Ropes & Gray is advising Pfizer on its $14bn proposed acquisition of pharmaceutical company Medivation – just a few months after its mega merger with Allergan collapsed.

Pfizer turned to Ropes M&A partner Chris Comeau in Boston, as well as securities and public companies partner Paul Kinsella and tax partner David Saltzman.

Ropes partners Peter Welsh and Peter Alpert advised on litigation and real estate matters respectively, while partners Renata Ferrari and Jenny Rikoski worked on benefits.

Government enforcement matters were dealt with by partners Alexandre Rene and Joshua Levy.

Pfizer’s acquisition marks its first major deal since the collapse of its deal with Allergan earlier this year. The $160bn merger fell apart in April after the US Treasury and Internal Revenue Service issued proposed regulations to reduce the benefits of corporate tax inversions.

Cooley partner Jamie Leigh advised Medivation from San Francisco, while Wachtell Lipton Rosen & Katz also worked with the pharmaceutical company in New York.

Wachtell fielded a team that included partners Daniel Neff, Trevor Norwitz, Mark Gordon, Gregory Ostling and Ronald Chen.

Antitrust matters were handled by partner Nelson Fitts, while partner Adam Shapiro worked on executive compensation and benefits. Eric Rosof and Eiko Stange provided finance and tax advice respectively.

Davis Polk & Wardwell won the mandate working with Medivation’s financial adviser JP Morgan Securities, with a team including corporate Alan Denenberg in San Francisco.

Medivation produces prostate-cancer treatment, with the acquisition enabling Pfizer to further its efforts in oncology. Pfizer is understood to have fought off stiff competition from its French rival Sanofi for Medivation.

Background to the deal

Ropes & Gray is one of Pfizer’s main advisers, having retained its place on Pfizer’s Legal Alliance earlier this year. The win came in spite of Pfizer slashing its global panel by 25 per cent over three years, with Kirkland & Ellis and Boies Schiller & Flexner among the firms to have been cut.

Pfizer turned to Ropes as sole legal counsel in 2015 as Pfizer brought Hospira in another billion-dollar transaction worth $17bn. The firm was not heavily involved in Pfizer’s failed bid for Allergan, with the former instead turning to Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom and Wachtell.

This time, Wachtell acted on the other side, picking up the mandate from Medivation. Cooley also strengthened its position in the life sciences sphere, working with the San Francisco-headquartered company.