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The Patent 1000 focuses exclusively on patent practice and has firmly established itself as the definitive 'go-to' resource for those seeking world-class legal patent expertise.

Gold - Firms: prosecution

HGF is one of Europe’s most prominent patent attorney outfits, and of its 22 offices across the United Kingdom and the continent, three are in Scotland. From bases in Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Glasgow it provides the gamut of services to the Scottish market, combining local knowledge with the international outlook inherent in a firm of its size. Driving the practice forward is Glasgow-based Gary Wilson, who heads the chemistry team and has been with the firm since it set up shop in Scotland in 2007. “Gary is an exceptional practitioner and one of the most responsive agents I have ever worked with. He always gives practical, thoughtful and client-appropriate advice, which makes it considerably easier to navigate EPO practice. Our clients always have only praise for his advice. Gary has an extremely capable team of people who work with him at HGF and we have the utmost faith in their abilities. What makes Gary and his team’s service even more remarkable is that they manage to provide truly customised and personalised service to all our clients, which is something that is quite rare for a firm of HGF’s size.” Also in Glasgow is Andrew McGettrick, an expert patent drafter who knows almost everything there is to know about electronics, photonics and physics, and Susan Elizabeth Keston, who excels when patenting computer-implemented inventions on the borderline of patentability. Heading the operation in Edinburgh is Jamie Thomson, and working alongside him is Jeremy Bretherton – Thomson is known for his involvement in complex and high-profile EPO oppositions for patrons of all stripes, while Bretherton provides international portfolio advice to companies in fields as varied as medical devices andaerospace.

Silver - Firms: prosecution

As one of the fastest-growing patent prosecution practices in Europe and one of the most oft seen in proceedings before the EPO, HGF is a solid choice for those who want a strategy that will protect their rights continent- and world-wide. Despite its size, the firm does not compromise on quality, and is responsible for a major chunk of patents drafted for UK universities, meaning it sits at the heart of innovation in every sector. The outfit excels in oppositions and appeals too, and heading up the specialist division for this is chemical and engineering specialist Chris Moore, who appears in proceedings regularly, defending high-value and commercially crucial patents. A similarly frequent visitor to the EPO is Jennifer Uno, who enters the IAM Patent 1000 thanks to high praise from her clients: “Having worked with Jenny for over 12 years I can say she is very thorough in her approach, provides excellent advice and guidance on patenting matters, and has gained a high command of the technology area in which we operate. Patent drafts are always of a very high standard.” Also strong in oppositions and receiving star feedback is Hsu Min Chung: “I can genuinely say that Hsu Min is the best patent attorney I have had the pleasure of working with to date. No question is too silly, no request is too small but, above her obvious expertise and professionalism in her field, what impressed me the most was her availability, her unwavering support and her hands-on approach in guiding us through the patent application process.” Chung sits within the chemistry department, which is headed up by Andrew Wells. A dedicated prosecutor of patents for major pharmaceutical companies, he benefits from the four years he spent working in-house for one of them. His fellow life sciences expert is Claire Irvine, a genetics maven who is highly knowledgeable in the growing CRISPR area and adept at managing even the most intricate portfolios. Heading up the engineering group, meanwhile, is Lucy Johnson, while Vanessa Stainthorpe is head of medical devices – Johnson has been managing patent portfolios for 20 years both in private practice and in-house, and Stainthorpe nurtures medtech companies from start-up to multinational corporation. On the electronic engineering and software side are Matthew Cassie and Harry Hutchinson – Cassie is an AI expert with twin degrees in astrophysics and optics and photonics and insight from his time working in industry for precision engineering start-up Zeeko, while Hutchinson has been patenting ‘unpatentable’ software since as early as 1992. On top of all this prosecution talent, HGF’s abilities stretch further, with solicitor Janet Knowles on hand to deal with transactions from research and development agreements to IP and software licensingdeals.

Bronze - Firms: prosecution

Since setting up shop in The Hague in 2015, HGF has invested greatly in its local team, and to great effect, as the squad now services an ever-growing and varied clientele who all appreciate the European outfit’s cosmopolitan approach. Lynchpin of the practice, Achim Krebs leverages his previous in-house experience at Shell International to deliver incisive counsel. “He thinks up commercially minded solutions and works alongside his clients to help address their business and legal needs – Achim is a valuable addition to any entrepreneurial journey.” In September 2021 Krebs reinforced the team when he brought in Jessica Kroeze, who also brings unique in-house insight to the table. The duo has recently been supporting Magneto B.V. with due diligence and licence negotiations regarding the blueprints for a heat pumpprototype.

