Wragge & Co has won a new biotechnical client because of a meeting organised through The Lawyer's in-house forum Legal Monte Carlo 99.
The Cambridge Antibody Technology Group, which has a market capitalisation of £382m, uses technologies to discover and produce antibodies for drugs.
The company was formed 10 years ago and was floated on the London Stock Exchange in 1997.
But following a meeting between vice-president of legal affairs and company secretary Diane Mellet and IT/IP partner Patrick Duxbury last November, the group will also be using Wragges for work on a new pharmaceutical software branch of the group, Bioinformatics.
Mellett says: “We have just instructed Wragges to do some computer work. The firm has a good reputation but it came out of Legal Monte Carlo.”
Duxbury says he was “sceptical” of whether the in-house forum would be a source of new work or not.
But he now believes the event is a better way of getting work than conventional methods. “It is a pretty honest way of buying legal services. There is no pussy-footing about, it is very direct and it is what people want,” he says.
“It is an opportunity to save a lot of time through not doing beauty parades, particularly during working hours.”
Duxbury says winning the work is a coup for the practice. “In terms of developing an on-going relationship, Cambridge Antibodies is one of the leading companies on the stock market.”
The biotechnical and pharmaceuticals industry is undergoing a period of renewed investor interest. Duxbury says the sector is in a similar position to that of the dot coms 15 years ago. Although there was a dip at the start of the 1990s, the sector is now buoyant.
He adds: “There is a worry for investors that it takes a long time to make a profit out of the sector because it takes so long to get a drug to market. But if it works then the returns are incredibly significant.”
see sector insight page 20-22.