Vacancy Detail

VWV is a full service, award-winning law firm with offices in London, Watford, Bristol & Birmingham. With around 450 employees, we're a sizeable firm that still continues to grow, known for its friendly and welcoming culture, where teamwork and collaboration is key.

Vacancy Detail

  • Salary:
  • Location:
    Birmingham, Bristol, London, Watford
  • Team:
  • Working Hours:
    Full Time

Commercial/IP Lifesciences Lawyer

This is a rare and golden opportunity for a commercial/IP lawyer or IP lawyer, most likely at associate or senior associate level, to come on board our thriving team and to focus in the main on life sciences sector work.

About you

Technically excellent with solid expertise in the life sciences sector, you'll be either a commercial lawyer with an additional string to your bow in IP law or clinical trials, or an IP lawyer with a focus on non- contentious work.  Whilst we'd like you to have at least 3 years post qualified experience in your field we recognise that your career journey is unique to you, so if you have less experience than this we would still like to hear from you. Equally, if you have many years of experience and are currently working as a consultant or Partner, provided you have strong IP expertise within the life sciences field, we would welcome your application.

In addition to strong intellect and mental agility, you'll possess first rate interpersonal skills that will enable you to clearly communicate with clients on the technical issues that may arise from their instructions.  You'll have a love of team endeavour and enjoy working collaboratively with your colleagues in other teams, helping to provide our clients with the seamless "one stop shop" service for which, here at VWV, we are renowned. Whilst you'll be excited by the fast moving and dynamic field of life sciences, we recognise you may also want to undertake work within other sectors and with our notable strengths in fields such as technology, education and health, you'll find plenty of scope to do so.

We know that what we're looking for is someone special. And in return, we believe that we can offer you something special…. A firm that stands apart from others with its warm and genuinely collaborative culture. A firm that takes pride in delivering the highest quality work across a range of sectors. A firm that values the individual, both client and employee. A firm that values having fun… Does this sound like your sort of firm? If so, please read on to hear more about us..

The team

Our commercial team of which our IP practice forms part, is a large and sociable group of lawyers working across a variety of cutting edge and fast paced sectors including technology, health, education and charities. A team of 26 legal experts, our lawyers work across our offices in Watford, London, Bristol and Birmingham.

Our life sciences team is led by highly regarded commercial Partner, Paul Gershlick. A leading industry expert, in 2013 Paul received an honorary Master's degree from the University of Hertfordshire for his 'contribution to the development of commercial law in the Pharmaceutical and Life Sciences industry'. The team comprises around ten individuals with wide ranging expertise in areas such as commercial, corporate, employment, IP and commercial property.

From whichever location you join us, you'll be working with a highly regarded team of commercial and IP lawyers, headed up by Doug Locke.

Band one for corporate and commercial (Legal 500, 2022- South East), Paul Gershlick is praised for being "patient, thorough and pragmatic" and this speaks volumes about his professional and caring approach to his team.

Ranked Band 2 in Bristol for corporate and commercial (Legal 500, 2022), "(our) …practice is praised for being extremely 'proactive'…."

As regards our IP practice, both Doug Locke and Paula Williams (Partners) are ranked in Band 3 in Chambers and Partners 2022 for the whole of the South West region with the former being recognised in particular for education work and the latter for her prowess in international trade mark matters.

The role

Perhaps in an ideal world you would be located near to one of our four office locations in Watford, London, Birmingham and Bristol or near Oxford or Cambridge. However, for us it's your experience that is key, not your location. Whilst we would love you to witness our collegiate and friendly culture first hand in the office (for at least a part of the week), if you're the right candidate for us and are towards the upper level of the suggested banding, we may be able to accommodate you working on a largely remote basis.

Most likely at associate or senior associate level, you'll enjoy either advising on and drafting a range of commercial contracts, including collaboration agreements, IP licences and possibly clinical trial agreements, or purely advising on the specialist IP issues that arise, in the main, from the life sciences work that we undertake.

