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A.A. Thornton & Co. maintains its position among the elite patent practices in the nation, largely based on its frequent successful representation of individuals, academic institutions, SMEs and multinational corporations such as Halliburton, Chevron, British Sugar, Tyco, and the pharmaceutical companies Cipla, Bial and Meda Pharma. Mike Jennings heads the electrical engineering side, while Martin Hedges concentrates on matters arising from the automotive, electro-mechanical and mechanical engineering fields. Craig Turner handles contentious and non-contentious issues in the chemistry, pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries. The team bolstered its roster in May 2016 with the recruitment of IP litigation specialist Geoff Hussey from Bird & Bird LLP.

Boult Wade Tennant’s team is ‘at the very top of the list in terms of expertise, service levels and commerciality, and is always willing to be creative and flexible with billing arrangements’. Simon Kahn, who concentrates on issues related to electrical engineering, computer science and medical devices, ‘possesses absolute knowledge of all intricacies of UK and EU patent law.’ Senior partner Claire Baldock is an expert in biotechnology while electronics expert Nick McLeish manages portfolios and handles contentious matters. Other highly regarded members include biotechnology specialist Nina White and chemical group head Adrian Hayes. The group’s impressive client base includes Boeing, Barclays, Caterpillar, Mondelēz International, Motorola, Yahoo!, LG Electronics, and a host of major biotechnology, life sciences and chemical corporations.

Carpmaels & Ransford LLP is ‘a high-value firm that never cuts corners to sacrifice quality.’ The ‘excellent’ patent team ‘possesses vast knowledge and has the ability to understand commercial issues in order to increase the relevance of its advice.’ Key figures include chemistry team head Susan Kirsch, engineering and IT leader Gary Small, and life sciences head Hugh Goodfellow. In one highlight, Kirsch successfully prosecuted and defended a key patent for client Johnson and Johnson Vision Care in a cross-border matter against four oppositions from other major manufacturers. The team was bolstered in February 2016 with the recruitment of patent litigation experts David Wilson from Herbert Smith Freehills LLP, Jake Marshall from Arnold & Porter (UK) LLP, and Jennifer Antcliff from pharma company Actavis/Allergan.

D Young & Co LLP’s outstanding patent department consists of two teams, both of which handle contentious and non-contentious matters for domestic and international clients. The electronics, engineering and IT side features specialists such as Southampton-based Jonathan Jackson, Ian Harris (who splits his time between Southampton and London), and London-based Anthony Albutt. Simon O’Brien, Garreth Duncan and David Alcock are key players on the biotechnology, chemistry and pharmaceuticals side. The firm also grew significantly in 2015 with more than five additions and several promotions, including senior associates Elizabeth Elmhirst and Cathrine McGowan, and Robbie Berryman (now a partner). Louise Holliday left the firm in May 2015 to join biopharmaceutical company Autolus.

Dehns has significant expertise in engineering, electronics, biotechnology and pharmaceuticals, and frequently acts for UK and Scandinavian corporations, among other international clients. Senior partner and engineering expert Alexander Piésold has successfully handled matters related to fuel cells, hydraulic systems, medical devices, fluid mechanics, subsea electrical and optical connectors, electro-osmotic pumps and fitness training equipment. Laura Ramsay drafts and prosecutes UK and European patent applications for SMEs, universities and multinational corporations, while Deborah Owen is an expert in cell biology, immunology and antibody technology.

Gill Jennings & Every LLP regularly represents multinationals in oppositions and appeals, and is highly experienced in defending in oppositions. The team was bolstered by the recruitment in April 2016 of Peter Arrowsmith; his expertise in physics and electronics, with an emphasis in optics and software, signals the firm’s increasing focus on computer technology and artificial intelligence. Arnie Clarke is highly praised for his knowledge of small molecule pharmaceutical chemistry and the secondary formulation of pharmaceutical products. Managing partner Peter Finnie and Lucy Samuels are also recommended.

