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RPC teams up with manufacturers by providing free legal advice on the production and distribution of personal protective equipment (PPE) to frontline NHS staff

Published on 06 May 2020

RPC has advised Augment Bionics on legal issues in relation to producing and distributing face shields for NHS staff dealing with COVID-19.

Augment Bionics is a start-up set up by students and alumni from the University of Edinburgh, which specializes in 3D printing affordable prosthetics.

In response to a national shortage of protective equipment in the UK, Augment Bionics has scaled up and started producing thousands of face shields for medical staff on the COVID-19 frontline.

A team of RPC lawyers including Jon Bartley, Ciara Cullen, Peter Rudd-Clarke, Michelle Moriarty, Esme O'Hagen and Michael Porter have been advising Augment Bionics on regulations, liability risks, supply contracts and IP issues. The team have been advising Augment Bionics free of charge as part of the firm's pro bono initiative.

RPC have advised Augment Bionics against the backdrop of a fluid regulatory regime, as the government brought out new guidelines in response to the crisis.

RPC lawyer Peter Rudd-Clarke said: "In times where the country has had difficulty keeping up with the demand for equipment for frontline NHS staff, we saw this as a duty to our community and therefore were more than happy to collaborate with a start-up such as Augment Bionics to help fill the gap. With our market-leading life sciences team, supported by experts in our contracts and IP teams, we were well-placed to advise a motivated community keen to support the NHS. It has been an absolute pleasure to work with the team at Augment Bionics, who have been incredible throughout these last few weeks in stepping up to the challenge."

William Harries, Head of Strategic Relations at Augment Bionics, said: "Once we decided we wanted to help our community in producing and delivering urgently needed PPE to frontline NHS staff, we looked for a legal partner who could guide us overcome a myriad of legal challenges quickly. We instantly realised RPC's lawyers shared our vision to give back to our community and they have been incredibly important in our mission to produce and deliver equipment to the NHS. I can only commend RPC for providing their service on a pro bono basis."

To find out more about our Pro Bono work at RPC, please refer to the Pro Bono Page on our website.