About Me

I'm a corporate partner based in London where I use my experience to advise clients - ranging from start-ups to multinationals, investment banks and private equity funds - on mergers and acquisitions (and divestitures), IPOs and other securities offerings, private equity and venture capital investments/exits, joint ventures, strategic collaborations and corporate reorganisations.

My primary focus is on advising clients operating in the life sciences, healthcare and technology, media and telecoms sectors. You'll find me ranked in the Legal 500 UK 2023 legal directory as a Next Generation Partner in the fields of Venture Capital and Life Sciences and Healthcare.

The life sciences and healthcare industries are changing rapidly. In life sciences, exciting science is resulting in new drugs and medical devices being developed that will in time drastically improve health outcomes. Meanwhile, companies with promising drugs in development continue to get acquired by larger pharmaceutical companies so that they can replenish their drug pipelines. In healthcare, new and innovative ways of delivering better health outcomes more efficiently are being developed, challenging healthcare providers to keep up with the rapid rates of technological change. At all times, we use our knowledge of the life sciences, healthcare and technology sectors to provide our clients with focused and commercial advice.

Over the years I've found that most of the transactions on which I advise have a cross-border dimension. I therefore have significant experience of dealing with the challenges presented by complex international projects, including solving complex legal issues and bridging cultural differences. Bird & Bird also has an excellent international network and I regularly work with colleagues in other offices to help clients implement their transactions successfully.

I am admitted as a Solicitor of the Senior Courts of England and Wales and the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court in the British Virgin Islands and I hold an LL.B. in Law with Economics from Durham University. I also serve on the Finance and Tax Advisory Committee of the BioIndustry Association.
  • Life Sciences
  • Advised Envision Pharma Group on their acquisition of OKRA.ai, a technology company active in the provision of artificial intelligence (AI) solutions for the healthcare industry.
  • Advised Merck KGaA, as lead investor, on a series B financing into a UK life sciences company.
  • Advised the Dementia Discovery Fund (managed by SV Health Investors) on numerous transactions including: (i) Amphista Therapeutics Limited's series B extension financing; (ii) NeuroGeneus Limited's £12 million series A financing; and (iii) Transine Therapeutics Limited's £9.1 million seed financing.
  • Advised Brandon Capital, Atlas Ventures and Forbion on the US$68M series A financing of Pheon Therapeutics, a UK-based Antibody-Drug Conjugate (ADC) specialist developing next generation ADCs for a wide range of hard-to-treat cancers.
  • Advised Omnicell, Inc. on the acquisition of Hub and Spoke Innovations Limited, the distributor of the Pharmaself24 prescription collection kiosk in Great Britain.
  • Advised Railpen on its investment in CMR Surgical as part of the US$600 million series D financing led by SoftBank Vision Fund 2.
  • Advised Celltrion, Inc., Mirae Asset Capital and Premier Partners on the US$47 million series A financing of Iksuda Therapeutics Limited, the developer of a new generation of antibody drug conjugates (ADCs).
  • Advised Chiesi Farmaceutici S.p.A. on the in-licence of Raxone® – an orphan drug used in the treatment of Leber's hereditary optic neuropathy, a rare hereditary eye disease that leads to severe vision loss – from Santhera Pharmaceuticals Holding AG for approximately €93 million.
  • Technology, Media and Telecommunications
  • Advised Paladin Capital on multiple transactions including: (i) Hack The Box's US$55 million series B financing led by Carlyle; and (ii) Virtuoso's US$13.3m series A financing alongside Mubadala Capital.
  • Advised National Digital Infrastructure Fund, managed by Amber Infrastructure, on the sale of NextGenAccess Limited, the neutral-host managed fiber infrastructure service provider, to ITS Technology Group, a portfolio company of Aviva.
  • Advised Railpen on numerous transactions including their investments in: (i) Gousto (as part of a broader US$170 million secondary placing); and (ii) TransferMate (as part of its US$70M series C financing).
  • Advised Urban Air Port Limited on numerous transactions including: (i) its partnership with Hyundai Air Mobility (a Hyundai Motor Group division) to develop urban air mobility infrastructure; and (ii) multiple financings.
  • Advised Elite World Group, the world's largest model management network, on a joint venture to establish a new agency called EWG Virtual focused on creating digitized versions of real life talents and models.
  • Advised National Digital Infrastructure Fund and Railpen on the £50 million funding round in Community Fibre, the ultra-fast full-fibre internet service provider.


  • Durham University, LLB, Law with Economics
  • BPP Law School, LPC


  • The Senior Courts of England & Wales in 2006
  • Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court (British Virgin Islands) in 2014
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'James Baillieu is superb. He is quick and accurate in his responses, able to deal with minutae and grander strategy all with ease.'

Legal 500 UK 2023 – Venture Capital

'Partner James Baillieu is … always on the ball, pragmatic, doesn't over complicate matters and very good at translating complex legal matters to business people.'

Legal 500 UK 2023 – Life Sciences & Healthcare

'James Baillieu has deep sector experience and a flexible, open-minded approach.'

Legal 500 UK 2021

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