Health

Health

Health

Health is one of the country’s fastest growing sectors – and with demand for better quality health care across South East Asia increasing, the industry is set for unprecedented growth and investment.

Our health practice has strong experience, delivering expert legal and strategic advice in the health and aged care sector. Corrs has been involved in some of the largest industry consolidation transactions in the last decade and members of our team have a broad range of backgrounds in industry and private legal practice.

We provide a comprehensive service ranging from corporate and commercial such as PPPs, acquisitions, IP, employment, procurement, property and construction law, through to medico legal.

We advise health and aged care clients who are ASX listed companies, not for profit entities, private companies, medical practitioners, government departments, hospitals and health services – and bring a depth of understanding of the many legal, ethical, commercial and risk related challenges confronting the sector.

Our Experts

Anna-Ross.jpg

Anna Ross

Partner Location Sydney Profile
LEECarolAnne.jpg

Carol Lee

Special Counsel Location Brisbane Profile
Daryl Clifford.jpg

Daryl Clifford

Partner Location Brisbane Profile
Eddie Scuderi.jpg

Eddie Scuderi

Partner Location Brisbane Profile
Eugenia Kolivos.jpg

Eugenia Kolivos

Partner Location Sydney Profile
WHEELAHAN Frances website grey SIZED TH

Frances Wheelahan

Partner Location Melbourne Profile
FrankLawson.jpg

Frank Lawson

Partner Location Sydney Profile
Helen Carke.jpg

Helen Clarke

Partner Location Brisbane Profile
CAMERON James website grey SIZED TH

James Cameron

Special Counsel Location Brisbane Profile
BURGER Jodie website grey SIZED TH

Jodie Burger

Special Counsel Location Brisbane Profile
FARRERJonathanwebsitegreySIZEDTH.jpg

Jonathan Farrer

Partner Location Melbourne Profile
Julia Cameron.jpg

Julie Cameron

Partner Location Brisbane Profile
Odette Gourley.jpg

Odette Gourley

Partner Location Sydney Profile
Vanessa Mellis.jpg

Vanessa Mellis

Special Counsel Location Brisbane Profile

Our Experience

2005 Queensland Public Hospitals Commission of Inquiry

This Commission of Inquiry investigated the circumstances regarding the appointment of, and the clinical care provided by Dr Jayant Patel at the Bundaberg Hospital following allegations of multiple patient deaths and poor patient outcomes.

Findings resulted in the referral of Dr Patel for criminal charges, a rare outcome of clinical care. In parallel to the Commission of Inquiry, the State established a claims resolution process for aggrieved patients seeking civil compensation.

Corrs assisted Queensland Health with the preparation of material to be provided to the Commission, as well as acting for Queensland Health in responding to 387 civil damages claims by former patients in relation to medical care provided.

More

Creating health research hubs

Corrs has been instrumental in the establishment of key health research facilities including the Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation, the Herston Imaging Research Facility, Queensland Head and Neck Cancer Centre, Queensland Children’s Medical Research Institute, and the Translational Research Institute.

Major victory for global pharmaceutical company

When two leading Australian generic drug manufacturers challenged the patent for the antidepressant, Lexapro, the landmark Australian case raised questions of chemistry, regulatory data and patent term extensions.

Corrs represented patent owner Lundbeck, a major global pharmaceutical company based in Denmark. Our work required close collaboration with the in-house counsel of the Danish research company, US and British lawyers to co-ordinate strategy and the use of expert witnesses in more than one jurisdiction to secure a victory in the only case of its kind upheld by Australian Courts.

More

Pan Pharmaceuticals

Corrs acted for the Commonwealth of Australia in the defence of the Pan Pharmaceuticals class action. The class action was one of the largest claims ever brought against the Commonwealth and centred on alleged negligence by a Federal Regulator as well as alleged misfeasance in public office by individuals employed by the Regulator.

The legal principles were complex and their application to a Federal Regulator, and its staff, were largely untested in Australia. Corrs developed and implemented a strategy that led to a commercially successful settlement of the class action at a private out-of-court mediation without any admissions as to liability.