As regards our life sciences clients, they range from entrepreneurial innovative businesses including early-stage spin-out companies through to "big pharma".  We have a particular specialism with biotechnology and cell and gene therapies companies, as well as CROs, CMOs, suppliers, medical devices, digital health, distributors and importers/exporters.

With a particular focus on fast-growing early stage companies and university spin-outs, we also have flourishing relationships with incubators.  Since 2009, VWV has operated weekly, free of charge, "lawyer-in-residence" services to some of the UK's leading tech and life sciences incubators.  Specifically in the life sciences sector, we have provided an ­in-residence service to Science Creates (  since 2017.  We also provide regular in-residence support to other incubators and support service organisations such as MedCity ( as well as providing regular workshops and drop-in-sessions for organisations such as We Are Pioneer Group (, the Stevenage Bioscience Catalyst (Home ( and Discovery Park (  The successful candidate will be encouraged to help to nurture and develop those relationships and participate in these sessions, which presents an excellent opportunity to meet, engage with and act for some of the UK's most exciting emerging life sciences business.

Here at VWV, our values lie at the heart of what we do and one of these is "collaborative working" We recognise that we achieve so much more when we work together and in this spirit, we have been instrumental in bringing together life sciences communities and expanding our network of contacts. Our PING initiative demonstrates this perfectly. We set up the Pharmaceutical Industry Network Group (PING) (of which Paul Gershlick is Chair) in 2010, in partnership with Watford Council, and the Watford Chamber of Commerce. PING is a group designed for people in the industry right across the pharmaceutical supply chain. It aims to provide real value to attendees through topical discussions on cutting edge issues, personalised networking with the right people and knowledge-sharing opportunities.  PING attracts leading speakers on the hottest topics - recent examples being very senior people at NHS England, MHRA, OLS, NICE, Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult, Genomics England, Genomics Plc, HDR, University of Oxford, GSK, Pfizer and IQVIA.

Within this role you will be offered that very hard to find dynamic of real autonomy to build this exciting and thriving area, together with the full support and trust of a wider team of commercial lawyers. And all of this within an environment that is truly second to none- approachable, transparent and flexible. This is a gem of an opportunity for you to finally make your mark and build your brand within a happy and successful team.

Why choose us?

With around 500 people and offices in London, Watford, Bristol and Birmingham, we're a sizeable firm that continues to grow. We're known for our friendly and welcoming culture where teamwork and collaboration is key. There's no pigeon-holing or glass ceilings here, just a professional yet relaxed culture where you can finally be yourself.  We invite you to watch this short video on the right hand side to see what our own people have to say about us.

Here at VWV, we can offer an exciting array of benefits and are passionate about creating an inclusive workplace that promotes and values diversity.  We're striving to create an environment where everyone, regardless of background, can reach their full potential.

Not sure whether to apply?

Making the next career move is one that can feel immensely daunting and we've all been there! It's more than likely you'll have one or two questions on the role or firm before you feel happy to apply. If so, please contact me, Jannica Seccombe, Lawyer Resourcing Lead, in complete confidence on 07500 109783 or and I'll be happy to answer any questions you may have. 

Recruitment Agencies

We are not accepting applications from agencies at this time and politely request that you do not send candidates through.

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24 King William Street, London, UK, EC4R 9AT

Meet our recruiter

Jannica Seccombe

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25+ days Holiday
Life assurance
Private healthcare
Referral bonus scheme
Health insurance
Bonus scheme
Cycle to work scheme
Season ticket loans
Eye tests

Polite note to agencies - VWV has made the financial investment to employ an in-house recruitment team to adopt a direct sourcing strategy which supports the future growth of the firm. If on occasion agency support is required for any of our live vacancies, introductions will only be deemed accepted if the agency has agreed to VWV's recruitment terms through our Recruitment Manager, Emma Forrester. We'd please ask that you do not send unsolicited introductions to our Partners or anyone else in the firm. Should we engage with your candidate through our own direct sourcing means, we reserve the right not to be bound by your terms and conditions should you do so without our consent.