Abel & Imray
Abel & Imray’s shrewd, technically astute practitioners get the green light from examiners at the UK Intellectual Property Office and the European Patent Office (EPO) time and again; their finely crafted applications are impossible to turn down. Pharmaceuticals is Paul Brady
’s favourite arena; he has the scientific savvy to speak to inventors in their own language and the sangfroid
to work to unbelievably tight deadlines.
Allen & Overy LLP
Twelve transformative months have thrust Allen & Overy to the top of the tree for intellectual property. It now has over 40 patent practitioners in the United Kingdom – a staggering eight of whom are ranked in the IAM Patent 1000
2018 – not to mention six dedicated science analysts. This reservoir of talent allows it to handle cross-border cases and multimillion-pound transactions without breaking a sweat. “Its lawyers are doing fantastically well. Having them on the other side is extremely hard but always interesting, because they’re very brave in the arguments they make and aren’t afraid of controversy – if they think a position is right for a client, they won’t hesitate to push the boundaries and go for it.” Leading the charge is Nicola Dagg
. “She has to get all the credit for grabbing the practice by the scruff of the neck and turning what was a sleepy support group for the corporate side of the firm into one of the biggest and best IP departments in Europe. She has all the attributes that one would expect in a team-leading senior partner at a top firm but what is most impressive are her team-building and client-handling skills. Few people can knit together a multi-disciplinary team so that everyone genuinely pulls together and feels their contributions are valued and respected. She really is fantastic – the driving force in what is one of the great success stories in recent years.” Another gold-ranked litigator, Marjan Noor
has a jam-packed calendar; in the last four years alone, she has represented clients in seven different actions, four of which led to significant patent trials. The longest-serving member of the firm’s UK IP litigation squad, Mark Ridgway
has played a role in most of its major cases in the last decade. “He is a fantastic strategist whose lines of reasoning have led to the leading judgments in the world on some very important issues.” Together with Dagg, Neville Cordell
and Mark Heaney
, he is currently representing Huawei against Conversant Licensing in the first case to explore the Unwired Planet
judgment. Computer science adepts Cordell and Heaney regularly work hand in hand; they are also assisting Seoul Semiconductor on multi-jurisdictional litigation against Everlight Electronics. Rounding off the contentious side of the practice, Marc Döring
is a life sciences virtuoso who relishes a bet-the-firm battle. For high-value transactions, Jim Ford
and Nigel Parker
are names to remember. Ford’s business savvy and interpersonal skills were instrumental in the success of Exponent’s acquisition of Scotts Miracle-Gro, and Parker has a wealth of experience advising on sizable joint ventures.
Anderson Law LLP
“Anderson law provides excellent support on contractual arrangements with third parties, including licence and shareholder agreements and consultancy and revenue-sharing contracts. Its service is very professional, with clear, prompt responses to all enquiries and excellent knowledge not only of the legal issues but also of the long-term commercial implications actions might have.” Name partner Mark Anderson
is the go-to lawyer for entrepreneurs, start-ups, research institutes and private companies in the United Kingdom seeking top-notch transactional support. “A real thought leader,” he has three decades’ experience under his belt. His teammate Lisa Allebone
has her fair share of fans; a seasoned pro at setting up spin-out companies for universities, life sciences is her favourite technological space.
Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer LLP
A holistic approach to patent protection distinguishes the IP practice at Arnold & Porter. Applications are filed only when all possible objections have been considered, while infringement flames are extinguished with a constant eye on commercial value. Christopher Stothers
is an exemplar of dedication. He lives for high-value cross-border patent litigation and works round the clock to get the right result – something reflected in his “remarkable track record” in the pharmaceutical space. A recent highlight was acting for AstraZeneca in a dispute concerning the terms of a settlement agreement with Teva regarding generic entry into the Portuguese market. For transactions, Richard Dickinson
is the first name on the team sheet. Having shepherded countless big-ticket deals over the line, he counts Sanofi, Senzer, Beiersdorf and GlaxoSmithKline as satisfied customers.
Barker Brettell LLP
Appreciating how much time and money its clients invest in R&D, Barker Brettell goes above and beyond to ensure that they get the best returns for their creativity. Its stable of “extremely talented and reliable patent attorneys” file with finesse and are regulars in EPO proceedings. Birmingham-based Jennifer Atkinson
stands out for her “down-to-earth” style: “She is honest and frank, someone who says it like she sees it, which is much appreciated by rights holders.” Her sharpness shines through in every application she drafts.
Bird & Bird LLP
“Bird & Bird has one of the top IP practices in the United Kingdom. It has very broad and impressive EU coverage and a strong bench of fantastic lawyers who approach their work in the right way – making sure they are timely but putting quality considerations first.” Having eight ranked litigators, it certainly is not short of firepower. Morag Macdonald
is the jewel in the crown; her CV is replete with pan-European patent actions – for example, NovoNordisk v DSM
(United Kingdom, Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany) and Baxter v Pharmacia & Upjohn/Genetics Institute
(Germany, Netherlands, Sweden and the International Chamber of Commerce). Neil Jenkins
, Patrick Kelleher
and Jennifer Jones
excel in the pharmaceutical space too. Jenkins has singular knowledge of issues surrounding supplementary protection certificates (SPCs); the “seriously experienced” Kelleher has faced off against some of the most feared litigators around and emerged victorious; and Jones complements her finely calibrated courtroom craft with a strong understanding of proceedings at the London Court of International Arbitration. Healthcare and chemistry are sweet spots for Mark Hilton
and Robert Williams
respectively, although both are great at switching gears to accommodate a diverse range of clients. Hilton is labelled a “leading IP lawyer” by admiring peers, and the “bright, personable” Williams wins praise for his ability to provide “creative solutions to complex problems”. Jane Mutimear
is kept on speed dial by a string of telecoms giants thanks to her expertise in fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory (FRAND) licensing, while Katharine Stephens
has made the mechanical engineering space her own. Regularly exchanging insights with her banking and finance and tax counterparts, Sally Shorthose
is a deals dynamo. She loves nothing more than seeing a sophisticated licensing agreement to a successful close.