The class action, which comprised 162 members seeking economic loss and aggravated damages, stemmed from the corporate collapse of Pan Pharmaceuticals in April 2003 after the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) ordered a recall of its products and suspended its licence to manufacture therapeutic goods.

The Commonwealth was alleged to have been negligent because of the manner in which the TGA performed its regulatory functions, a number of TGA officers were alleged to have engaged in misfeasance in public office (a personal tort centred on willful misconduct, or reckless indifference, in the exercise of government powers) and the Commonwealth was alleged to have been vicariously liable for the officers conduct. The case was legally and factually complex, requiring management of Government obligations and individual sensitivities.

Corrs worked quickly and efficiently, ahead of a private out-of-court mediation, to limit the scope of the claims against the Commonwealth (successfully striking out large parts of the class action claim), to ensure that the remaining causes of action were appropriately particularised (given the extremely serious nature of the claim – especially as against the individual officers) and to successfully challenge, and have withdrawn, the key expert evidence that the class was seeking to rely upon.

The settlement reached at the mediation was without any admissions as to liability and involved the payment of $67.5m into a distribution fund from which payments could be made to each of the 162 class members. The settlement was formally approved by the Federal Court (a necessary legal requirement for any Federal Court class action settlement) and the approval judgment is one of the most recent judicial decisions in Australia on the factors that are required to be established to obtain Federal Court approval of a class action settlement.

The total quantum of the claims made by the 162 members of the class remains subject to confidentiality, although the Australian Financial Review noted the following in respect of the class action settlement (after it had been approved by the Federal Court):

“It [referring to the class action] was not a lay down misere. The pleadings of the lead applicant and two sample members show each claimed between $1 million and $8.5 million, suggesting the settlement was a small fraction of the total claimed.”

More

Pharmathen patent victory over global giant

Corrs represented Pharmathen, a major European manufacturer of ingredients used in generic pharmaceuticals, in a landmark case that saw Pharmathen retain its Australian market presence.

Corrs’ IP team successfully challenged Wyeth (Pfizer’s) injunction restraining Pharmathen entering the Australian market with a generic pharmaceutical.

After a significant contest and on appeal to the Full Court, the victory saw the High Court rejected Pfizer’s application for special leave to appeal and revoked their patent.

More

Queensland Department of Health - ICT

Corrs is a long term adviser to the Queensland Department of Health and Hospital and Health Services across the State. We assist in a wide range of strategic ICT procurement projects including software licensing and services, hardware acquisition and maintenance, systems implementations, data hosting and managed services.

Corrs has worked with the Department of Health and Hospital and Health Services to procure a number of critical ICT systems, including a central financial management system, a clinical costing system, a picture archiving and communications and medical imaging transfer system, a pharmaceuticals robotics system, a maternal and foetal medicine information system, an emergency and operating room information system, intensive care unit clinical information system, food services information system, remote diagnostic units and medical equipment support services.

These ICT systems are essential to the State’s ability to effectively coordinate and provide health services across Queensland.

Our work with the Department of Health and Hospital and Health Services in the ICT contracts area extends to contract and risk management, disputes, termination, transition out arrangements and compliance with the Queensland Government procurement framework.

More

Sunshine Coast Public University Hospital & Queensland Children’s Hospital

Corrs advises Queensland Health during the construction phase of a major 738 bed Public Hospital in Kawana, on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast. The precinct meets increased health care and health education needs, incorporating a cooperative medical research facility, a health campus and adjacent retail and residential developments.

The Corrs’ team has also advised on contractual, employment and regulatory issues arising out of the contestability review for the contracted delivery of services to the Sunshine Coast Public University Hospital and Queensland Children’s Hospital.

More

Translational Research Institute (TRI) Project

The TRI Project brings together four of the country’s pinnacle research institutions in a ground-breaking R&D collaboration in biopharmaceuticals treatments.

