Neil Kirby
Name: Neil Kirby
Firm Name: Werksmans Attorneys
Jurisdiction: South Africa
Practice Area: Life Sciences Law

Telephone: +27 11 535 8198
Fax: +27 11 535 8698

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Professional Biography:

Neil Kirby is a director of Werksmans Attorneys and currently heads the firm’s Healthcare & Life Sciences Practice.

He has significant litigation and dispute resolution expertise in the specialities of healthcare, constitutional and environmental law. Neil regularly advises on the provisions of the Promotion of Access to Information Act and the Promotion of Administrative Justice Act, as well as on healthcare legislation including the National Health Act, the Medicines and Related Substances Act, the Pharmacy Act and Health Professions Act. He also has a strong understanding of the Consumer Protection and National Environmental Management Acts.

Neil is a member of the World Association of Medical Law and the International Bar Association (IBA). He was Chair of the Healthcare & Life Sciences Law Committee of the IBA from 2008 to 2012, Co-Chair of that Commitee in 2013 and is currently Co-Vice Chair of the Corporate Social Responsibility Committee of the IBA.

He is named as a leading lawyer in the categories of healthcare and regulatory by Best Lawyers International and in dispute resolution by Chambers Global: The World’s Leading Lawyers for Business.

Neil has published numerous articles on healthcare, environmental, administrative and constitutional law matters.

Neil has LLB and LLM degrees and a Certificate in Environmental Law from the University of the Witwatersrand.

Life Sciences Law Practice:

Few matters cut deeper into the pockets of both individuals and businesses than healthcare costs. Medical scheme fraud, reported to be widespread, has added substantially to these costs, as has the onslaught of HIV/Aids. Legislative change has also been dramatic in the healthcare industry, resulting in a rash of disputes over dispensing fees, medicine pricing and the advertising of health products.

In this context, the firm is at the cutting edge of legal developments in the health, pharmaceutical and life sciences sectors. For instance, the Werksmans Healthcare & Life Sciences team has helped to clamp down on fraudulent medical claims by representing medical schemes and administrators against erring healthcare service providers. We have also assisted employers in implementing workable, cost-effective HIV/Aids workplace programmes.

The diversified knowledge of the team is complemented by in-depth insight into South Africa’s evolving legislative and regulatory environment. This includes the black economic empowerment requirements of the Health Charter and the legal implications of the National Health Act, Consumer Protection Act and foodstuff laws as well as the proposed National Health Insurance Scheme. Other sought-after skills of the team include know how in product liability matters, consumer protection, licensing, distribution agreements and compliance with clinical trials regulations.

Expertise in these fields is sharpened by extensive international involvement, which includes representation at the World Association of Medical Law and the World Congress on Public Healthcare Law & Ethics. Team members are often speakers at local and global conferences, covering topics ranging from stem cell research and euthanasia to traditional African medicine.

The Healthcare & Life Sciences practice works closely with other practice areas within the firm in order to provide a holistic service to clients. Practice areas with which the Healthcare & Life Sciences practice works include but are not limited to the following: Environmental, Dispute Resolution, Mining & Resources and Competition.

Werksmans Attorneys:

Established in the early 1900s, Werksmans Attorneys is a leading South African corporate and commercial law firm serving multinationals, listed companies, financial institutions, entrepreneurs and government.

Operating in Gauteng and the Western Cape, and connected to an extensive African legal network through LEX Africa, the firm’s reputation is built on the combined experience of Werksmans and Jan S. de Villiers, which merged in 2009.

LEX Africa was established in 1993 as the first and largest African legal network and offers huge potential for Werksmans’ clients as it provides a gateway to Africa to companies seeking to do business on the continent. Each LEX Africa member firm specialises in corporate and commercial law and dispute resolution combined with intimate knowledge of the local customs, business practices, cultures and languages of each country.

With a formidable track record in mergers and acquisitions, banking and finance, and commercial litigation and dispute resolution, Werksmans is distinguished by the people, clients and work that it attracts and retains.

Werksmans’ more than 180 lawyers are a powerful team of independent-minded individuals who share a common service ethos. The firm’s success is built on a solid foundation of insightful and innovative deal structuring and legal advice, a keen ability to understand business and economic imperatives and a strong focus on achieving the best legal outcome for clients.