Silver - Firms: prosecution

HGF has been Europe’s most rapidly expanding patent prosecution outfit in recent years, so it makes sense that it would want to position itself in the EU’s largest English-speaking country. The group’s two Irish bases – in Dublin and Westport – collaborate with its 21 other offices in seven European countries to serve clients on a continent-wide basis. Leading the charge is life sciences specialist Craig Thomson, who has lately been involved in advising Queen’s University Belfast and Trinity College Dublin. His clients always come away happy: “Craig is excellent – as good an agent as I have used. He is strong on therapeutics, but the value add from him is his commercial insight that he brings on cases.” He is joined in the IAM Patent 1000 this year by Sarah McCrann, an electrical and electronic engineering maven who has been practising for the last 16 years. Together, Thomson and McCrann this year worked to rapidly build a patent portfolio on behalf of Capri Medical. “HGF’s approach is very pragmatic and it has a wide reach of expertise and knowledge at its disposal within the wider team including internationally.” New to the team is established expert Marie Walsh, an industrial chemist with a strong knowledge of Chinese patent procedure.

Firm Profile

HGF is one of Europe’s leading firms of IP specialists. The firm is one of only a few to offer a fully integrated IP solution, bringing together over 190 patent attorneys, trademark attorneys, design attorneys, IP solicitors and attorneys-at-law. The firm has 22 offices throughout Austria, France, Germany, Ireland, the Netherlands, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.

HGF has an ambitious growth strategy, and we continue to expand and strengthen our offering across all technology areas to provide the highest quality intellectual property solution across Europe. HGF is already one of the leading firms throughout Europe in terms of its national reach, volume of Patent Cooperation Treaty and EU trademark filings, and position in major legal directories. Its growth has been secured organically and through a combination of acquisition and strategic lateral hires from both private practice and in-house counsel, and has been reflected in accolades including a continued listing in the Financial Times Europe’s Leading Law Firm.

HGF has a proven track record in forging successful long-term relationships with clients across a spectrum of business sectors and technologies. The firm’s highly experienced attorneys, commitment to client service and geographical profile across Europe ensure that it is uniquely placed to attend to high-value and complex IP issues.

Specialist teams

HGF offers everything you would expect of a world-class IP firm, including patent drafting, filing and prosecution, trademarks, design rights, copyright, oppositions and appeals, IP litigation, IP strategy, IP due diligence, freedom to operate, supplementary protection certificates and IP contracts, and licensing.

The firm has dedicated teams of experts working across key industry sectors with relevant experience who fully understand their clients’ businesses and appreciate the significance of their brands, innovations and other IP assets.

Following Brexit and the recent changes of the UPC, HGF understands the importance of growth in Europe. We have European patent and patent litigation teams to ensure that we can continue to provide strategic advice on prosecution, litigation and licensing throughout the lifetime of the UP and UPC.

Patent team

Our patent team comprises 35 partners, 76 patent attorneys and over 32 trainee patent attorneys. Many of our patent attorneys have years of experience working with or for some of the world’s leading technology companies. The team’s expertise and experience cover the whole range of technical fields.

The chemistry group at HGF is one of the leading multidisciplinary chemical IP practices in Europe. Combining world-class expertise from patent and trademark attorneys and IP solicitors, the team provides advice to a wide range of clients on complex issues. Clients specifically seek it out to secure and protect their most valuable technology in the chemical arena.

HGF provides expert, commercially oriented patent advice and services to a range of organisations working in the electronics and advanced technology sector. As well as offering patent registration worldwide, it can help shape a business’s IP strategy, enabling it to make the best use of its portfolio and identify new opportunities for the future. Core technology areas include AI, avionics, telecommunications, computer software, semiconductor technology, e-commerce, automotive electronics and more.

When it comes to engineering, HGF maintains a talented and specialised engineering team who have individual expertise in areas including automotive systems, construction, oil and gas, fuel cells, renewable energy, wound management and more. Our experience helps our clients realise the full commercial potential of their inventions and innovations.

HGF’s life sciences team has a wealth of experience providing clients with practical, legal and strategic advice on managing their life sciences intellectual property. From protecting new research from the most prestigious universities to high-profile oppositions and court proceedings on market-leading products, our attorneys’ practices cover the full range of life sciences innovations.


HGF is one of a few firms to have mapped out reciprocity across the globe and to have a clear strategy for growing international work, targeting the United States, Japan, India, Korea and China with focused activities.

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