Boult Wade Tennant
“One of the largest IP firms in the United Kingdom, Boult Wade Tennant maintains an excellent prosecution practice and does a tremendous job in opposition proceedings; the strategies it comes up with have to be seen to be believed.” Having gained over 100 new clients, attended 150-plus hearings at the EPO and filed more than 2,000 patent applications in 2016 – and similar in 2017 – the firm has unquestionably had a lot on its plate. With Nick McLeish
in the captain’s chair, however, everything has been running swimmingly. He is treasured for his time management, efficiency, communication skills and dominion over the electronics realm. Matthew Spencer
, Jennifer O’Farrell
and Claire Baldock
are great choices for challenging biotech work. “Spencer has a remarkable handle on extremely complex scientific issues and is a pleasure to work with. He is humble, accepting tweaks to written submissions with grace and patiently correcting clients when they are wrong. He also makes himself available at odd hours and flies out to meetings at scant notice without complaint.” The ability of O’Farrell to liaise with inventors and capture the essence of new technologies in clear, concise language is very impressive. Chair of the International Association for the Protection of Intellectual Property’s biotech and plant sciences committee, Baldock is a highly respected member of the international community. Rohan Setna
and Adrian Hayes
are chemistry and materials mavens. Setna has been handling a string of tricky oppositions and appeals at the EPO for Koninklijke Douwe Egberts; another regular at the EPO, Hayes never puts a foot wrong in hard-fought proceedings.
“Bristows operates an absolutely top-drawer IP litigation practice – especially as regards pharmaceutical and life sciences patents. There’s no question that it deserves its excellent reputation.” With 19 partners and 65 associates, the firm has the wherewithal to handle matters of all shapes and sizes; uniquely it also has separate teams set up to advise on issues pertaining to pharmaceutical regulations and those at the intersection of competition and IP law. Co-heads of the patent litigation practice Brian Cordery
and Myles Jelf
inspire great confidence when everything is on the line for senior business executives. “Cordery is such a smart guy – not only in terms of his technical knowledge and judgement but also in terms of the way he builds relationships with clients and lawyers. He’s a really safe pair of hands.” Jelf has been playing a lead role in Samsung’s battle against Unwired Planet, which has so far involved five separate patent trials and extremely complex FRAND issues. Alan Johnson
, Andrew Bowler
and James Boon
also pitched in on this sprawling matter. “Johnson is incredibly clever, personable, creative and generous with his time and talent.” “Bowler’s diligence and motivation never fail to impress. He’s an exceptionally bright and thoughtful litigator – one of the most talented and effective out there.” Boon, too, is showered with praise: “He has a thorough grasp of telecommunications technologies and FRAND issues. Everything he does is of the highest quality and in line with agreed time and cost deadlines. On top of that, his communications are crystal clear.” Dominic Adair
, Robert Burrows
and Liz Cohen
dazzle in the pharmaceutical and life sciences spaces. “Adair masters the minute details of cases without ever losing sight of the big picture; he advances clients’ strategies beyond the United Kingdom.” A recent highlight to Burrows’ name was representing Janssen and GD Searle in a landmark defence of SPC revocation proceedings commenced by Sandoz and Hexal; this was the first case to consider Article 3(a) of the SPC Regulation in the context of monotherapies and patent claims limited by a structural formula. The hard graft that Cohen puts in pre-trial is reflected in a sublime track record; she has made a name for herself at courts across the land. Rounding off the litigation practice, the outward-looking Edward Nodder
has an affinity for advising Japanese rights holders on patent litigation in Europe. Matthew Warren
, Fiona Nicolson
and Laura Anderson
make up the commercial cadre. Warren recently advised Forward Pharma on the negotiation of a licence agreement with Biogen, the signing of which attracted significant media attention. The enterprising Nicolson relishes the challenge of taking a start-up to big places through collaborative ventures, while many multinational pharmaceutical giants count themselves lucky to have a hotline to the whip-smart Anderson.
Browne Jacobson LLP
Operating from offices in London, Birmingham and Nottingham, Browne Jacobson is an impeccable choice for patent infringement proceedings and transactions. Its hands-on, proactive lawyers knuckle down to meet their clients’ needs, soliciting their corporate colleagues for second opinions and analysing all options on the table before putting pen to paper. Mark Daniels
and Kathleen Fox Murphy
are two hard-hitting electronics litigators with fire in their bellies. Daniels has handled a plenitude of cases with co-pending actions in Europe and the United States; Fox Murphy brings unique competition law knowledge to the table, something prized by the many telecoms companies on her list. A font of commercial wisdom, Selina Hinchliffe
provides “sound practical, pragmatic and cost-effective transactional advice and makes herself available at all times.” She is great at explaining intricate legal issues to laypeople.
