25 November 2016

Bennett & Philp Lawyers Teamwork Wins Stem Cell Saving Victory

Andrew Lambros, Maurice Hannan
Andrew Lambros
Maurice Hannan

Bennett & Philp’s Insolvency Director, Andrew Lambros called on the health law expertise of Special Counsel Maurice Hannan in an interesting liquidation matter involving stem cells.

The client that the firm represented stored stem cells taken from the cord blood of about 2,200 babies and was being forced into liquidation. The liquid nitrogen supply running dangerously low and without urgent action, the stem cells were in serious danger of being destroyed.

The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) wanted the client to pay the costs of continuing operations personally and had threatened to prosecute them with substantial fines if they did not do this.  The TGA was also refusing to let the client transfer the stem cells to another storage facility so they could be preserved forcing hundreds of families across Australia into uncertainty on the future viability of the frozen cells.

Our health law team were able to prepare an urgent advice for our client, setting out the issues with the TGA and the licensing process for stem cell storage, as well as advice on how to approach and deal with the TGA.

After several weeks of negotiations, the business assets were sold, another licensed storage facility took over the stem cells to the satisfaction of the TGA, the families were advised of the positive outcome and our client avoided any personal liability and costs for the ongoing storage of the stem cells.

The case has proven to be an excellent example of our firm’s teamwork and our ability to “think outside the box” in ensuring a good result for our client.

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