In the Spotlight: Tim Matthews

08 February 2019

Barlow Robbins has strengthened its corporate practice with the arrival of Tim Matthews. Here Tim talks about his background, his links to Guildford and his extensive experience advising life sciences businesses.

Although, I am new to Barlow Robbins, I am not new to Guildford. After starting my career in the City, I spent ten years practicing law here before returning to London for a further ten years where I was a partner in the London office of two US law firms.

I have a particular interest, and specialism, in advising life sciences businesses. Life sciences businesses are distinctive when compared with other business sectors. This is because the essential business rationale of each company is the prevention of disease in, and the preservation of life of, human beings. It is also hugely satisfying to see a company grow through various rounds of clinical trials and fundraisings until they have a product that is being successfully used in patients. At the same time, this represents a challenging and exciting personal journey for the founders and management team.

2019 is likely to be a crucial year for this highly regulated sector, particularly because of Brexit. One of my first tasks at Barlow Robbins was to form a Brexit Task Force to look at its likely impact. To give one example, the majority of marketing authorisations for medicines are applied for under either the UK’s national procedure covering the UK only or an EU procedure (governed by an EU directive) covering the whole of the EU. Marketing authorisations granted by the UK will be unaffected by Brexit. It is also likely that marketing authorisations that have already been granted in other Member States under the EU wide procedure will continue to be recognised in the UK. However, under current rules (unless, of course, mutual recognition agreements are put in place as part of the Brexit deal), where a UK company holds a marketing authorisation granted under the EU wide “centralised” procedure, in order to continue to use that authorisation to market in the EU, that authorisation will need to be transferred to a company established in an EU country (for example, a new European subsidiary). Having to apply for both marketing authorisations in the UK as well as the EU will add to the regulatory burden and costs for the life sciences industry.

I have been aware of Barlow Robbins for some time and have known its Chief Executive, Ray Black for a number of years. I have been impressed with how the firm has positioned itself. There is a strong team and the scope to develop my life sciences practice with my existing and new clients.

Corporate and Commercial | Tim Matthews

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