J A Kemp expanded its national reach in February 2016 with the opening of a Cambridge office, a move aimed at acquiring hi-tech, biomedical and agro-tech innovators. Plant sciences expert Andrew Bentham is heading the new office, while biotech and life sciences group head Patrick Campbell and pharma expert Ravi Srinivasan continue to lead the way in London. The group also strengthened its dispute resolution capabilities with the addition of Tom Carver in October 2015, a patent litigator with experience in the life sciences, biotech and pharmaceutical sectors.

Kilburn & Strode LLP’s impressive patent practice is comprised of ‘high-quality attorneys who are fun to work with, down-to-earth, and who have strength across the board’. The group regularly handles FTO searches, filings, prosecutions and portfolio management for clients such as Reaction Engines, Epizyme, Magnomatics and LG Electronics. Partners Kristina Cornish, Elizabeth Crooks, Jennifer Harris and Nick Bassil are ‘all brilliant and make a fantastic life sciences and chemistry team that displays real confidence’. Gareth Fennell has ‘tremendous knowledge and practical experience in the difficult area of software patents’. On the electronics and materials side, chairman Gwilym Roberts has ‘real panache’. Also recommended are managing partner Richard Howson and senior partner Peter Hale.

Marks & Clerk LLPexcels at drafting and is prompt, efficient and helpful in dealing with the complexity and cost of scientific and chemical patents’. Partner Tim Andrews is commended by clients for his ‘drafting skills and ability to capture the essence of a strong patent’. In one major matter, Philip Martin is acting for Virgin Media and recently filed oppositions to approximately 70 patents from United Video Properties. Chemistry specialist Jo Bradley joined the firm in November 2015 as a principal associate in the Edinburgh office.

Mathys & Squire LLP has a high success rate for offensive and defensive EPO cases, and attracts praise for ‘ensuring it understands the varied demands of corporations’ disparate business units and applies its industry knowledge effectively’. Clients include Cisco Technology, BP North America, Public Health England, Harley Davidson and Chelsea FC. Chemistry specialist Chris Hamerimpresses with his scientific expertise, negotiating skills and willingness to go the extra mile whenever required’. Sean Leach of the engineering and electronics team has ‘a good understanding of portfolio management and gives appropriate advice’. Ilya Kazi is ‘great for recognising the wider application for inventions than the creators ever anticipated,’ while Margaret Arnott is commended for possessing the ‘rare qualities of reasonableness and level-headedness as a litigator’ and Miranda Kent has ‘a gift for project management in large-scale litigation’.

Mewburn Ellis LLP excels in EPO opposition and appeal proceedings, and has particular expertise in the pharmaceutical sector. The group provides ‘prompt responses, has very good technical knowledge in complex technology areas, and is very cost competitive’. Mechanical engineering expert Stephen Gill has ‘excellent technical knowledge and understands clients’ business needs’. Simon Kiddle, Chistopher Casley, Graham Forrest and Rebecca Tollervey are highly active on the life sciences side, while Robert Watson impresses clients with his ‘overall quality of client service and in-depth knowledge of the pharmaceutical domain’.

Abel & Imray represents an impressive client base including Airbus, IBM and the Hong Kong Hospital Authority, and is best known for its expertise in patent filing and prosecution. Matthew Fletcher, Jim Denness and James Ford lead the way from the firm’s Bath office, and Paul Brady heads the life sciences group out of the London office. In a recent highlight, Tom Burt and Julian Bardo have been appointed by the US telecoms giant Commscope to handle the corporation’s UK and European patent portfolios. Aerospace specialist Emily Teesdale was promoted to partner in January 2015.

Barker Brettell LLP fields a talented patent team, primarily based in the firm’s headquarters in Birmingham, which handles patent-related matters in the medical automotive, food and beverage, and university sectors. Chemistry expert Yvonne Johnson is ‘an amazing attorney who is always available to discuss strategy, make suggestions and handle last-minute emergencies’. John Lawrence has more than three decades of experience handling EPO oral proceedings and high-profile court work. Also recommended are Toby Gosnall, who focuses on computer-related technology, and Southampton office head Alan Wilson, who focuses on university work.

