Craig Thomson

Partner at HGF Ltd
Ranked in Ireland , United Kingdom: Scotland
IAM Research

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.

Recommended - Individuals: prosecution

Committed to helping clients meet their long-term commercial goals, HGF is one of the largest specialist IP outfits in Europe. Boasting both legal and technical expertise, the team have earned an excellent reputation for helping patrons develop their IP assets. “HGF is filled to the brim with specialists in a variety of fields. The firm provides a very comprehensive service and can manage a wide range of patent issues, from first application through to protection.” Leading the team is IP all-rounder Craig Thomson, who has an excellent track record of securing successful outcomes for patrons in a variety of legal proceedings. A life sciences expert, he has considerable experience advising players in the biotechnology and pharmaceutical sectors, who appreciate his pragmatic and big-picture approach to IP advice. With a background in material sciences, Marie Walsh handles clients of any size, from large US or Chinese-based multinationals to small Irish start-ups. She acts as a commercial anchor, consistently adding value to her clientele and explaining the potential implications of every action. “Working with Marie is always a positive experience. She is very responsive and extremely detailed in her replies. She is objective, very knowledgeable and is clear in her advice about the likelihood of success.” Working across a range of technologies, European patent attorney Sarah Ann McCrann is a specialist in electronics who consistently impresses patrons with her stellar IP strategies. 

Silver - Individuals: prosecution

Any list of Scotland’s leading patent prosecution practices would be incomplete without the inclusion of HGF Ltd. Across its offices in Edinburgh, Glasgow and Aberdeen, the firm boasts 30 attorneys involved in its patent practice. Led by the skilled and experienced Gary Wilson, whom patrons “cannot recommend highly enough”, the set offers a deep bench of technical expertise and legal competence. “Gary’s knowledge and experience in the field of European and British patent applications is immense. Add to that a level of responsiveness that is truly unparalleled, and you have a patent professional that not only inspires the utmost confidence but is also a pleasure to work with. Gary has managed to pass these qualities on to his team as well.” Among that team are Douglas Drysdale, Susan Elizabeth Keston, Andrew McGettrick and Craig Thomson in Glasgow, along with Jerry Bretherton and Jamie Thomson in Edinburgh. Drysdale has been singled out by peers as possessing “excellent credentials in the European life sciences sector”. He co-heads the life sciences practice with Thomson, whom clients describe as “possessing an enormous depth of knowledge in the field and an outstanding ability to understand the most complex concepts. I would unhesitatingly recommend Craig as a highly professional and competent attorney, not to mention a fantastic person!” Keston, meanwhile, leads the electronics team. She and McGettrick regularly team up for some of the firm’s most distinguished and well-known patrons, including a world-renowned smartphone manufacturer. Bretherton, who was recently promoted to partner, teams up with Thomson and Wilson for a major medical device company, while Thomson, Wilson and a number of others in the outfit prosecute a global portfolio of over 200 patent applications for green energy leader Sunamp.

Craig Thomson's Profile

Craig Thomson is recognised for providing pragmatic, commercially focused advice to clients in the biotechnological, pharmaceutical, chemical and medtech sectors. As well as patent drafting and prosecution, he advises on the development of company-wide IP strategies, funding/acquisition due diligence and aggressive/defensive strategies in relation to third-party IP.

Having worked closely with multi-national corporations, Mr Thomson understands the challenges associated with efficiently prosecuting large multinational patent portfolios, while keeping them relevant to the business. He values this experience as it helps him to provide expert guidance to SMEs as they grow or prepare for acquisition.

While part of Mr Thomson’s focus is ensuring that technical aspects of each invention is accurately captured in a patent, he understands that the value of IP can be fully realised only after understanding the commercial goals of a business and how IP can best be exploited to help underpin those goals. It is therefore important to him that he understands more generally his clients' businesses, which enables him to provide them with a broader-ranging, more effective and valuable set of solutions. Industry sectors of which Mr Thomson has considerable knowledge include those concerned with the microbiome, food, formulations, anti-infectives, diagnostics and medtech.

Mr Thomson has a proven track record of providing successful outcomes for clients, both in a wide-range of legal proceedings (including opposition, entitlement, and USPTO interviews) and in successful IP licence/assignment deals involving patents that he both drafted and prosecuted to grant. He has co-written an amicus curiae (filed with the US Supreme Court for Sequenom v Ariosa), and has assisted many clients in successfully obtaining investment, including listing on the Alternative Investment Market.


Firm Profile

HGF Ltd is one of Europe’s largest firms of IP specialists. It is one of only a few to offer clients a fully integrated IP solution, bringing together over 200 patent attorneys, trademark attorneys and IP solicitors. The firm has 23 offices throughout the United Kingdom, Ireland, the Netherlands, Germany, Switzerland and Austria.

HGF has an ambitious growth strategy and is already one of the leading firms in the United Kingdom and 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.

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 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.

Patent team

Our patent team comprises 38 partners, 66 patent attorneys and over 50 trainee patent attorneys. Many of our patent attorneys have years of experience working with or for some of the world’s leading technology companies. As a recommended firm in the IAM Patent 1000, HGF also has 13 attorneys listed. 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. It is specifically sought out by clients 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 best use of its portfolio and to identify new opportunities for the future. Core technology areas include telecommunications, computer software, semiconductor technology, 3D printing, artificial intelligence, drone and autonomous vehicles and flexible electronics.

When it comes to engineering, HGF maintains a talented and specialised engineering team, who have individual expertise in areas including automotive, aerospace, cleantech, energy, medical devices and packaging. Our experience helps our clients to realise the full commercial potential of their inventions and innovations.

With one of the United Kingdom’s largest teams of specialist life sciences attorneys, HGF 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 United Kingdom’s 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.

Languages spoken

The firm’s spoken languages include Chinese, German, French, Dutch, Japanese, Spanish, Italian, Latin, Greek, Swedish, Danish, Norwegian, Twi, Kyrepong, Ga, Portuguese, Mandarin, Russian, Cantonese, Polish, Gaelic, Arabic, Hindi and Bengali.


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.

HGF has connections with:

  • the Asian Patent Attorneys Association;
  • the International Federation of Intellectual Property Attorneys;
  • the International Association for the Protection of Intellectual Property;
  • the American Intellectual Property Law Association;
  • the Biotechnology Innovation Organisation (BIO); 
  • BIO Korea;
  • BIO Japan;
  • BIO Europe;
  • the International Trademark Association;
  • Managing Intellectual Property;
  • the North East of England Process Industry Cluster;
  • International Drug Discovery Science Technology; and
  • the American Bar Association.

Unlock unlimited access to all IAM content