LS Law’s Steven Dunkerley & His Career in the Life Sciences Industry

What Attracted You to LS Law?

I have been fortunate to have worked with Wendy before and was attracted by her personable and pragmatic approach and her outlook for LS Law, and the rapid growth it is experiencing. 

What’s Been Your Experience of Working at LS Law?

I have found the team collaboration at LS Law very positive, a great team of knowledgeable people that have been very easy to work with. Personally, I have also enjoyed the flexibility and the opportunity to experience new working environments and how they operate. 

Can You Tell us a Little About the Kind of Work You Have Been Doing for LS Law?

I have been working for GlaxoSmithKline as an Interim replacement for their Senior Counsel in the UK Respiratory team, as well as supporting other teams and members of the Legal department as needed. I have worked on a variety of projects, including a wide range of contracts to support the business and contract template improvements. 

How Was Your Interest in the Life Sciences Industry Sparked?

After working as a lecturer in further education some years ago, I took what was initially a temporary position in the legal department at pharmaceutical company ProStrakan Group plc (later acquired by Kyowa Kirin and rebranded as Kyowa Kirin International plc), and I was hooked. I studied Law at Northumbria University in Newcastle, following a year-long course at Cambridge University alongside my work at ProStrakan. I was fortunate to have the support of some great mentors and was presented with lots of opportunities to develop my knowledge of both law and the pharma industry and to get increasingly involved in projects that were key to the company’s growth.  I left the company, after fifteen years, as Head of Legal for the Established Medicines Business Unit.

What’s the Giggest Buzz You Get from Your Work?

In our industry, we have the opportunity to directly impact the lives of patients, and I try to keep this in my consciousness while working every day – it’s a huge motivator. I enjoy supporting each stage of the product development process and to see the benefits it brings to patients.

I also enjoy taking transactions from the identification of an opportunity through to execution, overseeing the full journey and building new relationships along the way.

Tell Us About Some of the Highlights in Your Career. 

One of my highlights was my involvement in the acquisition of ProStrakan by Kyowa Kirin, which was obviously very significant for the business and when it was completed, I received the CEO’s Excellence Award for my work on this project. 

Another highlight has been developing and mentoring the team around me, managing lawyers and paralegals with no previous pharma experience and helping them build their pharma knowledge and watching them flourish and make a difference in the industry. 

What Challenges Do You See for the Industry in 2022?

Brexit still presents challenges – for example, supply to NI is still problematic and will likely develop over the course of this year. I think that a lot of companies may look to refine and improve their policies and processes following Brexit, particularly around the supply chain for products.

Also, with Covid uncertainty continuing into 2022, with work from home or office working guidance, many companies will be looking to update their guidance on workplace flexibility.

Environmentally there are many varying levels of achievement in the Pharma industry, which has a significant role to play in the sustainability movement. Environmental targets will continue to be an increasingly important consideration in the near-term future with more expected pressure from both public and statutory points of view as to what companies will need to achieve for the benefit of the planet and the reputation of the industry.

And Outside of Work?

I have three children, so much of my time outside of work centres around their various activities.  Otherwise, I love sport and watch cricket, football and rugby when I have the time. I also play the guitar and have taken up running since the first Covid lockdown.

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