Sylvain Poitras is a health-sector attorney-at-law supporting commercial operations and public sector clients worldwide, with a focus on cross-border matters. He is trained in law, public health and pharmacology. He is based in Geneva, Switzerland.
Sylvain is a Partner and Life Science Practice Head with Appleton Luff International Lawyers (AL), a specialty law firm focusing on issues of international trade, intellectual property, life sciences, arbitration, investment and public international law. The attorneys of AL are based in six countries on four continents and have a combined track-record of representing clients in matters in over 100 countries worldwide. AL is an agile, US-minded, geosavvy and human-size global boutique law firm.
A dual Canadian-Swiss national, Sylvain is registered as an attorney-at-law in the US (NY Bar) and Canada (Quebec Bar) and holds a Master of Public Health (MPH) in international health-sector management from Harvard University. In 2021, he was certified by the Harvard Medical School upon successfully completing a condensed training in pharmacology (pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamic, toxicity, drug development).
Sylvain teams up with health-sector clients worldwide as their legal advisor, sparring partner, negotiation lead and, in several instances, fractional (part-time) General Counsel. He combines legal skills and health-sector insight with a COO state of mind to support smart and prompt business plan execution navigating health-sector contractual practices, health product regulation and antibribery compliance across borders. Clients include mature firms, start-ups, investors, non-profits, ethics committees, regulators and governments.
Over 30+ years in international life science, Sylvain led legal, business negotiation and compliance functions for business lines generating hundreds of millions USD/EUR in annual sales and closed on deals in tens of countries worldwide working with Big Medtech, Big Pharma and others, interfacing Europe-US and other cross-border health matters. Sylvain sat for several years on the Legal Affairs Group of Medtech Europe, the European medtech trade association (Brussels) and is an active member of Swiss Medtech, the Swiss medical device industry association (Bern).
Sylvain developed various new university courses on European healthtech law (regulatory qualification/pathway, CE-marking, contracting practices, anti-bribery compliance, innovation, research, IP, post-marketing duties, practical cases) which he has taught annually at two Swiss universities (EPFL & UNINE) since 2010.
Since its creation in 2016 he has been a mentor and judge with leading start-up accelerator MassChallenge Switzerland and was invited to join the MassChallenge Israel roster of mentors starting in 2020.