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The only party not getting heartburn over GSK demerger is the lawyers

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Lawyers at pharmaceutical companies are more important than the scientists, runs an old and cynical piece of industry wisdom.

The demerger of £24bn consumer healthcare group Haleon from its former parent, GlaxoSmithKline, is proving its truth in spades.Exhibit A is Haleon’s bill for separating, which has just leaped from £400m to £500m, largely because contracts were written in US dollars rather than (depreciating) sterling.

The lawyers aren’t scooping the lot, it should be said, since Haleon also had to get its IT systems on to a separate platform, find itself an office and change a lot of medical labels.

But they will have collected the lion’s share of the £100m-ish that relates to admission to London’s stock market.Exhibit B, though, is where the legal bonanza threatens to run and run.

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