With leading experience in health and education joint ventures, Corrs was key legal adviser for Queensland Health for the project, a joint initiative between Queensland Health, The University of Queensland, Queensland University of Technology and the Mater Medical Research Institute.

Corrs advised the Queensland Government on all elements of its shareholder agreement as well as negotiating tenure, funding and construction arrangements. The project incorporated an adjacent biopharmaceutical manufacturing facility, built in partnership between the Queensland Government owned BioPharmaceuticals Australia and DSM Biologics.

More

Our Thinking

Commercialising cannabis in Australia: a budding industry

Cannabis is an illicit drug in most instances, so a comprehensive understanding of the regulatory landscape is critical before attempting any commercial activities.

More

Industrial Chemicals Bill 2017: A new era of regulation in Australia

Australia’s chemical industry is about to undergo widespread reform. Most notably the changes include the first move away from cosmetics testing on animals.

More

Industrial Chemicals Bill 2017: A new era of regulation in Australia

Australia’s chemical industry is about to undergo widespread reform. Most notably the changes include the first move away from cosmetics testing on animals.

More

Forget Terminator: Cyborgs have rights too (Part Two)

In the second of our two-part look at cyborg technology, we consider how Australia might navigate the potential social and legal tensions arising from human and machine integration.

More

Forget Terminator: Cyborgs have rights too (Part One)

Cyborgs are no longer a sci-fi curiosity. In the first of our two-part look at this technology, we consider how Australia might navigate surveillance and privacy issues that will inevitably arise.

More

Using blockchain to secure and share health data

Fran Wheelahan looks at the use of blockchain technology in the healthcare industry and highlights some of the key legal considerations with the use of this technology.

More

Preparing for life with robots: How will they be regulated in Australia?

As robots become more complex, capable and autonomous, there are serious liability, safety and privacy issues to address. How should Australia regulate these issues?

More

A new focus on genetically modified organisms in Queensland: changes to gene technology laws aim for consistency and flexibility

How have Queensland’s gene technology laws changed?

More

Privacy New Year’s Resolution: Updating your privacy policy

Time to review your Privacy Policy? Here’s what you need to consider in an ever-changing technological environment.

More

Time to speak up: improve access and drive reform for public hospitals

A look at the potential public sector health reform that lies ahead in 2017.

More

Will a focus on ‘economic benefit’ in new government rules affect the WTO Agreement on Government Procurement?

What does ‘economic benefit’ really mean in the government’s new Commonwealth Procurement Rules?

More

Public Health Reform: What does the future look like for patients?

The Productivity Commission continues its extensive consultation as part of public health reform, focusing on user oriented information and government stewardship.

More

Why clinical excellence is not enough: The age of patient experience

Public Hospitals can actually shape reform amid increased competition, contestability and user choice.

More

Experimental evidence in patent cases: Discovery not available for experiments on matters no longer in issue

A recent Federal Court decision in Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp. v Ono Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd [2016] FCA 1015 sheds some light on experimental evidence in patent cases.

More

Mobile apps that collect health data: Will they be put under the privacy spotlight?

Privacy protection is emerging as an important issue for mobile health apps.

More

The WTO Agreement on Government Procurement: A world of opportunity or a threat to local business?

Australian businesses will have legally-binding access to government procurement markets worth some USD1.7 trillion if Australia accedes to the WTO Agreement on Government Procurement.

More

Liquidated damages post Andrews - A double-edged sword

New guidance on the potential for liquidated damages clauses to be struck out as penalties.

More

Three tips to prevent the Australian Consumer Law rendering your supply contract terms unenforceable

Check your compliance today!

More

A stitch in time saves nine: How excluding consequential loss could save you millions

Now is the time to ensure consequential loss is excluded from your contracts.

More

Five aged care trends to watch

Australia’s aged care sector is transforming and there are opportunities aplenty.

More

Employment and industrial relations implications arising out of Queensland’s contestability reforms

The scene is set in Queensland for greater competition in public health services.

More

Outsourcing, common sense and good faith - Some lessons from a hospital services outsource

Don’t let poor cooperation and a confrontational attitude wreck your outsourcing relationship.