“Carpmaels & Ransford has a fantastic reputation – it represents the benchmark, the absolute gold standard for patent prosecution.” Gilead Sciences, Janssen, Vanda Pharmaceuticals, Xeros and Gillette all entrust the firm with their portfolios. A key cog in the life sciences practice, James Warner drafts airtight applications. Edward Oates’s creativity and technical acumen are no less impressive; he has experience advising on everything from small molecule inventions to later stage developments. The seasoned Daniel Wise brings matchless expertise in protein therapeutics, vaccine technology and medicine chemistry to the party. An old hand at EPO oppositions, Cameron Marshall is enlisted when objections from competitors are only a question of time. Another regular sight in EPO proceedings, Susan Kirsch captains the chemistry practice but is superb in consumer products and food science matters to boot. Telecoms and electrical engineering are the strong suits of John Brunner and Richard Jackson respectively. While the firm is unquestionably best known for its non-contentious offering, it has also been grabbing attention in the courtroom with a string of impressive showings in SPC cases. A notable highlight was the assistance provided to Abraxis BioScience in its battle against the Comptroller-General of Patents; life sciences sages Hugh Goodfellow and Camilla Balleny scored an injury-time winner in an appeal before the UK Patents Court, forcing the matter to be referred to the European Court of Justice. Goodfellow is a technical whizz who focuses on filing but also acts as a strategic link between the two wings of the firm’s practice; with his input, Balleny and the rest of the dispute resolution gang never skip a beat. Ian Kirby and David Wilson are two more litigators marked by magnificent powers of recall and ceaseless elegance. “Kirby always adopts a business-oriented approach and takes care to render practical advice within the timetable agreed on, however tight that might be. What’s great about him is that he seeks to explain, reason and convince rather than dismiss and table thump. Everything proceeds in a smooth manner – even opposing counsel quickly form a positive impression.” Wilson has been flexing his muscles for Pacific Biosciences in a dicey High Court case against Oxford Nanopore Technologies relating to innovative methods of single-molecule DNA sequencing.
Charles Russell Speechlys LLP
Keeping clients’ wider business interests front and centre at all times, Charles Russell Speechlys makes a valuable partner for anyone looking to make big money out of their patent portfolio. The firm’s tireless, commercially focused lawyers dispense razor-sharp transactional support at speed and never stop looking for exciting new monetisation opportunities. So nimble a negotiator is Jennifer Pierce
that even the chariest third parties sign on the dotted line after a little time in the room with her. Ian Wood
steps in when things turn contentious. He is a straight-shooting litigator who never takes his eyes off the prize.
Cleveland Scott York
Fizzing with technical brilliance and commercial nous, the IP practice at Cleveland Scott York is impossible to ignore. Its ace patent attorneys really pull out all the stops: they spend their commutes each morning researching their clients’ markets and book in as much face time with them as possible; on top of that, emails are responded to at lightning speed and reports are written in straightforward, easily digestible language. This has enticed all manner of rights holders, from small and medium-sized enterprises to enormous multinationals. Adrian Bradley
is perhaps the most famous member of the practice; his airtight knowledge of SPC issues and regulatory data exclusivity has made him a favourite among pharmaceutical titans. Another great choice is his teammate and “a grade-A boffin” Tom Faulkner
: “There is no one better at drafting patent applications for difficult-to-understand technology.” The internationally minded Fraser Brown
and Andrew Mackenzie
both have a wealth of experience getting problematic applications past EPO examiners and handling knotty opposition and appeal proceedings.
When it comes to customer experience, some UK firms could learn a lot from Cooley, which has brought its clients-first approach across the pond to deafening applause. Pharmaceutical magus Colin Murphy
has a real flair for distilling complex information into concise summaries that can be easily digested in the C-suite, while his sidekicks John Wilkinson
and Nicola Maguire
are highly knowledgeable in all areas of IP commercialisation. They have provided the glue for an array of highly complex business alliances.
Covington & Burling LLP
With a bounty of commercial savvy and a modern, unstuffy ethos, the full-service Covington & Burling is a top choice for rights holders needing transactional IP support. Its fleet-footed patent practitioners have the strategic wits and social skills to get other parties to the table for talks – and then, in the blink of an eye, find a solution that works for all. A leader of the firm’s multidisciplinary digital health initiative, Daniel Pavin
gets a kick out of getting game-changing new medical technologies to market. Lucinda Osborne
is ace when it comes to patent valuation and acquisition; the question of whether more money could be made from a client’s portfolio is one she routinely finds herself chewing over out of office hours. Morag Peberdy
is an outstanding licensing expert who gets technologies into the right hands at just the right time.
D Young & Co operates one of the best EPO patent opposition practices in Europe. Having a sixth sense for what will carry the day – and as of summer 2016 an office in Munich, close to the action – its nimble-witted practitioners emerge victorious from crucial proceedings over and over again. The biotech, chemistry and pharmaceutical practice is chock-full of talent, with Charles Harding
, Catherine Mallalieu
, Neil Nachshen
, Kirk Gallagher
, Simon O’Brien
, Aylsa Williams
and Garreth Duncan
all ranked in the IAM Patent 1000
2018. Harding’s rigorous analytical mind is an invaluable asset in the drafting process. “Mallalieu is an incredibly experienced practitioner who is very successful at getting applications through to grant and upheld in opposition – a real star. She’s quick to understand her clients’ technologies and to recognise their business needs. On top of that, she’s always responsive to enquiries and works collaboratively with in-house IP managers and scientists to ensure that their innovations are appropriately protected.” The supremely sharp Nachshen is excellent at advising on the second medical use of approved drugs, formulations and synthetic processes. A “fantastic” ally to have, Gallagher is extremely hardworking and knows life sciences inside out, while O’Brien has the technical expertise and experience to handle even the most delicate and vital matters in a tight timeframe. Williams and Duncan work together so frequently they can practically finish one another’s sentences. “They make an invaluable team and provide a wonderful experience for rights holders. They’re collaborative and bring a lot to the table – it’s clear how committed they are. Clients feel like they have 24/7 access to them, with regular in-person meetings and video conferencing.” The electronics, engineering and IT practice features two more stars: Anthony Albutt
and Jonathan Jackson
. Albutt is tremendous in the telecoms space, while Jackson has a preternatural understanding of wearable technologies. With clients receiving support from these nine masterly patent attorneys, no one ever feels short changed. What is more, the contentious wing of the practice is now flourishing too, meaning that the firm can be effectively used as a one-stop shop. This practice is Ian Starr
’s baby and it shows – since establishing it in 2011 he has put his heart and soul into every case and let nothing run away from him. Fellow litigator Richard Willoughby
inspires confidence in clients too. He really knows the intricacies of UK courts and has the ability to think on his feet.
