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Boult Wade Tennant excels in ‘competence, responsiveness and cost’. It has a team of individuals with ‘valuable expertise in various areas of technology’, and has ‘a high degree of competence in patent drafting and prosecution’. The 26-partner practice is divided into four groups: Nick McLeish heads the high-tech and electrical group, which includes Nigel Tucker, who is ‘very good at grasping technical issues quickly’, Victoria Russell, who is singled out for her ‘high standard of work’, and networks technology patent specialist Simon Kahn, who gives ‘practical, down-to-earth and economical solutions’; consultant Claire Baldock, Nina White and Matthew Spencer focus on advising a range of life sciences sector clients (including SMEs and university start-ups) on filing strategy and opposition and appeal proceedings; Adrian Hayes heads the chemical and materials group, which includes Rohan Setna (who is strongly recommended for opposition), as well as the ‘diligent and pragmaticDaniel Weston and Michelle Pratt; and Tessa Bucks heads the engineering and designs group, with the support of Paul Hicks, Neil Thomson and Tony Pluckrose. Highlights included successfully defending a patent jointly owned by Services Pétroliers Schlumberger and WesternGeco Seismic Holdings in opposition proceedings before the EPO; filing more than 100 new UK and European patent applications for The Boeing Company; and successfully representing a biotechnology company in an opposition appeal.

A top-quality firm of patent attorneys, Carpmaels & Ransford LLP provides ‘exceptional, on-point and enlightening guidance and advice’ in an ‘extremely timely fashion’. The life sciences, chemistry and medical devices team, which is widely recognised as one of the leading groups in Europe, handles a large number of high-profile opposition and appeal proceedings. The attorneys are also supported by a growing team of highly regarded IP litigators who are active in both opposition and appeal proceedings and patent litigation. In 2016, the team represented GlaxoSmithKline in the successful defence against an appeal by Pfizer relating to an earlier EPO decision to uphold a patent owned by GlaxoSmithKline covering a key antigen in meningococcus B vaccines; acted for Janssen in the opposition defence hearing for its Zytiga product, involving fifteen opponents; defending Cristal in oppositions against four of Cristal’s key European patents; and representing Novartis in patent prosecution, supplementary protection certificate (SPC) filing strategy and contentious matters. Hugh Goodfellow, Edward Oates, Chris Tunstall, Susan Kirsch and James Warner are the main contact from its life sciences group; Also recommended are John Brunner, who specialises in IT and telecoms sector mandates, engineering and IT group head Gary Small, litigators Ian Kirby, David Wilson and Camilla Balleny, and transactional IP specialist Jake Marshall.

Clients value D Young & Co LLP’s ‘efficient conduct of patent prosecution and maintenance, and its swift, relevant and in-depth responses’. The sizeable team has specialist expertise in mechanical and manufacturing engineering space covering technologies ranging from medical devices to marine technologies, with particular expertise in assisting high-tech companies with patent applications with regards to microprocessor-related technologies. In the pharmaceutical space, a team of solicitors and patent attorneys including David Alcock, Garreth Duncan and Richard Willoughby successfully represented Takeda Pharmaceuticals before the EPO in relation to an opposition against its patent for Alogliptin. Other notable matters include assisting a research institution on a patent licensing dispute concerning genetically modified plants, and advising Canbex Therapeutics, a spin-out of University College London, on drafting and prosecuting patents relating to its lead compound VSN16R. The team won a number of high-profile new clients including TomTom, Xim Technologies, STS Defence and The Francis Crick Institute. Anthony Albutt, James Turner, David Horner and David Meldrum are key names to note from its electronics, engineering and IT group, while Charles Harding, Catherine Mallalieu, Simon O’Brien and Zöe Clyde-Watson are notable biotechnology and life sciences attorneys. Ian Harris and Nigel Robinson retired as partners but the latter continues to act as a consultant.

Dehns is particularly recommended for handling European patent opposition and appeals and providing litigation support for worldwide infringement conflicts through its well-regarded litigation practice led by Robert Jackson. Clients include European organisations, primarily from the UK and Scandinavia, as well as a large number of US Fortune 500 clients and a significant amount of instructions originating in Asia. In 2016, it assisted a vitamin and supplement manufacturer with the successful grant of its US patent; acted for Cancer Research Technology on patent portfolio management and protection following its acquisition of a significant patent portfolio; and advised Oxford Flow on the filing and management of patent portfolios for its recently improved industrial pressure regulator. Mark Bell is singled out for his ‘ability to understand novel new physics related inventions and quickly transpose them into a clear and understandable documents, ready for patent filing’. Clients entrust Philip Webber with ‘producing high-quality patent applications for pharmaceutical, biological and biotechnological companies that lead to successful prosecution in a timely fashion’. Also recommended are Laura Ramsay, who is ‘excellent at drafting and prosecution’, Adrian Samuels, who is ‘excellent in opposition proceedings’, and Alexander Piésold, Christopher Davies, Philip Towler and Hanna Dzieglewska.