More

Contractor beware: ICT contracting for PPPs

Governments are increasingly looking to public private partnerships to solve the ever growing demand for new hospitals in Australia.

More

Safety first: Copyright exemption for generics

The safe and effective use of medicine relies on doctors, pharmacists and other health professionals receiving consistent safety information about each medicine, regardless of its brand.

More

Our Experience

2005 Queensland Public Hospitals Commission of Inquiry

This Commission of Inquiry investigated the circumstances regarding the appointment of, and the clinical care provided by Dr Jayant Patel at the Bundaberg Hospital following allegations of multiple patient deaths and poor patient outcomes.

Findings resulted in the referral of Dr Patel for criminal charges, a rare outcome of clinical care. In parallel to the Commission of Inquiry, the State established a claims resolution process for aggrieved patients seeking civil compensation.

Corrs assisted Queensland Health with the preparation of material to be provided to the Commission, as well as acting for Queensland Health in responding to 387 civil damages claims by former patients in relation to medical care provided.

Creating health research hubs

Corrs has been instrumental in the establishment of key health research facilities including the Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation, the Herston Imaging Research Facility, Queensland Head and Neck Cancer Centre, Queensland Children’s Medical Research Institute, and the Translational Research Institute.

Major victory for global pharmaceutical company

When two leading Australian generic drug manufacturers challenged the patent for the antidepressant, Lexapro, the landmark Australian case raised questions of chemistry, regulatory data and patent term extensions.

Corrs represented patent owner Lundbeck, a major global pharmaceutical company based in Denmark. Our work required close collaboration with the in-house counsel of the Danish research company, US and British lawyers to co-ordinate strategy and the use of expert witnesses in more than one jurisdiction to secure a victory in the only case of its kind upheld by Australian Courts.

Pan Pharmaceuticals

Corrs acted for the Commonwealth of Australia in the defence of the Pan Pharmaceuticals class action. The class action was one of the largest claims ever brought against the Commonwealth and centred on alleged negligence by a Federal Regulator as well as alleged misfeasance in public office by individuals employed by the Regulator.

The legal principles were complex and their application to a Federal Regulator, and its staff, were largely untested in Australia. Corrs developed and implemented a strategy that led to a commercially successful settlement of the class action at a private out-of-court mediation without any admissions as to liability.

The class action, which comprised 162 members seeking economic loss and aggravated damages, stemmed from the corporate collapse of Pan Pharmaceuticals in April 2003 after the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) ordered a recall of its products and suspended its licence to manufacture therapeutic goods.

The Commonwealth was alleged to have been negligent because of the manner in which the TGA performed its regulatory functions, a number of TGA officers were alleged to have engaged in misfeasance in public office (a personal tort centred on willful misconduct, or reckless indifference, in the exercise of government powers) and the Commonwealth was alleged to have been vicariously liable for the officers conduct. The case was legally and factually complex, requiring management of Government obligations and individual sensitivities.

Corrs worked quickly and efficiently, ahead of a private out-of-court mediation, to limit the scope of the claims against the Commonwealth (successfully striking out large parts of the class action claim), to ensure that the remaining causes of action were appropriately particularised (given the extremely serious nature of the claim – especially as against the individual officers) and to successfully challenge, and have withdrawn, the key expert evidence that the class was seeking to rely upon.

The settlement reached at the mediation was without any admissions as to liability and involved the payment of $67.5m into a distribution fund from which payments could be made to each of the 162 class members. The settlement was formally approved by the Federal Court (a necessary legal requirement for any Federal Court class action settlement) and the approval judgment is one of the most recent judicial decisions in Australia on the factors that are required to be established to obtain Federal Court approval of a class action settlement.

The total quantum of the claims made by the 162 members of the class remains subject to confidentiality, although the Australian Financial Review noted the following in respect of the class action settlement (after it had been approved by the Federal Court):

“It [referring to the class action] was not a lay down misere. The pleadings of the lead applicant and two sample members show each claimed between $1 million and $8.5 million, suggesting the settlement was a small fraction of the total claimed.”

