Abel & Imray
Versatile ensemble Abel & Imray continues to win acclaim for its first-rate prosecution offering. It has notched up over a century of service, providing guidance from the initial drafting stage through to oppositions before the European Patent Office (EPO) to a diverse client base. Fluent German speaker Paul Brady
is a trusted partner of innovative biochemistry and pharmaceutical companies and has substantial experience handling supplementary protection certificates (SPCs).
Allen & Overy LLP
“An agile, client-facing strategic firm that is well ahead of the game”, Allen & Overy has the strength in depth to tackle labyrinthine multi-jurisdictional matters which are beyond the reach of many of its rivals. Last year proved extremely busy for the practice, which “confirmed itself as a true specialist one-stop group, well able to rival and outgun any other specialist or boutique practice” with the arrival of four partners from Simmons & Simmons. Practice chief and co-chair of the life sciences group Nicola Dagg
masterminded this expansion. She boasts a standout combination of legal skill and commercial aptitude – most notably showcased in her defence of Pfizer’s second medical use patent for its Lyrica product in an ongoing suit which continues to reset the boundaries of patent law. Among those making the switch from Simmons were Marjan Noor
, Marc Döring
and Mark Heaney
. “An absolute star”, Noor is a permanent fixture in the jurisdiction’s biggest pharmaceutical disputes. Recent highlights include a successful defence of Eli Lilly’s blockbuster Tadalafil drug against four major generics companies, and precedent-setting proceedings to determine licence terms to be granted to Merck & Co for use of cancer treatment antibody Keytruda. Döring also blazes a trail in the life sciences and is a “true leader” in international litigation. High technology is Heaney’s domain; his technical nous makes him a redoubtable ally in high-profile telecommunications, electronics and software cases. Neville Cordell
puts his technical qualifications in aerospace engineering and molecular biology to good use in tricky suits across various industries; he worked alongside Dagg on complex proceedings for Regeneron in relation to its proprietary transgenic mouse technology. The set continues to forge ahead on the transactional side, too, under the guidance of commercial IP practice head Jim Ford
. “Ford is a safe and very reliable pair of hands whose can-do attitude allows a lot of the work, thinking and judgement calls to be managed effectively. His experience is invaluable in negotiating towards the optimal solution and he is great fun to work with.”
Anderson Law LLP
Oxfordshire-based Anderson Law has carved out a real niche handling life sciences, IT and R&D transactions. “A very professional practice that is highly knowledgeable in areas concerning IP commercialisation, it provides clear advice to help guide clients towards appropriate legal and business decisions.” It is a dependable adviser of City, the University of London’s technology transfer group, and recently drafted a suite of template agreements on behalf of Enterprise Ireland relating to agreements between companies and Irish education and research institutes. Highly regarded firm founder Mark Anderson
has a seldom-matched understanding of IP transactions across the board and is a prolific author in the fields of IP and commercial law. A stint at Imperial College London’s technology transfer arm and a PhD in physics have given Lisa Allebone
the tools to help clients sculpt the most effective deals possible. “Mark and Lisa deliver an excellent service, constantly provide considered and prompt responses to queries and have earned the respect of everyone they deal with.”
Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer LLP
Leading life sciences and electronics players continue to turn to commercial law firm Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer for its expertise in high-stakes litigation and innovative approach to IP licensing. The set “succeeds in providing value-added services and delivers high quality at competitive prices”; close cooperation with other practice areas and an enviable continental presence make the team a force to be reckoned with on multi-jurisdictional matters. An “all-round patent litigator with a remarkable track record in biotechnology”, Christopher Stothers
excels on pan-European briefs. Richard Dickinson
leads the transactional charge: “He grasps complex subjects quickly and can communicate convoluted concepts clearly and succinctly. His drafting is direct and concise, and in negotiations he adopts a measured, fair approach designed to facilitate business objectives.”
Bird & Bird LLP
With 37 patent specialists in the United Kingdom alone – two-thirds of whom hold technical or scientific qualifications – and the ability to effortlessly cooperate with a cohort of colleagues worldwide, Bird & Bird has the necessary firepower to handle all patent instructions going. A constant presence in must-win life sciences and telecommunications litigation, the set has also increased its activity in the financial services and energy sectors of late. It recently scored a significant victory for Velocys in infringement and validity proceedings relating to its gas-to-liquids technology – a case on which international IP group co-head Morag Macdonald
took the lead. Macdonald’s 30 years at the coalface prove invaluable for clients seeking guidance on all aspects of IP strategy; she is “responsive, sensible and as strong on the commercial aspects of a case as she is on the law”. IAM Patent 1000
debutante Jennifer Jones
worked alongside Macdonald on the Velocys
suit; she holds an MSc in molecular biology and sparkles in the biotechnology and pharmaceutical fields. Mark Hilton
and Neil Jenkins
add further to the operation’s redoubtable life sciences brawn. Hilton is co-head of the international life sciences group and counts a precedent-setting win for Actavis relating to the granting of cross-border non-infringement declarations among his recent highlights. “A very safe pair of hands on any pharmaceutical litigation”, Jenkins is a go-to counsel for pharmaceutical heavyweight Teva. A slick combination of multi-jurisdictional management skills and expert legal knowledge has also earned Patrick Kelleher
praise in the biotechnology arena. “A superstar litigator with astonishing strategic nous”, telecommunications guru Jane Mutimear
has cultivated a long-standing association with Nokia, playing a quasi-in house role that underlines the trust placed in the team’s abilities. All-rounder Katherine Stephens
also lends her considerable knowledge to Nokia and co-heads the London IP department alongside Robert Williams
, an ally of internationally focused clients which flock to him for his deft coordination of pan-European litigation. The set’s transactional practice continues to flourish under the stewardship of Sally Shorthose
, whose team recently closed out complex licence agreement negotiations for Accsys Technologies and Grünenthal.