With a deep prosecution playbook, the fast-moving Dehns continues to make an impact in UK intellectual property. Its astute army of patent attorneys provide tailor-made, cost-effective counsel that helps clients to stay one step ahead of competitors; a route to registration is found even for inventions that offer only a subtle improvement on what is already on the market. Philip Webber
spends most of his time working in the pharmaceutical space with start-ups, small to medium-sized enterprises and universities. Because he spends one day a month working in-house for a biofuels company, he understands the commercial realities of running a business as well as how to decode elaborate legal concepts for laypeople. His comrade-in-arms Christopher Davies
is “fantastic in EPO proceedings – areally great oral advocate with a good dose of common sense”.
Rights holders seeking reliable outside counsel for pragmatic, round-the-clock support would be well advised to call on Dentons. This full-service global powerhouse has the wherewithal to establish, monetise and safeguard patent portfolios with ease. Leading the firm’s prosecution and oppositions practice across Europe, Justin Hill
provides pivotal strategic guidance that gets straight to the marrow of things. A veteran litigator, Campbell Forsyth
picks up the bat when situations get serious. “He’s a great lawyer who gets on remarkably well with all his clients as well as opposing counsel – a true pleasure to work with.” FRAND issues are one of his fortes.
DLA Piper UK LLP
With DLA Piper boasting offices throughout Europe, the Americas, the Middle East, Africa and Asia Pacific, it is little surprise that scores of multinationals have placed their portfolios in its trust. Life sciences matters see the London team at its best. Adam Cooke
has been masterminding multi-jurisdictional cases involving the interplay between patent and regulatory data exclusivity law for over 20 years; his supremely well-rounded support ticks all the right boxes. A new feather in Richard Taylor
’s cap is the zipping up of a licensing agreement for GE Healthcare with Blue Earth Diagnostics for the supply of specialist pharmaceuticals. He has no problems untangling the most complex transactional issues.
The much-publicised Unwired Planet v Huawei Technologies
, which first thrust EIP into the limelight, continues to be the talk of the town; the favourable April 2017 judgment on FRAND injunctions was described by a former chief judge of the US Court of Appeals as the “decision of the decade” and is now under appeal. This is the shiniest thread in EIP’s workload but plenty of others merit note as well; ClearCorrect Holdings, Amgen and Immunex have all tasked the set with significant infringement proceedings. “EIP is doing extremely well at the moment – loads of mandates are going its way.” Robert Lundie Smith
, Gary Moss
and Matthew Jones
are the three litigators for the address book. “Lundie Smith drafts excellent statements of claim. He’s very analytical, extraordinarily diligent and easy to work with – someone who really goes the extra mile for clients and whose reputation is well deserved.” There are few lawyers in the world who know more about standard-essential patents (SEPs) and the telecoms field than Moss. Having worked for Teva, Jones appreciates the unique day-to-day commercial pressures of the pharmaceutical industry. While the firm is most famous for its contentious activity, Darren Smyth
, Laurence Brown
, Jerome Spaargaren
and Heather McCann
are prosecution pros. Leading the elements practice, Smyth has technical expertise in an impressive range of fields, notably agrochemicals, food chemistry and medical devices. “Brown quickly gains the respect of right holders’ most senior management. He has amazing communication skills and knows how to deal with inexperienced inventors who have little to no IP knowledge.” Electronics whizz Spaargaren loves working with computer systems, high-tech optics and exciting new software. McCann plies her trade in similar terrain – the Internet of Things and electronic messaging systems being two of her favourites. “The depth of Matt Lawman
’s technical knowledge is very impressive; he gets the hang of complex concepts quickly and always asks pertinent questions. As a bonus, he’s really accessible.” Lawman’s three years spent as IP director at a photonics start-up have left him with a profound understanding of how to light a fire under a company.
The “excellent” Gill Jennings & Every is at the vanguard of the changing IP services industry, committed to providing clients with both by-the-book legal support and high-level strategic business advice. Its patent team prosecutes with power and poise and is a regular at the EPO; it has represented the patentee in over 1,000 opposition proceedings and the opponent in over 800. Managing partner Peter Finnie
is the nucleus of the practice. He particularly enjoys working with EU start-ups, making sure that their intellectual property is effectively leveraged in business planning and fund raising. “He quickly gets up to speed on the technology at issue, identifies the key aspects for successful commercialisation and then provides concise, insightful analysis that has a material impact on clients’ investment decisions.” Robert Skone James
is another great choice. He was born with more business brains than most lawyers build up over their whole careers and is always keenly aware of long-term goals. Counting the online world as a second home, Peter Arrowsmith
excels in issues surrounding cloud computing and social networks. Lucy Samuels
comes up with ingenious solutions to get chemical engineering inventions rubber stamped by eagle-eyed examiners. Debuting in the IAM Patent 1000
for 2018, the “solution-seeking and highly responsive” Fiona Stevens
is a “superb patent practitioner” whose in-depth knowledge of the field is fed by a true interest in the subject. “Her opinions are always insightful and underpinned by substantive data.”