J A Kemp is ‘a premium, top-tier, European patent firm’ that is singled out for its ‘excellent response times and appropriate advice’. The team is ‘knowledgeable and current on EPO practice and fully understands the industry-relevant aspects of clients’ inventions’. Its impressive client roster includes Gilead Sciences, Oxford University, Life Technologies Corporation, Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal Corporation and Sony Corporation. Recent work includes assisting a US research university with the grant of a European patent, the successful defence of an opposition against the patent, and obtaining European-wide SPC based on the patent; successfully acting for Thermo Fisher in obtaining revocation of a key patent at opposition oral proceedings at the EPO; and advising L’Oreal in preserving freedom to operate from a competitor seeking a granted patent in the UK in the hair coloring space. Key figures in the sizeable team, which comprises more than 60 patent specialists, includes biotechnology and life sciences head Patrick Campbell, who handles patent prosecution for life sciences companies and is recommended for EPO oppositions; Mark Roberts, who is rated for his particular expertise in the areas of medical devices and high-strength materials; and Chris Milton, who is ‘technically gifted in the chemical space’. Ravi Srinivasan, John Leeming, Andrew Bentham, Sarah Roques, Amanda Simons and Graham Lewis are also highly recommended.

Kilburn & Strode LLP is a recognised ‘market leader in patent prosecution and enforcement’. The team achieved notable growth in portfolio management and EPO matters, and further strengthened its offering for clients in the US and Asia with the opening of its Munich office. Kristina Cornish heads the ‘truly outstanding’ life sciences and chemistry group, which experienced an increased flow of oppositions before the EPO. Nick Bassil is experienced at all stages of patent matters and is particularly recommended for stem cells and regenerative medicine related matters. Jennifer Harris and Elizabeth Crooks are noted for their ‘clear advice and ability to anticipate clients’ needs’. Peter Hale’s electrical group advises UK-based SMEs and large multinationals, with particular strength in hanlding large filing and opposition portfolios. Gareth Fennell has a particular reputation for handling computer software cases before the EPO and UK IPO, and counts BlackBerry, Amazon and Yahoo! as his clients. In 2016, highly regarded patent attorney Gwilym Roberts assisted new client Cisco with a large number of European patent prosecutions. The ‘practical and helpfulJim Miller and Robin Lloyd co-head the mechanical group. Tim Copsey is a key name in the chemical engineering space, and manages the portfolios for a number of international clients including Topcon and Elkem, as well as a number of clients in the oil and gas sector. The team was expanded with the hire of one senior associate, three associates and four attorneys.

Marks & Clerk LLP has a ‘highly professional’ team of patent attorneys across its eight offices, which was expanded with one senior associate, three associates and Steven Gurney, who joined from an in-house role at Mylan. It is ‘a very responsive organisation fully able to cope with the fast paced world of start-ups’, and has ‘good understanding of the pressures on small businesses and a willingness to adapt its processes to accommodate’. Clients also particularly value ‘its steady professional approach to challenging situations’. Among its impressive and diverse caseload, Sheila Wallace continues to assist key client Gilead Sciences with filing and prosecution of patent and SPC applications as well as defending against EPO oppositions for its Hepatitis C and cardiovascular patents and SPC portfolios. Mark Dauncey is advising Arvia Technology on its multi-jurisdictional patent portfolio management. Robert Lind defended a European patent for Owen Mumford relating to an auto-injector pen against an opposition from a competitor. Paul Chapman assisted a biotechnology company with defending UK and DE revocation actions involving filing and managing SPC applications throughout Europe. Philip Martin and senior associate Rhyan Probert are ‘consummate professionals with excellent abilities in drafting patent applications’. Julian Asquith and Peter Roberts are also recommended.

