial intelligence.

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Andrew M. Shaughnessy

Law firm: Torys LLP

Year called to the Bar: 1993
City: Toronto

Andrew M. Shaughnessy is a partner at Torys LLP. He specializes in intellectual property litigation and dispute resolution and Federal Court practice. Shaughnessy has represented a wide variety of clients in complex patent and trademark infringement and related litigation. He has also been an advocate before the Supreme Court of Canada, Federal Court of Canada, Federal Court of Appeal, Ontario Superior Court of Justice, Court of Appeal for Ontario and specialized tribunals such as the Trademarks Opposition Board. Shaughnessy is a well-known IP and advocacy speaker, instructor and author. He is also an adjunct lecturer at the University of Toronto Faculty of Law.

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Alice Tseng

Law firm: Smart & Biggar

Year called to the Bar: 1998
City: Toronto

Alice Tseng serves as partner at Smart & Biggar. She specializes in regulatory, marketing and advertising matters, particularly in the area of life sciences. As both a pharmacist and a regulatory lawyer, Tseng counsels clients in highly regulated industries, including pharmaceutical, cannabis, medical devices, food and cosmetics. She helps her clients navigate a myriad of regulatory regimes and industry codes to maximize commercial objectives while minimizing risk. Tseng also specializes in federal and provincial regulatory, advertising and marketing, privacy, health care compliance, reimbursement, access to information and product safety matters. She is a registered pharmacist and patent agent.