Gowling WLG’s London crew works hand in hand with colleagues in Canada, China, France, Germany, Russia, Singapore and the United Arab Emirates to deliver clients dynamic support that is alive to the latest international developments. The long-term policy of the firm has always been to grow from the bottom up, bringing in young newly qualified lawyers with potential and coaching them in the skills and service levels expected from everyone who flies Gowling’s flag. This year has seen a characteristically impressive set of junior recruits come aboard and settle into the firm’s culture under the wing of experienced lawyers such as David Barron
, Paul Inman
, Gordon Harris
, Alexandra Brodie
and Patrick Duxbury
. Barron has been busy representing SSH Communications Security on substantial, multi-jurisdictional patent infringement proceedings against Sony. Inman is another “very experienced and highly competent” litigator. “He’s a thoroughly good person whom clients and competitors recommended unreservedly.” In his 30 years at the coalface, Harris has handled cases in all venues, from the Intellectual Property Enterprise Court up to the Supreme Court. He has an affinity for automotive and aviation matters; recently he has been having a lot of engaging discussions with Brodie, who focuses on the overspill of software into traditional sectors – for instance, with self-driving cars. Unlike these courtroom veterans, Duxbury is more at home in backrooms. He has a magic touch for negotiations: having heard him out, parties who were previously reluctant to put pen to paper are happy to sign their name. A recent highlight was advising Crescendo Biologics on its collaboration with Takeda to discover, develop and commercialise Humabody-based therapeutics.
Herbert Smith Freehills LLP
“Herbert Smith Freehills is a leading international firm with a tonne of experience in pan-European patent litigation. Everyone there is hard working, diligent, personable and easy to get along with – a very impressive bunch of people.” The combined firepower of Mark Shillito
, Sebastian Moore
and Sophie Rich
has made the practice a go-to choice for innovative pharmaceutical companies looking to safeguard their most important products from generic (particularly biosimilar) competition. Global head of the IP practice, Shillito really owns matters, taking clients’ interests to heart and working late into the night to get them the result they want. His dazzling eloquence has turned many cases on their head. Moore is another fan favourite. He recently acted successfully for Gilead in a patent infringement suit brought by Idenix – one of the most significant and valuable patent trials to have taken place in England in recent years. “Rich is highly trusted by pharmaceutical clients because of her proven track record effectively managing multinational litigation. She has a really strategic mind.” Captaining the transactional practice, Joel Smith
recently acted for Sberbank in relation to the provision of a $100 million loan facility to the enterprising start-up Gett; astute internationally, he was able to provide rock-solid advice on the taking and recordal of security over Gett’s IP rights in the United Kingdom, the United States, the European Union, Cyprus, Israel and Russia.
With prospering offices in the United Kingdom, the Netherlands and Switzerland, HGF is one of the largest IP boutiques in Europe. “Clients love the fact that it is well disciplined and has strength in depth across the whole biopharmaceutical industry. Its lawyers are far more than legal service providers – they’re invaluable strategic partners. With them you’re essentially getting the sort of response you would expect from an in-house patent department in a cost-effective manner. The additional services they offer, for example running IP workshops and patent clinics, are very well run and always useful.” The Sheffield-based Harry Hutchinson
is in the pilot’s seat. Having developed a profound understanding of the patentability of computer software while at IBM, he is a true rainmaker in the electronics industry. Based in Leeds, Jonathan Atkinson
is also much loved. “He’s really professional, responsive, open to discussion and patient, whether dealing with academic researchers new to patenting or working in a more collaborative way with those more experienced. The services he provides on a day-to-day basis include identifying new opportunities, drafting applications and prosecuting patents, all of which are done to an excellent standard.” Over in London, Matthew Cassie
and Matthew Dixon
assemble airtight portfolios brick by brick. They are all about quality, rather than quantity; what matters to them is getting patents that will stand the test of time. Manchester-based Andrew Wells
is a pharmaceutical sage who gets a kick out of working on patents for new chemical entities, salts and formulations. Chris Moore
leads the firm’s dedicated opposition and appeals practice with a steady hand from the Birmingham office. Commercialisation opportunities are snatched up with flair and finesse by Janet Knowles
. “She’s an extremely talented practitioner who understands how to effectively assist universities. She builds positive relationships with clients and their advisers in no time at all, responding in a timely manner and keeping them constantly updated on progress. She really takes the trouble to fully understand the context of briefs.” For litigation, Rachel Fetches
is the woman to go to. Her weighty workload includes substantial matters such as representing Accord Healthcare against Research Technologies, a complex case that has involved expert testimony from US federal law and Texas state law experts.
In recognition of the fact that Hogan Lovells is the only firm to have won every Supreme Court patent case in which it has been involved, the market speaks with one voice: “Hogan Lovells is the best of the best. It sets the standard.” A recent highlight was representing Eli Lilly in relation to generic attacks on its top-selling oncology product, Alimta. The Supreme Court recently reversed two earlier UK decisions, ultimately finding that Actavis’s generic version of Alimta infringes Eli Lilly’s patents; the London team is now working hand in hand with its Dutch, French and Italian counterparts on associated litigation against other generics. Stephen Bennett
and Daniel Brook
are treasured by Eli Lilly. “Bennett is extremely capable, intelligent, creative, practical and down to earth in his advice. He knows his stuff better than anyone and is amazing with clients.” Also “superb” at handling high-stakes cases, Brook is a life sciences sage. Maintaining a remarkably broad practice, Sarah Turner
is as comfortable representing pharmaceutical and medical device companies as she is with manufacturing titans and start-ups. Brilliant in the telecoms space, Paul Brown
is supporting the technology giant HTC in a multi-patent, multi-jurisdictional SEP case against Philips; Philips is seeking injunctions that would – if granted – take HTC’s smartphones off the market, so for HTC there is currently no case in Europe more important. Luckily, in Brown the company has a “tremendous litigator who is astonishingly bright and has no problems handling complex international matters”.
