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John E. Osborn

Senior Advisor
Washington, D.C.

John E. Osborn

Senior Advisor John Osborn joined Hogan Lovells following two decades as a general counsel and corporate affairs executive with leading life sciences companies, including Fortune 1000 firms Cephalon and US Oncology.

As a result, he has a deep understanding of the business environment, as well as the legal and policy challenges, faced by clients who are building the next generation of successful healthcare companies. Above all, he is an effective counselor on governance and compliance issues who sees the big picture, weighs the risks and rewards inherent in complicated business decisions, and marshals the firm's experienced practitioners to support the resolution of corporate transactions, litigation, and regulatory policy matters.

John has been at the forefront of many of the challenges faced by in-house counsel working for life sciences and healthcare companies. He has led negotiations on the purchase and sale of companies, defended and settled off-label promotion and marketing allegations, brought and settled patent infringement litigation that ensured protection for a billion dollar franchise product, helped to facilitate a sensitive CEO transition, and been an industry advocate on important public policy issues.

His scholarship was cited by the U.S. Court of Appeals (2nd Circuit, 2012) in United States v. Caronia as the court rejected the government's prosecution of a pharmaceutical sales representative on the basis of the First Amendment's protection of commercial speech.

John has served in all three branches of the federal government, including the U.S. Department of State during the George H.W. Bush administration and as a law clerk to Albert V. Bryan of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. In 2008, he was confirmed by the Senate as a member of the U.S. Advisory Commission on Public Diplomacy. He also writes a regular column on health policy for Forbes.com, serves on several corporate boards, and is an advisor to the healthcare group of a leading global private equity firm.

"Osborn protected his company's billion-dollar franchise drug Provigil, which helps those with severe sleep disorders; he agreed to cut three years from its patent life but secured six years exclusivity." 

LawDragon 500 Leading Lawyers in America 2007

Representative experience

Led effort to enact the Controlled Substances Export Reform Act of 2005, enabling companies to more efficiently manage their overseas supply chain.

Authored leading journal article criticizing government enforcement policy on off-label promotion, cited by federal appeals court in U.S. v. Caronia.

Worked with leading private equity firm to structure and negotiate US$2bn sale of US Oncology to McKesson.

Testified before the U.S. Antitrust Modernization Commission on merger review and market definitions in its hearing on Antitrust & the New Economy.

Member of U.S. Supreme Court appellate team in landmark case that struck down the "sale of business" doctrine.

Member of U.S. delegation that negotiated groundbreaking bilateral investment treaty with Argentina.

Gained national attention for bringing "bet the company" patent litigation and settling to protect billion dollar franchise product.

Education and admissions


  • Visiting Research Fellow, Socio-Legal Studies, University of Oxford, 2008
  • Visiting Fellow, Politics, Princeton University, 2003
  • M.I.P.P., The Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies, 1992
  • J.D., Articles Editor, Virginia Journal of International Law, University of Virginia School of Law, 1983
  • B.A., Phi Beta Kappa, University of Iowa, 1979
  • Attended, The College of William & Mary, 1976


  • Board of Directors, Egalet Corporation, Wayne, Pa., 2015-Present
  • Advisory Board, QPID Health, Boston, 2014-Present
  • Affiliate Professor, University of Washington, Seattle, 2012-Present
  • Leadership Council, University of Michigan Life Sciences Institute, Ann Arbor, 2005-Present
  • Fellows of the American Bar Foundation, Chicago, 2007-Present
  • Member, American Law Institute, Philadelphia, 2003-Present
  • Member, Council on Foreign Relations, New York, 2001-Present
  • Board of Governors, East-West Center, Honolulu, 2004-2007

Bar admissions and qualifications

  • District of Columbia
  • Massachusetts

Court admissions

  • U.S. Supreme Court


LawDragon 500 Leading Lawyers in America


Eisenhower Fellow, Ireland


Visiting Scholar, Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, Washington


Who's Who in America, American Law, American Politics, Finance & Business

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