Life Sciences


Our business-focused legal experience brings a unique perspective in assuring that our clients achieve their business and strategic goals. Our teams offer experienced attorneys, several of whom have worked in-house at national and international life sciences manufacturers, suppliers, distributors, brick and mortar, and E-commerce retailers. Our firm’s goal is to add value by providing top-level, business practical legal advice that helps your business further its strategic business plans while minimizing legal risk. Several practice areas are described below.

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Life Sciences

  • Steptoe & Johnson’s Life Sciences Team can help bring a client’s product from idea to market, then assist with ongoing business and regulatory matters, and occasional unexpected issues.
  • Our Life Sciences practice spans a multitude of industries including food, dietary supplements, sports nutrition, medical devices, nutraceuticals, and natural products, including hemp products, cannabidiol (CBD), and other hemp-derived cannabinoids.
  • Our team routinely assists U.S. and foreign clients with navigating the legal, regulatory, business, and litigation matters that arise throughout a product’s entire life cycle — from development, formulation, manufacturing, and production, through claims review, labeling, packaging, omni-channel marketing, product distribution, and sale.
  • We know your products operate in highly competitive markets, and we understand how regulations by federal and state agencies, such as the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), can impact your business.
  • We understand the need for prompt, practical, business-focused legal advice, and action which facilitates entity formation and acquisitions; negotiating and documenting commercial transactions; ensuring import and export compliance; protecting, licensing, and exploiting intellectual property; structuring logistics optimization; regulatory compliance; risk mitigation; pursuing claims and defending the business; ensuring supply chain security; labeling; marketing; and product promotion.

Cannabis Counsel

  • Our Cannabis Counsel actively assists numerous cannabis organizations through a comprehensive understanding of the cannabis industry, a proactive approach to regulation and corporate compliance, and a demonstrated ability to apply its knowledge and experience in furthering clients’ business goals.
  • Experienced in all facets of the cannabis industry, team attorneys provide thoughtful advice on everything from making application for a hemp license or medical cannabis permit to guidance on day-to-day operations and compliance obligations for growers, processors, and dispensaries. Our Cannabis Counsel also advises employers and healthcare organizations on workforce and workplace issues.

Commercial Transactions

Ongoing Business Operations and Opportunities

  • Our Commercial Transactions Team provides quick access to client-focused, business-seasoned counsel who possess a broad range of strategic experience and specific core competencies to respond, answer, and address your unique commercial and contracting needs.
  • Working together we can help streamline your regular commercial transactions and negotiation process, or even provide extra resources needed when company staffing would be stretched too thin by peak activity. Our team can support emerging and established companies in nearly any industry as they seek to improve, expand, reduce risk, or restructure their current operations. We can assist with documenting and negotiating the more complex transactions, such as synergistic distribution and supply-chain networks that improve your business systems and productivity. Moreover, we can structure various arrangements, such as royalty and licensing agreements that will protect your intellectual property and strategic assets.
  • Our IP practice focuses on providing clients with the highest quality work in the areas of trademark, copyright, and advertising issues. Our firm’s IP lawyers consistently stay up to date on regulatory advertising requirements and substantive trademark developments to not only assist clients in navigating the trademark and copyright registration processes, but to help them enforce rights in their registered IP assets while decreasing the likelihood of unexpected litigation.
  • Working collaboratively to meet your business and legal needs, we offer regular consultations to tune up the legal side of your business, coordinate your commercial contracts, identify risk areas and opportunities for your business, and help reduce risk exposure. We know that you need contracts that are easily understood and facilitate getting business done. We work with you to craft commercial transactions and contracts that won’t frustrate your business partners and customers but will still protect your rights.

Pursuing and Defending Claims, Handling Disputes and Litigation

Business, Products, IP, Employees

Steptoe & Johnson’s dispute resolution and litigation teams understand offensive and defensive litigation and the resulting business disruption. No one wants to defend a lawsuit or undergo a regulatory investigation. But they happen … every day. We’re more than capable of supporting your business should someone breach or challenge your business arrangement. We’re here to guide you through every step of defending legal threats to your business. It’s what we do … every day. We tailor the approach to each dispute to reduce risk and get our clients back to what they do best – grow their businesses. We explore alternative strategies and business solutions with our clients. This focus provides our clients with a team of advocates who understand the changing laws, the evolving science, and the courts. Our goal is to achieve the best possible outcomes for our clients, as cost-effectively as possible.

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