Because J A Kemp has over 70 patent specialists – including 30 PhDs – a safe pair of hands can be found for every technical issue under the sun. The EPO is a home away from home for many of these practitioners; together, the firm’s patent attorneys file around 1,400 European patent applications annually and have acted in around 300 opposition and appeal proceedings in the last three years. Head of the engineering and IT practice Mike Nicholls is the lynchpin of the practice. He has ample experience to his name and a kaleidoscopic client roster; as well as working with the University of Oxford on medical data processing issues, he also has a loyal following among Japanese entities in the mechanical, electronics and computer software spaces. His teammate Mark Roberts is another fan favourite. Indeed, one interviewee comments: “Roberts is consistently first rate. His most notable characteristics are a willingness to acquire in-depth understanding of the nuances of each matter and a resourcefulness that enables him to find effective, inventive solutions. I have never worked with another European agent whose knowledge and understanding of the law is more complete, or whose approach to European patent prosecution is more effective.” Simon Wright and Sarah Roques dazzle in the pharmaceutical and biotech spaces respectively. Wright’s technical specialties include cancer biomarkers, micro-arrays and in-vitro fertilisation, while Roques counts sequencing technology, diagnostic markers and gene delivery as fortes. “Ravi Srinivasan is an outstanding IP legal professional whose insights and attention to detail are second to none. He has had remarkable success securing effective protection for downstream drug-related innovation around the world.” With Tom Carver in the starting line up, the firm also packs a punch on the litigation side. “From the off he’s approachable, thorough and accessible. He takes the time to understand situations clearly and liaise with internal council. It’s very clear that he thinks long and hard about how to get the best outcome for clients – he’s not someone who just goes through the motions. His legal writing is noticeably less ambiguous than that of most lawyers. He deals with the salient points in a clear and concise way.” Directing cross-border life sciences or healthcare litigation is something he savours, especially when it involves SPC issues.
The profound, far-reaching technical knowledge and hands-on customer service at cosmopolitan IP boutique Keltie is winning it waves of new prosecution mandates; its automotive, fintech and energy practices are growing by the day. Notable clients include Jaguar Land Rover, Celyad and Royal Dutch Shell. The strategic insight and commitment to excellence that Shakeel Ahmad
demonstrates has made him much in demand among ambitious right holders. He specialises in software-related technologies, from data encryption and security through app development to virtual reality gaming. Having spent two years at a biotech and gene therapy start-up, Michael Moore
appreciates how daunting the prospect of developing a commercially relevant IP portfolio can be for some entrepreneurs, and so makes things as effortless and worry free as possible for them. Another biotech savant is Devanand Crease
. “His doctorate in molecular biology and his technical training make him an ideal advocate for effectively and efficiently obtaining key European patents for biotech clients. He is knowledgeable, diligent, responsive to clients’ needs and an excellent team player. He really is a patent strategist rather than simply a filer.”
The “outstanding” Kilburn & Strode sets the pace in patent prosecution. “Its lawyers have remarkable technical knowledge and experience acting for a broad range of rights holders, especially in the life sciences and telecoms areas.” Appreciating that the legal service industry is like all others, in that it is essentially a people business, the firm goes to great lengths to recruit patent attorneys who are not only incredibly intelligent but are also passionate and a pleasure to work with. All eight of its individuals in the IAM Patent 1000 2018 exemplify this. Chair Gwilym Roberts is a rainmaker who recently secured the portfolio of major radiotherapy company Elektra. By dint of his position as president of the UK group of the Union of European Patent Practitioners he has forged close friendships with lawyers across the continent and made a real name for himself in the IP community. Another star choice, Alexander Korenberg is a whip-smart attorney whose fluency in German and French enables him seamlessly to service multinationals seeking pan-European protection. The “very responsive” Kristina Cornish always gives great advice. “She’s not one to sit on the fence. All her clients have complete confidence in her technical expertise – having handled work from so many different sources, she clearly has the experience to advise accurately on the best approaches for EPO proceedings.” She plies her trade in life sciences, alongside Nick Bassil, a hotshot when it comes to stem cell and regenerative medicine issues. Biotech star Nick Lee has been assisting Harvard College on European patent applications concerning the revolutionary gene-editing technique CRISPR. Jim Miller is at the forefront of the mechanical engineering practice. One of his most exciting clients is Reaction Engines, whose cutting-edge Sabre hypersonic/orbital launch engine is the talk of the space sector. Miller has been working together with Richard Howson to get a suite of patents granted for the engine’s unique pre-cooler. The time Howson has spent working as an industrial engineer in automotive R&D allows him to speak to his client’s inventors ad lib.
Linklaters operates a cutting-edge transactional IP practice as part of its Teutonic full-service operation. Plugged into the commercial world, its lawyers know exactly how to generate big bucks from a patent portfolio. Its advice is alert to business realities and communicated in concise, transparent language. Healthcare specialist Nigel Jones
is among the most technically astute lawyers doing major deal work in the United Kingdom. Financial institutions and insurance companies, meanwhile, keep Nemone Franks
on speed dial; she has a complete command of the IP separation issues arising from significant acquisitions and disposals. As well as being a steady-handed overseer of technology transfers, Ian Karet
handles disputes with acuity. Quick on his feet, he has saved the necks of plenty of pharmaceutical rights holders.
Marks & Clerk LLP
Boasting 41 partners and 50 other qualified attorneys in its patent practice, Marks & Clerk is an obvious choice on the non-contentious side. “It’s a real leader in intellectual property, with sensible, pragmatic lawyers who always do an excellent job.” The reason rights holders keep coming back is simple: they are never let down. In this regard, the firm’s relationship with Pharma Mar is exemplary; over the last 20 years it has helped the company to develop dozens of successful IP strategies for its marine-derived anti-cancer drugs. Other staunch allies include OncoSec Medical and Nanoco Technologies. Sheila Wallace
and Philip Martin
keep the mandates rolling in. Wallace’s notably diverse workload features pharmaceutical, chemical engineering, food processing and medical devices matters; while Martin is a commercially astute strategic thinker with a great eye for detail and a profound understanding of analogue, digital and power electronics. New recruit Philip Cupitt
is in high demand too. He has had his hands full filing European patent applications for global IT titans.