Boult Wade Tennant
“Everything you see from Boult Wade Tennant screams high quality.” Its roster of patent attorneys – boasting sparkling academic credentials and a wealth of industry experience – take an inventive approach to supporting innovators of all stripes. The set filed over 2,000 patent applications in 2016 and added to its stellar track record in oppositions at the EPO. Head of the biotechnology and life sciences group Claire Baldock
is always au fait
with the latest legal developments in the field and has recently spoken at International Association for the Protection of Intellectual Property (AIPPI) events on the hot topic of second medical use patents. The science-savvy operator is “one of the best you could ever work with – very collaborative and very sensible”. Fellow life sciences ace Jennifer O’Farrell
’s broad practice encompasses oppositions, international portfolio management and advice on filing strategies. Nick McLeish
manages the portfolio of aerospace high-flier Boeing; the high-tech and electrical group chief’s strategic flair and dedicated contentious support put him in high demand. Adrian Hayes
and Rohan Setna
have all chemistry and materials bases covered and have achieved a raft of significant successes at the EPO; Setna is a key cog in the provision of the full suite of patent services for food and beverages giant Mondelez International.
“Bristows has a brilliant reputation in international patent litigation. It is the first choice whenever the United Kingdom is involved.” Intellectual property is at the core of this London-based squad of over 100 dedicated professionals, whose remit covers all aspects of patent law, from international litigation strategy and coordination to lifecycle management and transactions. The set is highly active in matters relating to the UPC, and maintains a dedicated website publishing news and updates relating to the system’s impending introduction. Edward Nodder
and Brian Cordery
jointly head patent litigation operations. Heavily involved in the development of the UPC, Nodder dispenses “advice of the highest quality” and brings over 30 years’ experience to the table. His recent highlights include representing radiation oncology manufacturer Varian in a highly complex multi-jurisdictional patent infringement matter relating to its radiotherapy and MRI machines. Cordery is a fixture in the upper echelons of the patent litigation arena: “His work is consistently top-notch and he is always extremely approachable.” Having also advised on a diverse array of dispute resolution issues for over three decades, Sally Field
and Philip Westmacott
round off the set’s selection of gold-tier litigators. Field “definitely merits her eminent standing in the market”, while Westmacott has run the rule over a number of precedent-setting cases and teaches patent law at Oxford University. Myles Jelf
“is a market leader and one of the true go-to guys for litigation in the telecoms space. He is bright, intelligent and very likeable.” He was the lead partner representing Samsung and Google against Unwired Planet in a case that broke new ground on the subject of fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory (FRAND) obligations. Alan Johnson
, Andrew Bowler
and James Boon
worked alongside Jelf on this one. Johnson is a dab hand on technically thorny disputes across all industries and is also chair of the AIPPI’s Unitary Patent and UPC Committee. “A brilliant solicitor”, Bowler’s “ability to work himself into very complex technical matters is outstanding. He is first rate as a litigator, a delight to work with and absolutely dedicated to his clients’ interests". Boon is “extremely competent in grasping the very intricate facts of any case” and led the team defending Petroleum GeoServices in a patent infringement suit with parallel proceedings in Norway. With a practice centring on the life sciences, Robert Burrows
has “tremendous focus and impressive memory, and is on the spot when it comes to international litigation coordination”. The outfit’s contentious life sciences offering is fortified by Dominic Adair
and Liz Cohen
. The duo recently represented biosimilar manufacturer Celltrion in a revocation action – only the second time that a patent case relating to a biosimilar has been brought to trial in the United Kingdom. Bristow’s litigation prowess is matched by its redoubtable transactional offering. Head of commercial IP Matthew Warren
has been pivotal in the establishment of a partnership between Illumina and Genomics England, and on the latter’s 100,000 Genomes Project; “he is considered and patient when dealing with multiple stakeholders, and displays an impressive ability to think creatively”. Laura Anderson
“takes a very commercial and client-friendly approach, and it’s very enjoyable working with her. She shows an excellent understanding of the pharmaceutical sector and the issues it faces”. All-round transactional ace Fiona Nicolson
has ample experience in helping growing companies to hit the ground running in new markets.
Carpmaels & Ransford continues to justify its standing as one of the jurisdiction’s premier operators. Its traditional strength in providing high-quality prosecution services is complemented by a flourishing litigation practice. Blending technical know-how with courtroom dexterity, it can perform near miracles at opposition and approaches disputes with unerring confidence. “Both the attorney and litigation teams are exceptionally professional and knowledgeable. Their ability to easily interact and provide a comprehensive overview of entire projects is invaluable.” Fronting the outfit’s formidable chemistry group, Susan Kirsch
is held in the highest esteem by peers and masterfully navigates oppositions before the EPO. She is a font of knowledge on SPC strategy – an area in which Edward Oates
also excels. “An extremely capable professional”, Oates successfully defended Teva Women’s Health’s Seasonique contraceptive before the EPO in 2016, as well as devising a shrewd SPC filing strategy for the company. A staunch ally of global heavyweights Eli Lilly and Novartis, the “wonderful” Cameron Marshall
effortlessly dispatches even the most complex biotechnology and pharmaceutical oppositions. Marshall and James Warner
recently delivered a successful defence of Novartis’ Aclasta product against five opponents at the EPO, despite the UK portion of the patent being previously revoked in the UK High Court and UK Court of Appeal. Hugh Goodfellow
is a top-tier adviser for a wealth of major rights holders; the life sciences chief’s expansive practice seamlessly links the firm’s prosecution division with its dispute resolution arm. Engineering and IT briefs are handled expertly by managing partner Richard Jackson
; an “impressive, charming, relaxed guy who is incredibly sharp underneath, he is the guiding hand behind much of the firm’s success”. John Brunner
also blazes a trail in the IT sphere and boasts a gilded track record in securing valuable patents for high-tech clients. A multi-jurisdictional litigation ace, Ian Kirby
captains the firm’s dispute resolution team, which has been bolstered by the recent arrival of David Wilson
; with 20 years’ experience to draw upon, Wilson truly knows the lie of the land in pharmaceutical and telecommunications conflicts. With a sound commercial focus built upon rich in-house experience, Camilla Balleny
took the lead on a complex dispute relating to Cubist’s Cubcin antibiotic – a case which highlighted the fluidity with which the firm’s attorneys and solicitors combine forces under one roof.
