Sara Ashby

Partner at Wiggin LLP

Sara Ashby is head of Wiggin’s IP practice. Strategic and tenacious, she advises on patent enforcement and strategy, and has more than 20 years’ experience litigating patents and other IP rights. She is particularly adept at the ‘non-standard’, her broad experience coming to bear in complex patent cases that involve other IP rights and contractual disputes.

As well as litigating in the English Patents Court and the Court of Appeal, Ms Ashby has considerable experience in the shorter trials scheme and Intellectual Property Enterprise Court, which have streamlined procedures and different costs regimes.

Ms Ashby is equally comfortable acting for claimants and defendants – whether multinationals or owner-managed businesses – no matter where they are based, in standalone litigation or matters involving parallel proceedings in other jurisdictions. Her clients hail from diverse sectors, including medical devices, automotive, gardening, optics and general engineering. Recent wins include:

  • Emson v Hozelock (expandable hoses), invalidating a patent with a certificate of contested validity, relying on the same prior art; 
  • Coloplast v MacGregor (catheters), invalidating the patent relying on the inventor as expert to prove obviousness and insufficiency; and 
  • Saint Gobain v Elkamet (automotive), obtaining indemnity costs and novel compensation for currency exchange losses resulting from Brexit.

Ms Ashby was an assessor to Lord Justice Jackson in his review of fixed recoverable litigation costs, a contentious area of law reform. She was also involved in writing the capped costs pilot scheme rules, which now runs in the business and property courts.

She is heavily involved in Oxford University’s postgraduate diploma in IP law and practice, lecturing on IP litigation, tutoring and examining on designs law. She has served on the Diploma Management Committee for many years. She is a research fellow at Oxford University’s IP Research Centre.

Ms Ashby is president of AIPPI UK (International Association for the Protection of Intellectual Property United Kingdom), a leading non-government organisation for research into, and formulation of policy for, the law relating to the protection of intellectual property.

Professional associations


Firm details

Wiggin LLP
9th Floor Met Building
22 Percy Street
London W1T 2BU
United Kingdom

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