Marks & Clerk Solicitors LLP
Having acted for Pfizer, Genentech, Amgen, AbbVie and AstraZeneca in separate pieces of litigation last year concerning some of the most valuable pharmaceutical and biotech products in the world, Marks & Clerk Solicitors ascends to the prestigious gold tier of the IAM Patent 1000
for 2018. Leading the firm’s life sciences practice, Mike Gilbert
is one of the United Kingdom’s foremost SPC experts, and thus the cynosure of all eyes. “He’s always working on high-profile, cutting-edge matters and is excellent at client care. Although he plays a key role in the management of the firm’s activities, he still maintains a close personal involvement in all the cases to his name – where his strategic input is valuable. As well as being hugely experienced in patent litigation, he is a charming colleague.” Will James
knows a thing or two about life sciences too. “The way he explains things to clients who would otherwise have been baffled by the complexities and the variability of national systems is outstanding. He’s excellent at helping them get to grips with tough situations. The advice he gives is always spot on and commercially relevant.” His “conscientious, hard-working and thoughtful” teammate William Cook
is also active in life sciences but comes into his own assisting on electronics and software matters. In this respect he is like Michael Moore
, who has acted for a remarkable array of companies, from Genentech to Virgin Media. “Like so many at Marks & Clerk Solicitors, Michael is easy to get along with, down to earth and available whenever help is required. He is also efficient with his time, which means good value for money.” The internationally minded Graham Burnett-Hall
is one of the few UK practitioners with first-hand experience orchestrating patent litigation in China; telecoms is his chosen sphere. Luminary Gregor Grant
remains an inspiration for the next generation; few practitioners can instantly recall the facts and judgments of historical patent cases as he can.
Mathys & Squire is a deft IP boutique whose vigorous and cost-effective patent practice resonates with UK-based early-stage companies and pharmaceutical titans alike. Known for its meticulous drafting – and au courant
with the latest legal developments across the continent – it is at its finest filing European patents at the EPO but also has a stellar track record in opposition and appeal proceedings. Chemistry whizz Chris Hamer is a name for the address book.
Mewburn Ellis LLP
Mewburn Ellis celebrated its 150th anniversary in 2017. Not one to rest on its laurels, however, it marked the year by opening a new office in Munich – a big step into mainland Europe and a clear statement of its continued ambition. In the United Kingdom, its eight ranked individuals serve up premium prosecution support that ticks all the right boxes. They work at building deep, meaningful relationships so that they can shape their service to the requirements of each individual client. Based in Bristol, Christopher Denison
and Simon Kiddle
are life sciences savants. Denison’s variegated client roster includes US universities, Japanese multinationals and promising biotech start-ups. Kiddle, meanwhile, recently teamed up with the astute Cambridge-based Seán Walton
to assist Genentech and Hoffmann-La Roche on the defence of five European patents protecting uses and formulations of the Herceptin anti-HER2 antibody trastuzumab in a string of EPO proceedings against Herceptin. Also in Cambridge, Nicholas Sutcliffe
is a local hero who has been filing applications relating to the production of human platelets from pluripotent stem cells for Cambridge Enterprise, the technology transfer arm of the University of Cambridge. Simon Kremer
completes the life sciences contingent. He has unique knowledge of enzymes and biofuels, and cell and tissue culture. Robert Watson
is a chemistry and materials maven, the depth of whose analysis never fails to amaze. Stephen Gill
and Simon Parry
are mechanics maestros with a lock on the oil and gas and structural engineering sectors.
Penningtons Manches LLP
Distinguished business bureau Penningtons Manches serves up a classy suite of IP services, from filing through licensing contract negotiation to courtroom representation; because its patent professionals are only down the corridor from their commercial law counterparts, they can always get a second opinion on how best to realise clients’ long-term objectives. Based in Oxford, Chris Shelley
has unique expertise assisting universities and their spin-outs, especially in the life sciences space.
Pinsent Masons LLP
Anybody looking for evidence of the level at which Pinsent Masons is operating need look no further than its successful representation of Teva in its challenge of the validity of two of Eli Lilly/ICOS Corporation’s patents for tadalafil. The firm’s hard-hitting cadre is as comfortable acting before the EPO and the UK courts as it is coordinating pan-European litigation – and has been involved in a good deal of precedent-setting cases. Leading by example, Clare Tunstall
is “the doyenne” of generic pharmaceutical litigation. “She must have acted in more generic versus innovator cases than anyone else in London. As a result, she is vastly experienced and highly knowledgeable. She also has a number of extremely loyal clients – and that loyalty comes as much from the fact that she is really personable as it does from her experience and legal skills.” Maintaining a hotline to Teva, Charlotte Weekes
is not wet behind the ears either. “She’s an excellent, incredibly thorough lawyer, who is great to work with.” Commercialising portfolios is the preserve of Allistair Booth
. Some of the most innovative life sciences businesses in the world turn to him for advice on asset sales, acquisitions and manufacturing and outsourcing arrangements.
Potter Clarkson LLP
With 61 qualified patent professionals, including 28 partners, residing in its Nottingham headquarters, Potter Clarkson is the largest IP firm with a single UK site outside London. On top of this, it has bustling offices in Munich, Stockholm and Lund, enabling it to escort ambitious local rights holders into continental Europe and coordinate product launches for multinationals. Featuring Charlotte Crowhurst
, Ian Dee
and Stephen McNeeney
, the chemistry department is one of the strongest in the firm. Acting for several large Chinese and Korean companies, Crowhurst has played a key role in developing and maintaining the firm’s business relationships in Asia. EPO veterans Dee and McNeeney know exactly how to play a problematic opposition or appeal proceedings. The 25-strong pharmaceutical and biotech practice is another sturdy branch. Having worked in-house at a large UK pharmaceutical company, Richard Bassett
appreciates the industry’s unique pressure points as well as anyone and has super-sharp technical knowledge. Ray Charig
and Saiful Khan
ply their trade in the electronics and computing space. Demon techie Charig savours working with software start-ups, defining and developing their patent portfolios day by day. “Khan is technically very capable, quick to learn new technologies, and diligent, knowledgeable and thorough in every aspect of the patenting process. Communication with him is always easy, direct and open; as a result, clients can work closely with him to achieve the best possible results.”
