Afzana Anwer is a senior IP counsel at British Telecom (BT), where she is responsible for providing IP and IT legal advice, reporting risks and trends and supporting BT’s commercial lawyers on various contracts, including procurement, supply, outsourcing, M&A, agreements with public sector terms, licensing (in particular software, software as a service, platform as a service and infratructure as a service agreements), collaboration agreements, IP rights assignments, advertising-related agreements, advisory and consultancy agreements, end-user licence agreements and non-disclosure agreements.
Dr Anwer has had a 20-year career in all IP matters worldwide, on mixed contentious and non-contentious legal issues across all industry sectors, including technology, media and telecommunications, the Internet of Things, food and beverages, biotechnology, pharmaceuticals and life sciences, batteries, energy and renewables. In 2015 she was group IP counsel for a major global taste and nutrition company. She managed worldwide assets, ensuring optimal protection focused on branding and consolidating trademark portfolios. She supported R&D, tax, procurement, IT, sales, legal, marketing and HR, and developed robust strategies to create, protect, defend, enforce and exploit IP assets. She upgraded internal and external processes to increase value propositions, to identify game-changers to drive value back in pursuit of commercial advantage and return on investment.
Before this, Dr Anwer held numerous positions in big name companies and top law firms. She combined a solid business background with strong technical acumen to implement new technologies and enhance efficiency throughout the company. She has restructured complex IP portfolios, centralising the IP function, as companies transformed from silos to a matrix structures and created the ‘small big’ company. She secured senior management buy-in for mitigating risk and positioning IP at the board level at the top of every agenda and at every stage of the deal-making process for M&A work.
Dr Anwer has advanced technical degrees and research experience in materials science engineering from the University of Cambridge and Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where she was a Fulbright Scholar. She is admitted to practise in the State of Massachusetts, United States, and is on the roll of UK solicitors.