Pharmathen patent victory over global giant

Corrs represented Pharmathen, a major European manufacturer of ingredients used in generic pharmaceuticals, in a landmark case that saw Pharmathen retain its Australian market presence.

Corrs’ IP team successfully challenged Wyeth (Pfizer’s) injunction restraining Pharmathen entering the Australian market with a generic pharmaceutical.

After a significant contest and on appeal to the Full Court, the victory saw the High Court rejected Pfizer’s application for special leave to appeal and revoked their patent.

Queensland Department of Health - ICT

Corrs is a long term adviser to the Queensland Department of Health and Hospital and Health Services across the State. We assist in a wide range of strategic ICT procurement projects including software licensing and services, hardware acquisition and maintenance, systems implementations, data hosting and managed services.

Corrs has worked with the Department of Health and Hospital and Health Services to procure a number of critical ICT systems, including a central financial management system, a clinical costing system, a picture archiving and communications and medical imaging transfer system, a pharmaceuticals robotics system, a maternal and foetal medicine information system, an emergency and operating room information system, intensive care unit clinical information system, food services information system, remote diagnostic units and medical equipment support services.

These ICT systems are essential to the State’s ability to effectively coordinate and provide health services across Queensland.

Our work with the Department of Health and Hospital and Health Services in the ICT contracts area extends to contract and risk management, disputes, termination, transition out arrangements and compliance with the Queensland Government procurement framework.

Sunshine Coast Public University Hospital & Queensland Children’s Hospital

Corrs advises Queensland Health during the construction phase of a major 738 bed Public Hospital in Kawana, on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast. The precinct meets increased health care and health education needs, incorporating a cooperative medical research facility, a health campus and adjacent retail and residential developments.

The Corrs’ team has also advised on contractual, employment and regulatory issues arising out of the contestability review for the contracted delivery of services to the Sunshine Coast Public University Hospital and Queensland Children’s Hospital.

Translational Research Institute (TRI) Project

The TRI Project brings together four of the country’s pinnacle research institutions in a ground-breaking R&D collaboration in biopharmaceuticals treatments.

With leading experience in health and education joint ventures, Corrs was key legal adviser for Queensland Health for the project, a joint initiative between Queensland Health, The University of Queensland, Queensland University of Technology and the Mater Medical Research Institute.

Corrs advised the Queensland Government on all elements of its shareholder agreement as well as negotiating tenure, funding and construction arrangements. The project incorporated an adjacent biopharmaceutical manufacturing facility, built in partnership between the Queensland Government owned BioPharmaceuticals Australia and DSM Biologics.

Our Thinking

Commercialising cannabis in Australia: a budding industry

Cannabis is an illicit drug in most instances, so a comprehensive understanding of the regulatory landscape is critical before attempting any commercial activities.

Industrial Chemicals Bill 2017: A new era of regulation in Australia

Australia’s chemical industry is about to undergo widespread reform. Most notably the changes include the first move away from cosmetics testing on animals.

Industrial Chemicals Bill 2017: A new era of regulation in Australia

Australia’s chemical industry is about to undergo widespread reform. Most notably the changes include the first move away from cosmetics testing on animals.

Forget Terminator: Cyborgs have rights too (Part Two)

In the second of our two-part look at cyborg technology, we consider how Australia might navigate the potential social and legal tensions arising from human and machine integration.

Forget Terminator: Cyborgs have rights too (Part One)

Cyborgs are no longer a sci-fi curiosity. In the first of our two-part look at this technology, we consider how Australia might navigate surveillance and privacy issues that will inevitably arise.

Using blockchain to secure and share health data

Fran Wheelahan looks at the use of blockchain technology in the healthcare industry and highlights some of the key legal considerations with the use of this technology.

Preparing for life with robots: How will they be regulated in Australia?

As robots become more complex, capable and autonomous, there are serious liability, safety and privacy issues to address. How should Australia regulate these issues?