“Powell Gilbert is quite simply the IP litigation firm in the United Kingdom. Its exceptional litigators have remarkable technical knowledge and a very impressive track record on biotechnology and pharmaceutical patents.” Name partners Penny Gilbert
and Tim Powell
provide the bedrock for the firm’s dazzling reputation. “Penny’s brilliant – it’s impossible to imagine that anyone would disagree with that. She’s a tremendous litigator who always knows what she’s talking about.” Similarly, Powell is labelled “absolutely superb” and “top-notch” by impressed peers. “He knows the law inside out and develops cases consistent with clients’ business goals.” These two are still the first names on the team sheet, but other members reap significant praise too. Zoë Butler
is said to be a “market leader” in the life sciences space, and Ari Laakkonen
is described as “another extremely strong lawyer who gets to grip with complicated new technologies in no time at all”. Butler recently found success representing Biogen in ground-breaking High Court litigation relating to biosimilars of AbbVie’s blockbuster product Humira – the biggest-selling prescription drug worldwide; simultaneously, Laakkonen has had his hands full advising on FRAND obligations. Fluency in French and German has made Alex Wilson
a favourite among European companies with multi-jurisdictional litigation on their hands. The indomitable Simon Ayrton
also savours a sprawling fight. He marshals evidence effectively and comes up with creative, cogent pleadings that hit the bullseye.
Reddie & Grose LLP
A common sight at the EPO, Reddie & Grose has the expertise and experience needed to prevail in touch-and-go opposition and appeal proceedings. Its elite, technically astute practitioners repeatedly succeed in intuiting which line of reasoning will be most effective and wrongfoot other parties with clever changes of pace and unexpected lines of attack. They have worked with companies of all stripes but tend to put in their very best performances in electronics and mechanics matters. Patrick Lloyd is the first port of call for many interested parties.
Simmons & Simmons LLP
Simmons & Simmons’ transactional IP practice is booming – its family of business-savvy lawyers is handling an array of high-value multi-party collaborations and technology transfers. Supporting the World Economic Forum on the formation of a $1 billion investment fund designed to tackle climate change on a global level was a standout highlight, as it involved several of the world’s biggest oil and gas companies. No stranger to the dynamics of the energy sector, Michael Gavey
dealt with this challenge like a charm. Life sciences virtuoso Richard Binns
, meanwhile, has been assisting Alzheimer’s Research UK to set up the Dementia Research Institute joint venture with the Medical Research Council. The firm is taking competitors’ breaths away in the contentious arena too, thanks to the thunderous trio of Rowan Freeland
, Scott Parker
and Michael Burdon
. “Freeland is an experienced and efficient lawyer who manages pan-European litigation perfectly.” Similarly comfortable handling cross-border cases, Parker is having a great time representing ViiV Healthcare in relation to its anti-HIV drug Kivexa; as well as the London proceedings, he is coordinating parallel actions in Spain, Sweden and Austria. Since joining in May 2017, Michael Burdon
has hit the ground running. His dedication, diligence and interpersonal skills make him a perfect fit for the team. Like everyone else at the firm, he takes the opportunity to have a tête-à-tête
with luminary Kevin Mooney
whenever possible. One of the most experienced litigators in the country, Mooney is a fount of wisdom.
Stephenson Harwood LLP
“Stephenson Harwood is fast becoming a leading light in intellectual property. Its lawyers think commercially, look at everything through a global lens and make themselves available outside typical hours whenever required.” Portfolio management is handled masterfully by Alexandra Pygall.
“She’s extremely knowledgeable and an excellent communicator who has a unique ability to demystify complex areas of law. She juggles legal business risk with opportunity and then provides robust but pragmatic advice. On top of that, she’s a huge pleasure to work with.” It is no surprise that UCB Pharma entrusts her with the coordination of its most important R&D licences and collaboration agreements. Both the exploitation and enforcement of rights feature in the “insightful, incisive and energetic” Eifion Morris
’s workload. “He’s simply a winner – someone who always finds creative ways to get clients what they need. He handles local and global cases with the same attention to detail and uniquely tailored strategic approach.”
Taylor Wessing’s “extremely strong” IP squad in London has much in common with its siblings abroad; hallmarks of its service are a resolute focus on clients’ long-term commercial objectives, round-the-clock responsiveness and joined-up, global thinking. Spearheading the patent group, Nigel Stoate
is a “very skilled litigator” with a far-reaching practice that spans engineering, telecoms, chemical and pharmaceutical mandates. Over the last 30 years prizefighter James Marshall
has built up technical acuity in an impressive array of areas. Further contentious firepower is provided by life sciences duo Simon Cohen
and Christopher Thornham
who take a panoramic view of patent protection; whereas many lawyers think only about the situation at hand, they are always thinking about what might be coming around the corner. Away from the courtroom, the canny Malcolm Bates
realises bespoke IP commercialisation strategies with exemplary interpersonal skills. He is a miracle worker at the negotiation table.
In November 2017 Wiggin and Redd joined forces to create a new 20-strong IP showstopper. With both firms renowned for their enterprising spirit and out-of-the-box thinking, the market expects them to gel extremely well. Sara L Ashby
is the obvious choice for serious litigation matters. “She’s a patent law expert who has a gift for adjusting the form of her advice to suit the level of knowledge of her recipient – those well informed about intellectual property and those with little or no knowledge are well taken care of. The way she argues cases in court is amazing too. Everyone has the greatest respect for her.” For high-value transactions, the name to remember is Simon Chalkley
. Vice president of the Licensing Executives Society Britain & Ireland, he is immensely respected in business circles.