EIP is praised by clients for providing ‘fast response times, technical industry knowledge, and good value for money’. Recommended attorneys include London-based Adam Flint and Paula Flutter, Cardiff-based Chris Price and Leeds-based Laurence Brown. In a 2015 highlight, Heather McCann and her colleagues were retained by Blackberry to handle Good Technology’s portfolio following Blackberry’s acquisition of the firm’s longstanding client. The group also handles patent work for Airbus, British American Tobacco and Visa Europe.

Led by technology specialist Matthew Dixon, HGF Law continues to handle all types of patent-related matters and recently achieved significant wins and reappointments for major clients such as Vodafone, Saumsung and Intel. The team bolstered its dispute resolution team when it hired IP litigation partner Rachel Fetches in August 2015 from Bird & Bird LLP. Other recommended attorneys include Chris Moore, Gary Wilson and Jonathan Atkinson.

Keltie’s team covers areas such as patent drafting, prosecution, opposition, and FTO analyses. It is ‘a very good firm, especially in terms of its understanding of technology’. Peter Kent and Sullivan Fountain, who are both ‘excellent at drafting and dealing with inventors’, work alongside a group of talented colleagues that includes Joanne Hopley, Shakeel Ahmad, Michael Moore and Mark Richardson.

Robert Stephen and Justin Hill continue to head the drafting, prosecution and EPO opposition side of the IP practice at Olswang LLP, which ‘gives sophisticated advice’ on the strategic use of patents. Telecoms expert Kevin Cordina works alongside litigators such as IP practice head Joel Barry and Michael Burdon. Major clients include Sky and Microsoft.

An excellent firm that rates highly against others’, Potter Clarkson LLP has a 23-partner patent team that excels at drafting, searches, as well as EPO oppositions and litigation. Darren Mitchell, a key member of the design and engineering team, is highly recommended, as are Richard Bassett, Saiful Khan, Caroline Marshall, Ian Dee, biotechnology expert Philip Thomas and chemistry specialist Ian Stevens. In January 2015, biotech expert Mark Didmon joined the firm and electronics specialist Ben Lincoln was promoted to partner.

The highly international patent group at RGC Jenkins & Co represents international corporations such as BTG International, Nestlé and Paramount Pictures in a variety of patent matters. The firm’s global reach spans offices in London, Farnham, Beijing, Munich, Freiburg and Basel. The group also features multiple Asia experts and multilingual patent attorneys such as Kei Enomoto, who is fluent in French and Japanese and proficient in German and Spanish.

Reddie & Grose LLP has an active patent group with particular expertise in technology; Patrick Lloyd is the firm’s go-to attorney for telecommunications, computer-implemented inventions and financial technology such as electronic banking systems. Alice Findlay, who concentrates on the mechanical and material science sectors, and engineering specialist Jan Vleck are both highly recommended. Pharma specialist Phil Bates handles the drafting, filing and prosecution of patent applications before the EPO.

The legal and technical knowledge of the team at Urquhart-Dykes & Lord LLP is of ‘a very high standard; it has led victories in complex cases and commercial transactions of notable worth’. Garry Stuttard has the ability to deal with a broad spectrum of technology matters and Andrew Alton is ‘a sharp and meticulous operator who is reliable on commercial transactions’. Senior patent attorney Nick Burton is ‘a rising practitioner who brings balance to proceedings with his sharp eye for patent strategies’.

Venner Shipley LLP received a boost in May 2016 with the recruitment of a team of IP litigators from Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP, most notably James Tumbridge and Paul Harris. They work alongside Jan Walaski, the firm’s managing partner and head of the electronics and software group, who handles EU patent applications, and Simon Taor, who gives ‘very good patent advice’ regarding general mechanical and electrical matters. Clients rate the firm’s ‘user-friendly advice in complex areas, prompt correspondence, and its diligence in making sure clients are reminded of looming deadlines’.

Appleyard Lees handles an array of patent matters for major corporations such as Samsung, Walmart, Mondelēz, Sage and BAE Systems. Recommended attorneys include head of electronics Ian Robinson; Dick Waddington of the engineering team; David Walsh, head of chemistry; and Ean Davies, a partner in the electronics team.