Charles Russell Speechlys
Tricky cross-border mandates are meat and drink to Charles Russell Speechlys; its unstinting commitment to quality resonates with clients seeking guidance on strategy, commercialisation and disputes. Though it has particular strength in life sciences and high-technology instructions, its caseload extends across multiple areas. The set’s cross-border competence is underlined by its successful defence of Tech 21 UK in a Section 337 investigation at the US International Trade Commission relating to the import into the United States of protective phone cases. Head of the IP group Ian Wood
is the power behind the firm’s litigation punch: “Responsive and easy to work with, he has vast experience in contentious matters.” Peers attest to Jennifer Pierce
’s facility for technology transfer agreements in the oil and gas sector. The agile operator has also recently assisted sensor technology company Transense Technology and University College London Hospitals Charities; she flies the flag for the group’s highly specialised transactional practice.
Cleveland Scott York
With a laser focus on clients’ commercial goals, versatile set-up Cleveland Scott York is fully invested in the success of rights holders. Its redoubtable continental reputation has been cemented by a pristine track record in oppositions and appeals before the EPO, and high-growth entities – such as Swansea University spin-out CholesteniX and drug discovery company Lucilia – turn to it for innovative routes to protection. The team is “open and honest on all issues, able to clearly explain processes and has an excellent ability to comprehend the specific needs of every client”. Chemistry maven Adrian Bradley is a “go-to attorney for difficult, high-stakes matters. He is very approachable, responsive and on top of current issues and developments in Europe”. Stakeholders in a range of technical fields turn to Fraser Brown for his meticulous drafting and sage advice on infringements, product clearance and due diligence. Andrew Mackenzie has an “outstanding prosecution practice” spanning the engineering, telecommunications, software and electronics industries; he has market-leading automotive sector expertise.
US player Cooley continues to expand its reach outside its home turf and makes its debut in the IAM Patent 1000
England listings this year. Shining brightest in the life sciences, it has a long-established reputation for transactional IP excellence; clients label the London group a “preferred choice for complex patent licensing”. “Showing great understanding of the pharmaceutical industry”, John Wilkinson
has been instrumental to the successful completion of a slew of big-ticket deals, including a collaboration between F-Star and Denali Theraputics with a potential aggregate value in excess of $1 billion. Nicola Maguire
is a first port of call for life sciences players at all stages of development; her ability to handle multifaceted international mandates was showcased through her recent handling of Amryt Pharma’s licence and asset purchase agreement with Aegerion. The group has also gained significant ground in the prosecution sphere and welcomed experienced campaigner Colm Murphy
in to the fold in 2016. No stranger to constructing solid defences against oppositions, his team’s ability to offer cradle-to-grave solutions has also helped to add a number of high-tech spin-outs to the portfolio.
Covington & Burling LLP
The IP operation at Covington & Burling’s London outpost draws on the strength from neighbouring corporate practice areas to provide clients with 360-degree guidance on complex, IP-rich transactions. “First-class knowledge of the pharmaceutical sector” characterises Daniel Pavin
’s practice; he is a familiar presence on major league life sciences deals. Smoothing out the wrinkles in contractual disputes with a pan-European IP element comes as second nature for Morag Peberdy
; while few deal with tech-heavy mergers and acquisitions in the life sciences better than Lucinda Osborne
Storied IP shop D Young & Co enjoyed a red-letter year in 2016: it celebrated 125 years in business and opened a new base in Munich to assist its burgeoning European efforts on both sides of the contentious/non-contentious divide. Its squad of technically astute professionals makes light work of all prosecution matters, while its chemistry, biotechnology and pharmaceutical group boasts particular proficiency in oppositions before the EPO. Teva is among the high-profile pharmaceutical companies that have recently benefited from the set’s expertise in this area, with Neil Nachshen
skilfully ensuring that the patent protecting the dosing regimen for its Copaxone product was upheld. With over 20 years’ experience, Charles Harding
is also a resolute defender of clients’ interests in life sciences oppositions and appeals. Those seeking counsel on SPCs need look no further than Kirk Gallagher
and Garreth Duncan
. Gallagher is a pharmaceuticals and nutrition ace; while patrons “marvel at the quality and cost effectiveness” of the services provided by the “eminently qualified” Duncan. A “trusted partner who can be relied upon for his technical expertise”, IAM Patent 1000
debutant Simon O’Brien
is “a pleasure to work with – he seamlessly anticipates clients’ needs and consistently meets tight deadlines”. Another distinguished member of the chemistry corps, Aylsa Williams
leaves no stone unturned in the pursuit of international portfolio management perfection. Captaining the firm’s mechanical practice, Anthony Albutt
proves the set’s EPO opposition expertise is by no means limited to the life sciences. A keystone of the firm’s relationship with Sony Mobile Communications Group, Jonathan Jackson
is an electronics and IT whizz. Ian Starr
and Richard Willoughby
are standout practitioners on the dispute resolution side. Starr brings deep insight into the pharmaceutical, fast-moving consumer goods and broadcasting markets to the table; while the UPC-savvy Willoughby has been juggling an array of contentious briefs, including the successful representation of Takeda in a case relating to SPCs based on its Alogliptin drug.
A firm of “undoubtedly high quality”, Dehns is home to a platoon of over 70 technically qualified professionals who ensure that no patent question is left unanswered. A robust filing practice is complemented by extensive experience before the EPO; the firm also handles due diligence and strategic portfolio management briefs with aplomb. Focusing primarily on contentious matters, Christopher Davies
is an “excellent oral advocate who provides canny litigation support with a solid dose of common sense”. Genetics guru Philip Webber
is a frequent speaker on patenting biological inventions.
