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 - Individuals: litigation
IP litigation boutique Powell Gilbert is one of the strongest firms of its kind in the country, consistently handling more patent litigation cases in the English courts than other outfits and regularly acting in some of the most high-profile battles in the jurisdiction. The cases it handles are novel, technically complex and high value, but its strength and reliability means clients keep coming back for more. Over the past year, one prominent piece has been its work for Ocado against AutoStore in relation to automated warehouse storage systems – acting on the case are Simon Ayrton, Zoë Butler and Tom Oliver. Ayrton brings a degree in natural sciences to his litigation practice, while Butler is known for her high-profile work on FRAND disputes, and both receive stellar feedback: “Simon and Zöe give thoughtful, timely and insightful advice. They are consummate professionals, are always willing to listen and consider the opinions of others, and are a pleasure to work with.” Oliver joined the partnership in 2020 and benefits from an academic background in chemistry – disputes at the interface of IP and competition law are his forte. Another key client is Edwards Lifesciences, whose fight against Meril Life Sciences has been led by Siddharth Kusumakar and Tim Powell – Kusumakar is an expert in managing multi-jurisdictional patent litigation in the pharmaceutical field and has twice acted successfully before the Supreme Court, while founding partner and solicitor advocate Powell gives his name to the ensemble and has been described as “simply the best”. “The best word to describe him is “exceptional.” He is experienced, smart, and pragmatic. He quickly sees the “big picture” and is a master at developing strategies that achieve the best result that is consistent with the client’s business goals. He and his firm are our “go-to” IP litigators in the UK.” His fellow founding partner is Penny Gilbert, who also sits as one of the United Kingdom’s best-known patent litigators, having acted in some of the most headline-grabbing cases Europe-wide in recent years, especially in the biotechnology field. Acting for Philip Morris International lately in its global dispute against British American Tobacco are star trio Alex Wilson, Peter Damerell and Tim Whitfield. Wilson has a background in biochemistry, is fluent in French and German, and is a regular tutor on the renowned Oxford University Diploma in IP Law and Practice, while Damerell also comes with a scientific background – in physiology – but is best known for his work on Huawei’s FRAND disputes. Whitfield’s technical expertise is in chemistry – he knows the pharmaceutical sphere well, and receives star-studded feedback: “Tim has extraordinary attention to detail. As far as I can tell nothing escapes him and we have often been two steps ahead of our well-represented opponents. Tim has deftly avoided or managed issues very effectively, and on the flip side he has tied opponents in knots and forced missteps, all to our commercial advantage. Finally, Tim is incredibly calm and collected under intense pressures – there is no drama, just a steely resolve.” Also garnering favour are Ari Laakkonen and Bethan Hopewell – computer scientist and electronics PhD Laakkonen has been credited as “a good communicator who is conscious of keeping clients informed”, while life sciences-focused Hopewell has been called “smart, responsive and a pleasure to work with”. “Bethan is truly one of the best litigators I have worked with, not only in the UK but worldwide. She is always a couple of steps ahead of the opposition. We rely heavily on her experience and expertise to navigate successfully through UK patent litigation and pan-Europeanlitigation.”