Beck Greener handles the drafting, prosecuting and defending of patent applications and has particular strength in chemistry and technology. The team provides ‘excellent service with personal attention from highly experienced partners and attorneys’. Key names include senior partner John Raynor, who leads the way on chemistry matters; Avi Freeman, who is singled out for electronics and mechanical engineering; and Ben Muir, who is recommended for pharmaceutical and biotech work. James Stones is ‘an exemplary and gifted lawyer who can think on his feet’.

Elkington & Fife LLP has an excellent pharmaceuticals team in addition to its strong patent practice, which is led by Richard Gillard, an ‘outstanding advocate at EPO oral proceedings who provides reliable, well-thought-through advice, and gets the job done on time’. He is supported by ‘several talented attorneys’, including James Anderson, who ‘provides expert advice on medical device products’; and Oliver Kingsbury, who has ‘an excellent understanding of the law and tremendous business sense’.

Led by patent and design prosecution expert Lloyd Hoarton, Forresters has ‘an incredibly efficient and extremely knowledgeable’ team that features attorneys such as Mark Connell and Nick Palmer. The team was bolstered when Charlotte Teall, an expert in SPC and European law, was promoted to partner in April 2015 along with chemistry specialist Chris Bond.

Haseltine Lake LLP provides ‘invaluable legal and non-legal expertise’, and its offices in Germany, the Netherlands and China give clients ‘access to a network of skilled patent attorneys who are fluent in a range of languages’. The group is comprised of ‘excellent patent attorneys who give superb support on general IP matters’; key figures include Simon Rees, Philip Davies, David Hammond, David Rushton and Magnus Johnston.

Murgitroyd’s patent team is ‘fast and efficient and works well with clients’ across numerous industries and regions. Key names include Russell Thom, who heads the chemistry and life sciences team; Lucy Johnson, who heads the mechanical engineering unit; and James Brown, who leads the energy team. Wendy Crosby heads the designs group and is ‘really good with oil and gas inventions’.

Slingsby Partners LLP has a young, technically informed patent team that handles a variety of patent matters for UK and European technology companies. Founding partner Philip Slingsby leads a group with knowledge of the hi-tech end of the spectrum, including image processing, medical devices and medical robotics. The highly regarded Sarah Binham, Rosalind Fenwick and Paul Roberts round out the four-partner team, which has experience representing European companies in US-based patent disputes.

WP Thompson handles a diverse range of technical subject matters for national and international clients. Jacqueline Freeman excels at drafting and is experienced in prosecutions, oppositions and appeals. David Gill is the go-to attorney for electronic and engineering patents, and Julian Potter is recommended for his contentious expertise

Wilson Gunn is led by four well-regarded partners with experience across a multitude of sectors. Biochemist Michael Douglas has experience in the development of novel immunosuppressive drugs and Mark Goodwin handles matters related to polymer chemistry, surfactants, textiles, filtration, paper-making and confectionery. David Slattery is a specialist in high-tech physics, while James Robey is noted for his expertise in the engineering sector.

Withers & Rogers is a growing IP firm with offices across the UK and in Munich and an equally international client base. The team has particular expertise in electronics and engineering, with firm chairman and electronics and engineering team member Karl Barnfather highly recommended alongside technology experts Ben Dempster and Dave Croston.

The patent team at Adamson Jones IP Ltd has experience representing medium and large domestic manufacturers. The firm’s main office is in BioCity Nottingham and in May 2014 it opened a second workplace, located in MediCity. Managing director and physical sciences expert Simon Cooper and founding partner Steve Jones are also recommended.

Chapman+Co has expertise in the aerospace, construction and engineering fields. Founding partner Helga Chapman leads the firm, which ‘consistently exceeds clients’ expectations, especially in terms of providing practical, business-driven advice’. Electronic specialist Huw Evans is recommended and Hedley Austin is ‘exceptional, providing practical advice and outside-the-box thinking.

Scott & York Intellectual Property Law represents international clients from the rail, telecoms and semiconductor industries, and clients are pleased by the firm’s ‘quality of service and prompt attention to detail’. Alasdair Kennington and Alicia Instone are key contacts.

Swindell & Pearson Ltd is commended for its strength in the telecoms and semiconductor sectors. Paul Higgin excels at contentious matters such as EPO oppositions, and Scott Harrison and Martin Terry are also recommended.

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