DLA Piper UK LLP
DLA Piper’s UK patent team is replete with technical expertise; making judicious use of the wider firm’s weighty international presence, it delivers effective solutions to cross-border conundrums in both the contentious and non-contentious spheres. These capabilities have come to the fore through its representation of Novo Nordisk in the United Kingdom and coordination of parallel proceedings in Denmark in an infringement and validity case relating to the use of transgenic mice for the production of human monoclonal antibodies. Life sciences authority Adam Cooke
has his hand on the tiller on this ongoing mandate; a distinguished litigator, he also lends his wisdom to freedom-to-operate and validity issues. The fingerprints of Richard Taylor
can be found on much of the firm’s transactional work; he has negotiated lucrative global settlement and licensing agreements for many major life sciences and technology companies.
EIP has gone from strength to strength since opening its doors in 2000. Last year it further increased its appeal to clients from all corners of the globe by cutting the ribbon on a new representative office in Tokyo, adding to existing outposts in Dusseldorf and San Diego. Best known for its electronics expertise, the firm marries a comprehensive prosecution offering with a hard-hitting contentious arm. The technical aptitude of its patent attorneys was instrumental in setting up the litigation crew for a “spectacular performance” in defending Unwired Planet International in multiple high-profile validity disputes against Huawei, Samsung and Google. The protagonists in these titanic battles were Gary Moss
, Robert Lundie Smith
and Matthew Jones
. “A great admiral for any litigation fleet”, Moss “has a tremendous reputation as a commercially astute strategic thinker with gravitas and heavyweight experience”. Chemistry PhD Smith is “technically excellent, with a good eye for the detail. Tactically, he runs his cases very well, positioning himself to extract every ounce of benefit he can from his client’s position, and with the ability to change gears and direction when opportunities present themselves”. Making his inaugural appearance in the IAM Patent 1000
, Jones brings invaluable in-house experience to the squad. The firm continues to achieve impressive growth on the prosecution side, with a host of new clients attracted by its cost-effective, efficient solutions. Multinational semiconductor and software design company ARM is in safe hands under the guidance of digital practice group head Jerome Spaargaren
; while the masterful drafting of Heather McCann
is a boon for IT innovators with complex applications. Bath-based Matt Lawman
heads the strategy practice group and is the trusted adviser of aerospace giant Airbus and e-cigarette leader British American Tobacco, to which Darren Smyth
also lends his extensive IP expertise.
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer consistently comes up with the goods for companies looking to protect and increase the value of their intellectual property on the international stage. With the ability to tap into support from an abundance of high-quality ancillary practice areas, the practice has the weaponry to back rights holders to the hilt in even the most demanding disputes. Flying the IP flag at the firm’s London headquarters, the “brilliantly effective” litigator Justin Watts
“really knows what he is talking about” and is “top-notch in the electronics sector”.
Stationed in London and Munich, Gill Jennings & Every’s squad of patent professionals wins widespread acclaim for its astute, commercially focused advice on routine prosecution briefs and splendid record in oppositions and appeals at the EPO. Recent successes on behalf of Focusrite Audio Engineering highlight the firm’s contentious acumen, while also displaying its strength in international litigation support: it worked closely alongside US counsel to counter infringement proceedings brought before US courts and defended an invalidity application at the EU Intellectual Property Office which resulted in maximum costs being awarded against the opposing party. Taking the reins on these matters was managing partner Peter Finnie
, whose effective guidance – particularly in the IT and telecommunications sectors – ensures that start-ups and major corporations alike can maximise the value of their intellectual property. Chair of the firm since 2014, Robert Skone James
is also a font of telecommunications knowledge who has earned the trust of clients worldwide in their pursuit of ironclad protection. A driving force behind much of the firm’s contentious success, Lucy Samuels
is a standout performer whose accomplishments at the EPO speak for themselves. Optics and software buff Peter Arrowsmith
’s forward-looking practice focuses on cutting-edge areas such as augmented reality and artificial intelligence.
“One of the finest teams available anywhere”, Wragge Lawrence Graham combined with Canadian-based heavyweight Gowling Lafleur Henderson to form Gowling WLG in 2016. Already the trusted partner of rights holders on multi-jurisdictional disputes and transactional mandates, the set can now draw upon Gowlings' sweeping worldwide presence: its 18 global hubs ensure comprehensive coverage of all key jurisdictions.
Co-head of intellectual property Gordon Harris
is an aviation and automotive specialist who “gives great, practical, clear and robust advice. His experience makes him a truly exceptional partner”. David Barron
is also a seasoned IP campaigner: a “top-notch adviser in telecommunications and standard-essential patent cases”, he recently crossed swords with Sony on behalf of data security company SSH Communications Security in cross-border infringement proceedings. “Extremely bright, highly knowledgeable and a pleasure to work with”, litigator par excellence Alexandra Brodie
chairs the tech group. In Paul Inman
, the firm also boasts formidable contentious clout in the life sciences. In and out of court like a yo-yo, he has been advising on the grant of potentially precedent-setting arrow declarations which will allow Fujifilm Kyowa Kirin Biologics to introduce its Humira biosimilar onto the market. Supreme scientific know-how extends into the non-contentious sphere, too: Patrick Duxbury
is “a complete star” in the transactional arena and co-chairs the global life sciences group. The negotiation of a $625 million collaboration between Belgian biotech company Argenx and biopharmaceutical heavyweight AbbVie relating to the development of the ARGX-115 cancer treatment is among his recent highlights.
