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Chambers of Iain Purvis QC

Work 020 7405 1222
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Michael Silverleaf QC

Work 020 7405 1222
11 South Square (Chambers of Iain Purvis QC)


Barrister in many leading intellectual property cases involving: patents, trade marks, passing off, copyright and related rights, registered and unregistered designs, computer disputes, breach of confidence, performers rights, entertainment and media law, restraint of trade, trade libel, trade descriptions, related areas of European and domestic competition law; practice in tribunals and courts at all levels up to the House of Lords and European Courts of Justice and the UK and European Patent Offices. Recent cases include:

Napp Pharmaceutical Holdings Ltd v Dr Reddy’s Laboratories (UK) Ltd and Sandoz Ltd [2016] EWHC 1517 (Pat) (patent infringement);

Richter Gedeon Vegyeszeti Gyar RT v Generics (UK) Ltd (t/a Mylan) [2016] EWCA Civ 410 (patent validity);

The Sofa Workshop Ltd v Sofaworks Ltd [2015] EWHC 1773 (IPEC) (trade mark infringment, passing off);

JW Spear v Zynga [2015] EWCA Civ 290 (trade mark infringement);

Starbucks v BSkyB (UKSC 2013/0274) (passing off);

Fresh Trading Ltd v Deepend Fresh Recovery Ltd [2015] EWHC 52 (copyright);

Interflora v M&S [2014] EWCA Civ 1403 (Google ad words);

Nokia v HTC (patent infringement, standards essential licensing) (2013-4, settled);

Confidential design arbitration, 32Red of [2013] EWHC 815 (Ch) (damages inquiry);

32Red Ltd v William Hill Gaming (UK) Ltd [2012] EWCA Civ 19 (trade marks);

Football DataCo v Sportradar [2013] EWCA Civ 27 (database right);

Samsung v Apple [2012] EWCA Civ 1339 (registered designs of tablet computers);

Schlumberger Holdings Ltd v Electromagnetic Geoservices AS [2010] RPC 33 (CA) (inventive step, validity, patents);

Abbott v Bayer (EPO anti-TNF alpha human monoclonal antibodies);

Newspaper Licensing Agency Ltd v Meltwater Holding BV [2011] RPC 7 (ChD), [2012] RPC 1 (CA) (copyright licensing schemes, literary works).


Trained Gray’s Inn, qualified 1980; QC 1996; junior counsel to the treasury in patent matters 1991-96; qualified as a mediator 2004 and practises actively in this field; appointed to Nominet DRS Expert Panel member 2008-12. Publications: ‘Passing Off Law and Practice’ (Butterworth’s 2nd ed 1995); also many articles in the legal press and papers delivered at professional conferences and seminars.




Intellectual Property Bar Association; Chancery Bar Association.


King’s College School, Wimbledon; Imperial College, London (1975 BSc Physics); Inns of Court School of Law.


Cycling, hockey, walking and reading.

London Bar

IT and telecoms

Within: IT and telecoms

The ‘excellent11 South Square ‘have a very strong field of IP QCs’ with experience across the IT and telecoms sector. Michael Silverleaf QC was instructed by Semtech in their dispute with Hilight Semiconductor regarding a patent for a computer chip, while Mark Vanhegan QC acted for Philips in three Patents Court trials regarding allegations of infringement of three standard essential patents against ASUS and HTC. Other barristers of note include Brian Nicholson QC, who took silk in 2019.

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Intellectual property

Within: Leading Silks

Michael Silverleaf QC - 11 South SquareA great strategic thinker with a superb grasp of the technical detail.

Within: Intellectual property

11 South Square is 'a top IP set' with capabilities across the full-range of rights. The group has expertise advising on standard essential patents and FRAND litigation, with Brian Nicholson QC instructed in Conversant v Huawei and ZTE, and Mark Vanhegan QC representing Philips in litigation against HTC, Acer, and Asus. In high-profile Supreme Court cases, Benet Brandreth QC represented Cartier International in Supreme Court in litigation against five internet service providers relating to website-blocking injunctions, while Kathryn Pickard was instructed by Mylan and Actavis against Warner Lambert in a leading case for the application of the concepts of sufficiency and infringement to a patent relating to a specified medical use of a known pharmaceutical compound; Michael Silverleaf QC was instructed by the NHS in this case. Also of note, Brian Nicholson QC, who has particular expertise in the technology sector, took silk in 2019.

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Media and entertainment (including art and cultural property)

Within: Media and entertainment (including art and cultural property)

11 SOUTH SQUARE offers ‘excellent client service levels’ and has ‘an excellent reputation for intellectual property matters’ including in the media and entertainment sectors. Michael Silverleaf QC, leading Tom Alkin, were instructed by The Church of Scientology in a dispute with Sky over the broadcasting of a documentary about the organisation. In another case highlight, Hugo Cuddigan QC is acting for the defendant in a claim for a non-infringement declaration brought by Ed Sheeran relating to the song ‘Shape of You’, as well as in his client’s counterclaim for copyright infringement.

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London: Dispute resolution


Within: Mediators

11 South Square's Michael Silverleaf QC has been an accredited specialist IP mediator since 2004 and is regularly instructed to act as a mediator in IP-related disputes.

Within: Mediators - ranked: tier 5

Michael Silverleaf QC - 11 South Square

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