Health and the science around health, wellbeing and active ageing, are a vast and burgeoning sector of the world’s economy.

Legal matters confronting this area of business are deeply complex and widely varied. DLA Piper’s international legal team has the scientific, medical and specialised legal knowledge to meet clients’ challenges – in New Zealand and globally.

Our health and life sciences team is one of the largest in the world. It is active across 30 jurisdictions. We understand IP, regulatory, reputational, legal scientific and medical risks.

In New Zealand, healthcare and life sciences are rapidly growing areas. The burden of management, legal, fiscal, legal and regulatory issues that health service providers, life science entities and health professionals face in this country is significant.

DLA Piper New Zealand is highly competent. We act for DHBs, government departments, international pharmaceutical organisations, private healthcare organisations and insurers, including on Accident Compensation, very significant negligence claims and related matters.

DLA Piper New Zealand also routinely advises primary care practitioners, regulatory and professional registration authorities, medical and scientific research organisations and healthcare insurers.

In the medico legal area, we have in-depth experience in high profile and high value medical negligence cases, across numerous medical specialties. DLA Piper New Zealand has a highly respected litigation and insurance practice, adept at dealing with investigations, complaints, disciplinary proceedings and inquiries.

Through DLA Piper, we also have the contacts to provide up to date information on trends and issues in this internationally significant sector, as well as case material relating to it.

We can deploy for small, innovative healthcare and life sciences organisations, right up to global entities, whether it be for IP, licensing, M&A, privacy, outsourcing, anti-trust, competition, investigation, litigation or any other matter.


Medical Protection Society
DLA Piper New Zealand acted for the Medical Protection Society who was the medical practitioner's professional indemnity organisation, for an indemnity defence. The medical practitioner's regulatory authority (the Medical Council of New Zealand) made a referral for investigation by a Professional Conduct Committee, resulting in proceedings before the Health Practitioners Disciplinary Tribunal for professional misconduct involving inappropriate sexual relationship with a former patient, who then committed a criminal offence resulting in committal to a forensic psychiatric institution. Following negotiation with prosecuting counsel, and a two-day hearing before the Tribunal, an acceptable penalty determination issued.

Pfizer New Zealand Limited
DLA Piper New Zealand advised on all aspects of the New Zealand component of the global sale of Pfizer's global paediatric nutrition business to Nestlé, including the areas of corporate, employment and competition. This was one of the largest global M&A transactions of 2012 (equating to US$11.85billion), involving the sale of business units in over 40 jurisdictions world-wide. DLA Piper represented Pfizer in a number of the jurisdictions including Australia, Egypt, Greece, Hong Kong, New Zealand, South Africa and Venezuela.

DLA Piper New Zealand advised on the New Zealand employment law component of the spin-off of Pfizer's Animal Health Unit. This was the biggest IPO since Facebook and globally was worth approximately US$2.2 billion. The Pfizer animal health business was spun off into a stand-alone animal health business - Zoetis. This project involved in the region of 9000 employees globally. We advised Pfizer on the transfer of employees from Pfizer to Zoetis, including complex superannuation advice, consultation advice and advice covering all employment related risk.

Zoetis is the world's largest producer of medicine and vaccinations for pets and livestock. Zoetis is a publicly traded subsidiary of Pfizer, the world's largest drug maker, which retains an 83% controlling interest in the firm. DLA Piper New Zealand provides 100% of Zoetis's employment law support regarding its New Zealand operations.

We have prepared a Guide To Doing Business In New Zealand to help those venturing into the market navigate their way through local legislation to identify and maximise the many opportunities that are available.