Herbert Smith Freehills LLP
Full-service outfit Herbert Smith Freehills is a prime destination for pharmaceutical innovators seeking counsel in high-stakes disputes and strategic advice on a pan-European level. Top-tier litigator Sophie Rich
has fought a multitude of bet-the-farm battles during her 20 years in the game; her presence on cross-border enforcement mandates spells bad news for generic pharmaceutical companies. The “brilliant” Sebastian Moore
’s grasp of intricate technical details has proved invaluable to Gilead. He successfully defended the innovator giant in an infringement suit brought by Idenix relating to its blockbuster hepatitis treatment Sofosbuvir, and is coordinating continent-wide protection of its key HIV drugs. Mark Shillito
heads the firm’s global IP practice and is a go-to for complex, high-rolling cases. With complementary insight provided by ancillary practice areas, the IP group also boasts a busy transactional portfolio. Making his IAM Patent 1000
debut, consummate deal maker Joel Smith
recently advised Telefónica SA on its proposed sale of O2 to Hutchinson Whampoa and NNB (EDF) in relation to the construction of the Hinkley Point C, Sizewell C and Bradwell B nuclear energy projects.
Praise abounds for HGF’s “technical knowledge and flexible, adaptable approach to working with the changing needs of growing clients. Having it on board is essentially like having an in-house IP team without the full costs that would entail”. With a burgeoning contentious crew joining forces with a roster of over 100 patent attorneys, the firm is well placed to provide cradle-to-grave solutions to a vast array of rights holders. A new office was opened in Basel last year which – in addition to its existing outpost in The Hague – ensures that continental clients are well catered for. The squad also has a dedicated oppositions and appeals practice, led by Christopher Moore
, who has a sterling track record at the EPO. Chemistry PhD Moore shines on life sciences briefs – an area in which Andrew Wells
, Jonathan Atkinson
and Janet Knowles
all excel. Wells draws on ample in-house experience to devise business-focused portfolio management strategies. Atkinson is “extremely professional, responsive and patient. He is always open to discussion and new ideas to ensure clients are always extracting the maximum value from their intellectual property”. Knowles takes the lead on technology transfer briefs and is a trusted guide for educational institutions and their spin-off entities. High-growth companies have Matthew Dixon
on speed dial; the engineering chief’s tactical nous is underlined by his position as director of the International IP Strategists Association. Senior partner Harry Hutchinson
spearheads the set’s highly regarded electronics offering; while Matthew Cassie
– recently promoted to partner – is a precision drafter who relishes the most technically and legally challenging mandates. Rachel Fetches
joined the firm’s flourishing litigation team in 2015; she ensures the group is locked on to all the latest UPC developments as co-head of its UPC Ready team.
Hogan Lovells International LLP
With a vast global footprint, full-service law firm Hogan Lovells’ multi-jurisdictional capabilities are in no doubt. The London team regularly coordinates cross-border litigation, with a particular focus on life sciences and technology, media and telecommunications. “Extremely helpful, pragmatic, client friendly and experienced”, pre-eminent litigator Stephen Bennett
is at the top of his field. “If a client ignored the sane, realistic advice he gives, they would only have themselves to blame if they went on to waste money on unsuccessful litigation.” He recently coordinated a European suit for Eli Lilly in relation to its Alimta product, and represented Merck Sharp & Dohme in three significant cases defending against enforcement actions and concerning SPCs. Working alongside him on these briefs was Daniel Brook
: “Super-bright and very engaged, Brook is a real star.” On the electronics side, Paul Brown
is “original and creative with his ideas, incredibly hardworking and has unrivalled dedication to his cases. He doesn’t just go the extra yard, but another few miles to be safe. He is a heavyweight patent litigator, a thoroughbred expert and a go-to adviser on all things patent”. Though an experienced litigator, Sarah Turner
has a diverse practice which also encompasses transactions; her technical background and deft commercial touch put her in high demand.
J A Kemp “responds quickly, creatively and thoroughly, and is always professional and reliable”. Continued growth was the main headline of 2016: it recently opened a new Cambridge office to strengthen its presence in the ‘golden triangle’ of elite universities and a newly minted document management system has also streamlined day-to-day processes. The firm increased the number of European patents filed for the year, as well as growing revenue from both the domestic market and its operations in Japan and the United States. An authority in the pharmaceutical field, Ravi Srinivasan
has vast experience filing international applications and – as a qualified litigator – performs adroitly in opposition and appeal hearings before the EPO. He recently successfully defended Durect Corporation’s Relday anti-psychotic medication against an opposition filed by Mylan. “Getting into new matters very quickly, asking the right questions and developing effective strategies for opposition cases”, Mark Roberts
“knows where weak spots might be and effectively balances what is relevant for a case and what can be kept at the side to prevent resource drain”. Technically knotty cases – such as a defence of Bristol Myers Squibb and Ono Pharmaceutical’s Opdivo immunotherapy treatment against four opposing parties – are in safe hands with biotechnology doyenne Sarah Roques
, who has also cultivated an extensive opposition practice. Simon Wright
’s 30 years in the game are invaluable for life sciences clients ranging from multinationals to embryonic academic organisations; while Mike Nicholls
blazes a trail in the engineering and IT sectors.
Clients “cannot speak highly enough of the value that Keltie adds” to their businesses. The firm continues to enjoy impressive growth – its first overseas office, in Irish R&D hub Galway, opened in 2016 – while maintaining a personal approach to all instructions. Clients report that “the usual demarcation of client and supplier is absent”: it is as though they and the firm’s specialists “are all working for a single company, with a common goal to protect its interests fully”. The life sciences are a happy hunting ground for molecular and developmental biology PhD Devanand Crease
; he recently acted for Shell in two EPO oppositions and has helped to consolidate Celyad’s biotheraputics cardiac portfolio. “Crease is responsive and knowledgeable. He looks after files with care and attention, and produces quality work at a reasonable price which provides great value for clients.” Fellow life sciences maven Michael Moore
brings enviable industry experience and technical nous to the table. Taking the lead on cutting-edge electronics mandates for the likes of Certicom Corp – a wholly owned subsidiary of BlackBerry – is Shakeel Ahmad
. Also key in the development of the firm’s fintech industry footprint, Ahmad dispenses “pragmatic and actionable strategic advice that takes into account business goals and budgetary concerns”.
