Goldsmiths-DLA Piper Knowledge Transfer on Genomics Legal Services

 

 

Prof Yulia Kovas and Dr Fatos Selita are working with DLA Piper towards preparing the law firm for the provision of genomics legal services, as part of the Knowledge Transfer between Goldsmiths, University of London and global law firm DLA Piper, funded by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI)

A session to all Departments Globally

Genomics and law experts, Professor Yulia Kovas and Dr Fatos Selita delivered a session on Provision of Genomics Legal Services as part of the Knowledge Transfer between Goldsmiths, University of London and global law firm DLA Piper, funded by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI)

Friday 22 September

 

 

 

 

The session covered key scientific advances, key features of genetics data and technologies, opportunities in the industry for business generally and for the provision of legal services.

Towards provision of Genomics Legal Services

By: Genomics and law experts, Professor Yulia Kovas and Dr Fatos Selita

Session to: Life Sciences Departments Globally

Knowledge Transfer between Goldsmiths, University of London and global law firm DLA Piper. Funder: UK Research and Innovation (UKRI)

Date: Friday 8 September

 

 

 

 

Professor Yulia Kovas and Dr Fatos Selita delivered a session to the DLA Piper Life Sciences Departments on preparing the law firm for the provision of genomics legal services.

 

 

With many life sciences lawyers attending from across the globe, Chaired by DLA Piper’s Richard Taylor, Professor Kovas opened the session by providing the scientific context to the KTP, summarising the historical progression of genetics, briefly explaining key terms and concepts, before outlining contemporary advances in the field including sequencing, genomics, gene-editing and epigenetics. Their rising technical efficiencies and lowered costs have led to significant rises in direct-to-consumer genetic testing (DTC-GT), and Professor Kovas touched on their applications in the social context, featuring family planning and reproductive choice, before handing over to Dr Selita who developed this further in his talk focusing on the legal aspects.  

Building on traditional issues in genetics of healthcare, insurance and privacy, Dr Selita highlighted the critical mediating role of law firms in the genomics industry, expanding on existing uses of genetic data by businesses towards viable future markets, including personalised lifestyle and travel genetic products. Dr Selita underscored the serious need for genomics legal services, emphasising the precision features of genetic information; the unique features of genetic data, such as the permanent and familial features, pleiotropy; the scale of the data processing, and what can go wrong; and the risks of litigation and of unpredictable outcome. Discussing the ethical and legal implications for stakeholders – from consumers and regulators to commercial and industrial partners – Dr Selita drew attention to the need for law firms to purposefully engage in the rapidly expanding private and public genetic spheres.

The stimulating session closed with thought provoking questions, the chair and audience of DLA Piper representatives reflecting and pointing towards the pressing need for discussion and engagement, potentially allowing the firm to be an innovator in the field of genetics and law, placing the foundations for the next stage of the proposed KTP collaboration.

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