About Me

As one of our firm's most experienced intellectual property partners, specialising in transactional IP matters, I offer a wealth of knowledge to businesses at the cutting edge of research, development and technology, in a variety of sectors for which IP is of prime importance.

I provide the full array of commercial advice and support in IP, I lead the team delivering licensing, partnering and exploitation agreements, and research, development and marketing collaborations. I also advise our clients on regulatory and 'freedom to operate' issues, and manage significant due diligence matters. I am joint head of the International Life Sciences Regulatory Group.

As a transactional IP lawyer, I provide advice on the protection and exploitation of IP rights, both in stand-alone transactions and as part of acquisition, divestment or investment activity.

Before joining Bird & Bird in 2006, I was head of IP & Life Sciences at another global law firm, after spending 11 years in-house firstly as senior legal adviser at ICI/Zeneca and latterly as Legal Director of Novartis UK. This experience has given me significant insight into the need for pragmatic commercial advice.

As well as speaking on IP generally, and regulatory life sciences topics particularly, I contribute to leading publications, and I edit The Guide to EU Pharmaceutical Regulatory Law (Kluwer Law International), which is written entirely by the team at Bird & Bird with contributions from many offices. I am a member of the Global Board of Bird & Bird.

I was named a Global Thought Leader in the 2022 Who's Who Life Sciences report.
  • Alkuri Global Acquisition Corporation advising on its $4.2 billion merger with Babylon Healthcare.
  • Celltrion, Mirae Asset Capital, and Premier Partners advising on the US$47m series A financing of
  • Iksuda Therapeutics, a developer of a new generation of antibody- drug conjugates (ADCs).
  • Norton Motorcycles in relation to the international licensing of its novel engineering technology.
  • Chiesi Pharmaceuticals: advising on the European aspects of an international acquisition from Horizon Pharma plc of the European marketing rights to two cystic fibrosis products.
  • Cheminova: acting on the asset sale of 4 active ingredients in the EEA.
  • Weichai Power, one of China's leading automobile and equipment, in relation to a significant three way collaboration with the market leader Bosch and Ceres Power, a multinational licensing entity which owns and controls significant amounts of hugely valuable IP. The parties will be investing $750 million in the collaboration, which relates to the development of cutting edge lithium fuel cell batteries, principally building on the technology in SteelCell® batteries.
  • FMC Crop Science: advising in relation to its divestment to Nufarm Limited of a portion of its European herbicide portfolio.
  • Chiesi Farmaceutici S.p.A: advising in relation to its acquisition from Dublin-based Horizon Pharma of the rights to PROCYSBI (cysteamine bitartrate) and QUINSAIR (levofloxacin inhalation solution) in the EMEA regions for. Horizon's facilities in the Netherlands, France and Germany and its 40 employees were included in the deal.
  • Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust: providing general IP, licensing and commercial advice to this leading cancer research hospital.
  • I represented a significant UK based pharmaceutical company in one of the first PRAC cases at EMA.


  • University of Manchester, LLB Hons, Law
  • College of Law, Lancaster Gate - Law Society Finals


  • Law Society of England & Wales in 1988
  • Law Society of Ireland in 2017
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"Sally Shorthose is an IP specialist, revered for her deep knowledge of regulatory issues pertaining to the life sciences industry."

Who's Who Legal 2021

"Sally Shorthose of Bird & Bird ranks as one of the UK's leading transactional specialists in the life sciences sector, whose first-rate practice encompasses licensing agreements as well as development collaborations."

Who's Who Legal 2021

Named an 'Influential Woman in IP' - 'women in law who play a vital role in advancing the IP industry and challenging the existing status quo.'

World Intellectual Property Review (WIPR) 2020

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