Kilburn & Strode LLP
With over 70 professionals handling prosecution and enforcement, Kilburn & Strode’s patent team is one of the jurisdiction’s largest. Its stellar reputation before the EPO has been further enhanced by the opening of a new office in Munich, which should strengthen its appeal to both domestic and foreign clients looking to gain a foothold in the European market. The firm also recently launched IP Foundry, a website dedicated to providing IP information to the start-up community. These ambitious developments have helped it to land a raft of new clients: following a competitive tender, it was recently entrusted with the European patent portfolio of global IT giant Cisco. Spearheading operations for this patron is newly appointed chair Gwilym Roberts, who provides invaluable advice on the full spectrum of prosecution briefs and is in high demand as an expert witness. Working closely with Roberts in the electrical and IT group are Peter Hale and Richard Howson. Hale has inimitable experience representing major multinationals at the EPO; Howson’s broad practice is positioned at the convergence of electronics and engineering – he takes charge of the firm’s work for global behemoth Boeing. Fellow aerospace ace Jim Miller’s sage guidance has been critical to the rapid development of rocket propulsion systems start-up Reaction Engines’ revolutionary SABRE horizontal take-off engines. The set is also no slouch in the life sciences: Kristina Cornish “has some serious game”, while Nick Bassil is sought after for his SPC knowledge and understanding of stem cells and regenerative medicine. Biosciences buff Nick Lee has been fronting the effort to help secure protection for Harvard College’s cutting-edge work on the CRISPR/Cas9 gene-editing system. Fluent in German and French, Alexander Korenberg is the perfect partner for clients seeking pan-European protection.
The IP team at Linklaters may be compact, but it still “provides a Rolls Royce service” on complex, high-value transactions and crucial disputes. Intimate knowledge of European processes gained through close cooperation with colleagues in France and Germany ensures that clients are afforded the very best in continental counsel. Healthcare and biotechnology are a particular focus; the technically astute team is acting for Sanofi and Regeneron in a significant dispute against Amgen centring on antibody therapy for the treatment of high cholesterol levels. Nigel Jones
is the point man on this case: the “consummate professional” is “charming, very calm under pressure and impressively on top of the details. He has a strong grasp of clients’ commercial needs and objectives, and can manipulate litigation strategy effectively to achieve those ends”. Adding significant power to the outfit’s life sciences punch, Ian Karet
has notched up over 25 years’ experience in IP disputes, while his nuanced appreciation of all things patent makes him a sound adviser on commercialisation and transactional instructions. Nemone Franks
also “has a very good reputation on transactions”; IP-heavy international acquisitions, joint ventures and corporate reorganisations all fall under her remit.
Consistently ranked among Europe’s top filers, Marks & Clerk stands out for its “exceptional client service and deep understanding of technology. The team is straight talking, works quickly, provides clear explanations of options and is focused and transparent.” Supporting rights holders from eight UK offices and a further eight international outposts, its status as one of only two UK patent and trademark attorney firms to hold ISO 9001 certification underlines its capacity for providing seamless services across all locations. The multifaceted team undertakes the full suite of prosecution processes internationally for healthcare giant Gilead Sciences, engineering leader Henrob and high-tech electronics spin-off Cambridge CMOS Sensors, among many others. Fronting the electronics practice in Cambridge, Philip Martin
adds an exemplary record in EPO oppositions to his incisive counsel on non-contentious matters. “Diligent and communicative”, Sheila Wallace
is “very strong in chemistry, pharmaceuticals and related disciplines”, and is “well prepared for all unexpected situations”.
“Very pleasant and effective to work with”, Marks & Clerks Solicitors “coordinates international litigations marvellously”. Brimming with “technically skilled, efficient and approachable” talent, the outfit is “commercially minded and provides clients with business-led, coordinated advice”. With enviable strength in depth, it has the means to take on any challenge in any field, although it is “very impressive on matters of UK and European life sciences patent and SPC law”. Life sciences group head Mike Gilbert is a “thorough, meticulous litigator who is really devoted to the client and its case. He also provides great insight on disputes which have not yet gone to court, carefully balancing the pros and cons of each available option, but not afraid to make a decision.” William Cook and Graham Burnett-Hall joined forces for Virgin Media and TiVo in a hard-fought dispute against Rovi and succeeded in all 11 of the patent revocation actions in the case. Cook captains the technology, telecommunications and media group and has also been in the trenches for Pfizer in an action to invalidate six of GlaxoSmithKline’s meningitis B vaccine patents; while Burnett-Hall has invaluable experience conducting patent litigation in China. Having appeared in a slew of landmark cases since qualifying as a solicitor in 1967, Gregor Grant continues to share his wisdom with the next generation.
Mathys & Squire
Mathys & Squire has been on a tear recently, expanding its team and market share and attracting significant business from marquee internationals and cutting-edge domestic concerns. As an example of the former, AbbVie has entrusted the firm with its European patent portfolio for top-selling drug Humira; closer to home, Hyperdrive Innovation Limited – a Sunderland company fast making a name for itself in the vehicle performance battery area – selected it to advise on all aspects of its IP programme following a competitive tender. Clients of all stripes are served up “creative, commercially focused IP solutions”, courtesy of a “highly responsive, personable and approachable team”. Alongside its strategic prosecution and portfolio management duties, the group conducts contentious matters with finesse; particularly impressive is its high offensive and defensive success rate in pharmaceutical cases at the EPO. Harvey Adams, Chris Hamer and Martin MacLean head the pharmaceutical, chemistry and biotechnology practices respectively; while Ilya Kazi, Jane Clark and Paul Cozens lead on the IT, automotive and engineering sides. All are based in London. Meanwhile, Cambridge contact Alan MacDougall is the person to call for telecommunications and electronics issues.