A new focus on genetically modified organisms in Queensland: changes to gene technology laws aim for consistency and flexibility

How have Queensland’s gene technology laws changed?

Privacy New Year’s Resolution: Updating your privacy policy

Time to review your Privacy Policy? Here’s what you need to consider in an ever-changing technological environment.

Time to speak up: improve access and drive reform for public hospitals

A look at the potential public sector health reform that lies ahead in 2017.

Will a focus on ‘economic benefit’ in new government rules affect the WTO Agreement on Government Procurement?

What does ‘economic benefit’ really mean in the government’s new Commonwealth Procurement Rules?

Public Health Reform: What does the future look like for patients?

The Productivity Commission continues its extensive consultation as part of public health reform, focusing on user oriented information and government stewardship.

Why clinical excellence is not enough: The age of patient experience

Public Hospitals can actually shape reform amid increased competition, contestability and user choice.

Experimental evidence in patent cases: Discovery not available for experiments on matters no longer in issue

A recent Federal Court decision in Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp. v Ono Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd [2016] FCA 1015 sheds some light on experimental evidence in patent cases.

Mobile apps that collect health data: Will they be put under the privacy spotlight?

Privacy protection is emerging as an important issue for mobile health apps.

The WTO Agreement on Government Procurement: A world of opportunity or a threat to local business?

Australian businesses will have legally-binding access to government procurement markets worth some USD1.7 trillion if Australia accedes to the WTO Agreement on Government Procurement.

Liquidated damages post Andrews - A double-edged sword

New guidance on the potential for liquidated damages clauses to be struck out as penalties.

Three tips to prevent the Australian Consumer Law rendering your supply contract terms unenforceable

Check your compliance today!

A stitch in time saves nine: How excluding consequential loss could save you millions

Now is the time to ensure consequential loss is excluded from your contracts.

Five aged care trends to watch

Australia’s aged care sector is transforming and there are opportunities aplenty.

Employment and industrial relations implications arising out of Queensland’s contestability reforms

The scene is set in Queensland for greater competition in public health services.

Outsourcing, common sense and good faith - Some lessons from a hospital services outsource

Don’t let poor cooperation and a confrontational attitude wreck your outsourcing relationship.

Contractor beware: ICT contracting for PPPs

Governments are increasingly looking to public private partnerships to solve the ever growing demand for new hospitals in Australia.

Safety first: Copyright exemption for generics

The safe and effective use of medicine relies on doctors, pharmacists and other health professionals receiving consistent safety information about each medicine, regardless of its brand.

Our Experts

Anna-Ross.jpg

Anna Ross

Partner Sydney +61 2 9210 6904
LEECarolAnne.jpg

Carol Lee

Special Counsel Brisbane +61 7 3228 9363
Daryl Clifford.jpg

Daryl Clifford

Partner Brisbane +61 7 3228 9778
Eddie Scuderi.jpg

Eddie Scuderi

Partner Brisbane +61 7 3228 9319
Eugenia Kolivos.jpg

Eugenia Kolivos

Partner Sydney +61 2 9210 6316
WHEELAHAN Frances website grey SIZED TH

Frances Wheelahan

Partner Melbourne +61 3 9672 3380
FrankLawson.jpg

Frank Lawson

Partner Sydney +61 2 9210 6224
Helen Carke.jpg

Helen Clarke

Partner Brisbane +61 7 3228 9818
CAMERON James website grey SIZED TH

James Cameron

Special Counsel Brisbane +61 7 3228 9752
BURGER Jodie website grey SIZED TH

Jodie Burger

Special Counsel Brisbane +61 7 3228 9720
FARRERJonathanwebsitegreySIZEDTH.jpg

Jonathan Farrer

Partner Melbourne +61 3 9672 3383
Julia Cameron.jpg

Julie Cameron

Partner Brisbane +61 7 3228 9461
Odette Gourley.jpg

Odette Gourley

Partner Sydney +61 2 9210 6066
Vanessa Mellis.jpg

Vanessa Mellis

Special Counsel Brisbane +61 7 3228 9409