Mewburn Ellis LLP
Home to a phalanx of technically gifted individuals – many of whom were trained in-house – Mewburn Ellis serves up a top-class non-contentious offering. Meticulous drafting provides rights holders with armour-plated patents and licensing briefs are also handled with finesse. “The guy you pick if you want quality”, Seán Walton
is a key player in the traditionally strong life sciences practice. Working alongside Walton in Cambridge, Nicholas Sutcliffe
has been a catalyst for the success of many university spin-offs; he is currently advising Cambridge Enterprise on innovative anti-coagulant therapy Ichorcumab. “Able to effectively communicate with scientists, quickly understand technologies and devise plans for effectively protecting any new ideas”, Robert Watson
recently teamed up with Sutcliffe to forge bulletproof strategies to defend KuDOS Pharmaceuticals’ Lynparza anti-cancer drug. Further life sciences expertise is provided by Christopher Denison
, Simon Kiddle
and Simon Kremer
. Bristol-based duo Denison and Kiddle blaze trails in biologics and pharmaceuticals respectively; Kiddle has also been advising cleantech company Aquaporin on water purification technology being tested for use on the International Space Station. Enzymes and biofuels are fortes for Kremer, who is intimately familiar with the ins and outs of US prosecution processes. Outside the life sciences, Simon Parry
and Stephen Gill
win consistent commendations. The “outstanding” Parry is “extremely reliable, thorough and easy to work with”. Gill boasts diverse sectoral know-how and recently represented Hitachi before the UK Intellectual Property Office in a dispute over railway timetable applications.
A persuasive one-stop shop for international IP services, Olswang cuts a clear path to patent protection with its creative take on litigation and portfolio development. Its ability to advise across borders is enhanced by the presence of teams in Munich, Paris, Brussels and Madrid. The firm is due to merge with Nabarro and CMS this year, bringing the IP offerings of three potent City competitors under one roof. All-rounder Richard Price
is no stranger to conflicts in courts of the highest level; medical devices and genetically modified crops are two fortes. Backing up Price on continental enforcement engagements, Gareth Morgan
is also a go-to for strategic advice on non-contentious queries. Pharmaceutical and healthcare ace Robert Stephen
co-chairs the patent attorney group and leads the line on SPC issues.
Penningtons Manches LLP
The IP team at Penningtons Manches has a knack for optimising the value of clients’ crown-jewel assets through a resolutely business-focused approach to all types of agreement. Its multifaceted lawyers have technical know-how in spades and stay abreast of the latest industry developments to provide pragmatic, proactive solutions. Oxford-based commercialisation chief Chris Shelley
is a valued partner of innovative life sciences companies and fast-moving research institutions.
Ideally equipped for cutting-edge conflicts, Pinsent Mason’s forward-looking patent group has the rare ability to spot and exploit opportunities to close out disputes from long range. Its life sciences reputation is much vaunted; it is a long-time ally of pharmaceutical giant Teva and recently assisted it in multiple clashes concerning SPCs and second medical use issues. Alongside continued investment in its London patent litigation hub, the group has upgraded its regional operations with the development of a new centre in Birmingham. IP and life sciences head Clare Tunstall
ascends to the silver tier in this year’s litigation listings. “A quality player with a great reputation”, she regularly sits in Teva’s corner and is also advising Actavis on revocation proceedings involving Eli Lilly’s Strattera attention deficit hyperactivity disorder therapy. The outfit’s transactional activity is directed by Allistair Booth
; high-value divestments, collaborations and distribution arrangements are safe in his hands.
Potter Clarkson LLP
Nottingham-based Potter Clarkson has a long-established reputation as a prosecution powerhouse; files are handled “responsively and seamlessly”, and it does “an excellent job dealing with oppositions”. It enjoyed another year of significant growth in 2016: new offices in Stockholm and Lund were opened to better cater for its impressive international client base and the firm has now firmly entrenched itself in the contentious market with the creation of a new dispute resolution arm. Its science-savvy attorneys have helped it to carve a real niche in the life sciences. A “credible and reliable adviser”, Ian Dee
“provides enthusiastic, proactive and pragmatic advice that is readily understood and appreciated”. Charlotte Crowhurst
continues to delight rights holders with the quality of her service on day-to-day prosecution work, as well as in oral proceedings. Crowhurst holds a chemistry PhD; as does Stephen McNeeney
, for whom pharmaceutical formulations and new uses are particular strongholds. Biotechnology champ Richard Bassett
recently prevailed in opposition proceedings for Siemens Healthcare Diagnostics and biopharmaceutical company Relypsa. Ray Charig
’s pristine output proves that the firm also has considerable electronics and computing clout; considerable in-house experience enables him to provide consistently well-rounded counsel.
“In a different league”, Powell Gilbert “really is one of the best” when it comes to hard-hitting patent litigation. Unafraid to push boundaries, it recently represented Huawei in a high-profile series of suits against Unwired Planet that presented ground-breaking issues concerning competition, licensing and FRAND. Simon Ayrton and Zoë Butler took centre stage on the case: all-rounder Ayrton helps rights holders to negotiate byzantine spats in courts across Europe, while Butler’s “scientific knowledge and background is extremely helpful. She is very fast in understanding the technical aspects of any case”. The firm is also at the forefront of developments in pharmaceutical patent law, having assisted Actavis in a dispute over Warner-Lambert’s second medical use patent on its blockbuster Lyrica drug. Tim Powell was key to Actavis’ success in this case: “An extremely skilled litigator, he is focused on the details but also never lets the bigger picture out of his sight.” Also a formidable foe in pharmaceutical and biotechnology clashes, Penny Gilbert is representing Biogen against AbbVie before the High Court in a dispute relating to biosimilars, and recently defended Kymab in a patent infringement suit brought by Regeneron relating to the use of transgenic mice to produce human monoclonal antibodies for therapeutic use. Gilbert is “absolutely fantastic – extremely pleasant and highly capable of organising big cases”. Clients welcome Alex Wilson’s “free mind and pragmatic approach; he can really navigate rights owners through the difficulties of European patent litigation”. IT and electronics are Ari Laakkonen's metier; he has lately gone out to bat for Sony against SSH in a multi-jurisdictional infringement suit.
Redd Solicitors LLP
“The whole team at Redd is first class – absolutely fantastic. It provides a service comparable to a magic circle firm, but with a much more individual approach, making it extremely accessible.” The patent team has the firepower and flexibility to handle a diverse array of contentious work and boasts a bustling transactional practice to boot. “Knowledgeable, pragmatic and highly experienced, with great client-handling skills”, Sara Ashby
wins praise from all corners. A sage strategic mind, she also dedicates considerable time to the wider industry as a council member and secretary of both AIPPI UK and the UK group of IP practitioners’ association UNION-IP. Rebecca Lawrence
’s fusion of biopharmaceutical regulatory know-how and cross-border patent litigation experience makes her a prime pick for international life sciences operators. Founding partner Simon Chalkley
is the dynamo charging the firm’s transactional practice; innovative businesses turn to him for advice on licensing, technology transfer and franchising.
Reddie & Grose LLP
Boutique Reddie & Grose “has a sophisticated understanding of cutting-edge issues” and has won many fans among electronics and mechanics players for its precision prosecution. The internationally minded firm – which has significant presences in Japan and the United States, and a growing Chinese operation – excels in proceedings before the EPO and recently carried the day for Vestas Wind Systems in an opposition case against Siemens. Head of department Patrick Lloyd is a key contact.
Simmons & Simmons LLP
The patent team at heavyweight law firm Simmons & Simmons leverages on the firm’s in-depth international industry knowledge and support from its other leading practice areas to provide elite litigation and transactional services. Although rocked by the departure of four senior figures to Allen & Overy in 2016, the practice is nevertheless still stacked full of both seasoned hands and dynamic younger talent. Contentious efforts are focused heavily on biotechnology and pharmaceuticals: the firm recently coordinated Europe-wide action for ViiV Healthcare against Teva in a case relating to ViiV’s anti-HIV drug Kivexa. A “leader in patent litigation, particularly in pharmaceuticals”, Rowan Freeland’s record in critical disputes speaks for itself. He has been at the forefront of developments concerning the UPC alongside the pre-eminent Kevin Mooney, who remains “a real force in the IP field”. Scott Parker orchestrated the ViiV case and breaks into the IAM Patent 1000 this year; clients value his “well-versed and strategic advice on high-stakes matters and his support on pan-European collaborations. He is easy to speak with and prompt, and clients feel well protected under his guidance". The group has closed a slew of significant IP-rich deals of late: Richard Binns assisted Concordia Healthcare in its $3.5 billion acquisition of niche pharmaceuticals group Amdipharm Mercury and helped medical device company Adherium to broker a ground-breaking agreement to supply its digital Smartinhaler to AstraZeneca. The “extremely knowledgeable and extensively experienced” Michael Gavey recently advised GlaxoSmithKline on its involvement in the £40 million Apollo Therapeutics joint venture. “He brings great pragmatism to transactions, explaining the legal background to negotiation points, but recognising that ultimately many of them are business decisions. He can also draw on the firm’s wider experience when advice is required on tax and corporate finance matters.” “A fantastic litigator and a great guy all round”, Michael Burdon secures brilliant results on multi-jurisdictional mandates. The form Olswang European patent litigation team leader joined the firm in May 2017.
Slingsby Partners LLP
Rights holders seeking on-point, easily implementable advice should look no further than engineering, electronics and physical sciences specialist Slingsby Partners. Fastidious drafters, its tech-savvy practitioners strive for first-time perfection and put clients’ needs front and centre on all briefs. The set continues to thrive – it moved into new offices in 2016 – and has expanded its advisory operations of late. Founder Philip Slingsby
is “highly respected by everyone he works with”; clients have “complete trust in his unparalleled level of technical intellect and commercial understanding”. Telecommunications giant Huawei and multinational computer chip designer Imagination Technologies are among his roster of innovative clients.
The London IP group at international law firm Stephenson Harwood’s is “absolutely top quality”. Peers have “no hesitation in recommending it over and above some firms with larger IP departments”, and “never worry” about introducing the team to their clients. A connoisseur of cross-border conflicts and patent-heavy transactions, it is growing rapidly and has been boosted by the arrival of several new senior associates in recent months. The technically astute Alexandra Pygall
“is right up there with the very best. She is exceptionally bright, has excellent judgement and works tenaciously to achieve successful outcomes in all of her cases. She is a responsive and pragmatic lawyer who understands the needs of her clients and can fulfil those needs efficiently and completely”. Pygall recently advised pharmaceutical company Shield Therapeutics on its £100 million initial public offering and has acted on a number of significant matters for UCB Pharma. Though no stranger to a deftly crafted IP deal, Eifion Morris
is perhaps best known for his impeccable performances in multi-jurisdictional litigation, where his commercially focused approach serves clients well.
Taylor Wessing LLP
Rights holders can always rely on commercial law firm Taylor Wessing to meet and exceed the most exacting standards on the full range of IP services. Boots on the ground in 20 jurisdictions worldwide give it real insight into international markets and fortify its cross-border litigation and transactional work; its US inbound practice and understanding of Stateside processes win particular acclaim. Patent group head Nigel Stoate
displays an “excellent command of the interplay between legal and technical areas and has extensive experience of coordinating patent cases and strategy across Europe”; clients are “extremely impressed with the quality of his work". Telecommunications disputes are a strong point; this is an area in which the veteran James Marshall
also shines. All-rounder Christopher Thornham
is a sound selection for clients with multi-jurisdictional contentious concerns, while life sciences sage Simon Cohen
“is one of the best strategic patent litigators in the country and has a great sense of humour to boot”. Showing a “fine grasp of pharmaceutical issues” on the non-contentious side, Malcolm Bates
captains the UK life sciences group and ably shepherds licensing deals, collaborations and R&D projects to close.