Mathys & Squire LLP’s ‘absolutely first class team’ is ‘proactive with advice, but responsive to clients’ needs and requirements’. The group is ‘very knowledgeable, both from a scientific as well as a business point of view’ and ‘proactively safeguards clients’ interests’. In 2016, the team successfully defended British Gas against a £30m infringement claim by MeterTech and Vanclare, and successfully represented Abbott Diabetes Care in an opposition proceeding relating to a continuous glucose monitoring device. Martin MacLean has ‘a good breadth of knowledge in the life sciences field’, ‘a deep understanding of the law and the procedures at the EPO’, and ‘excellent track record of handling very difficult cases’. MacLean has been assisting Public Health England, MicroPharm and Oxford University with the protection of the vaccine against the Ebola virus. Ilya Kazi is noted for his ‘great knowledge of the medical device sector; he gives suggestions instead of just taking instruction’. Paul Cozens ‘combines excellent technical skills with good business acumen and pragmatism’. James Wilding and of counsel Annabel Hector are experienced in EPO prosecution and handle opposition and appeal work. Attorneys Dani Kramer, Chris Hamer and Harvey Adams are also recommended, as are senior associates Aymeric Vienne and Craig Titmus, who are ‘excellent patent attorneys with strong technical backgrounds and highly developed legal skills’.

An excellent firm for handling complex life sciences patent portfolios’, Mewburn Ellis LLP’s ‘highly knowledgeable’ team is singled out for its ‘competent and detailed support and understanding of clients’ commercial needs’. The 35-partner team features ‘attorneys with technical knowledge of the various technology fields who are able to make good use of the knowledge accumulated within the team to fulfil clients’ needs’. The team amply demonstrated these qualities by advising University of California, Berkeley on the platform filing for Crispr-Cas9 gene editing technology, securing the first two patent grants in the world for these filings before the UKIPO. Other highlights include assisting Cambridge Enterprise with filing patent applications covering a new treatment for haemophilia, and successfully defending a European patent for Sandvik AB concerning a twist drill. Key figures include the ‘thorough, well-prepared and responsive’ Richard Clegg; Stephen Carter and associate Emma Graham, who are ‘good on the details’; Simon Kiddle and associate Sarah Brearley, who are ‘efficient and reliable’; and Simon Kremer, Graeme Moore and Robert Watson.

A.A. Thornton & Co.’s level of service is ‘outstanding’ – ‘timeliness and appropriateness of advice are a constant’ according to clients, who rate the level of scientific knowledge displayed by the partners and associate lawyers as ‘excellent’. The team is highly experienced in European and UK patent prosecution and EPO oppositions and appeals, and following the arrival of IP litigator Geoff Hussey, who joined from Bird & Bird LLP, the team is increasingly handling high-stakes contentious patent cases. Highlights included successfully representing RSR in patent infringement proceedings in Germany relating to a medical diagnostic kit; acting for a well-known British tea company on assessing and mitigating the legal risks associated with a new product launch, which involved infringement analysis of a number of third party patents; and assisting a US multinational corporation with the defence of EPO opposition proceedings relating to licensed technology used in the oil & gas industry. According to clients, Craig Turner’s main strength is ‘his ability to quickly understand complex applications’ in the fields of chemistry, chemical engineering, pharmaceuticals and biotechnology. Also recommended are Mike Jennings, for his ‘technical competence and ability to understand and explain complex arguments’; Marianne Privett and Lawrence King, who are ‘very knowledgeable both in Chemistry and in IP law’; mechanical engineering specialist Adrian Bennett, Christian Reinders and Christopher Burnett are further names to note.

Barker Brettell LLP has a reputation in the higher education sector, working with many Russell Group universities and a number of US universities. The team is assisting longstanding client Nottingham University with a range of patent matters including filing and prosecution, renewals, portfolio management, freedom to operate searches and patentability. The physics and materials group, led by John Lawrence, assisted a provider of equipment and services for electric power systems with an opposition proceeding. Other key highlights included Andy Tranter’s advice to TRW Automotive on its worldwide patent portfolio, which involved filing a large number of patents in Europe, US, China and Japan; and David Pearce’s assistance of NXP Semiconductors with prosecuting its European patent applications. Also recommended are Jennifer Atkinson, who acts for a wide range of clients, from start-ups and spin-outs to multinational companies, and Yvonne Johnson, who is highly experienced in chemistry related technologies.

Clients of CMS rate the firm for the ‘consistency of advice and its timeliness’. The team focuses on advising technology giants such as Western Digital, Raytheon and Imagination Technologies, as well as life sciences sector clients including Abbott Laboratories, Dexcom and Silence Therapeutics. Microsoft remains a key client, which the team is assisting with more than 1200 live applications in prosecution. Robert Stephen heads the patent attorney practice and jointly heads the life sciences group. Kevin Cordina is ‘a strong IP lawyer, who can make good suggestions and offer practical assistance in electronics and medical devices related patent matters’. Legal director Helen Wallis is ‘always professional and diligent’ and specialises in software and computing hardware. Stephen successfully defended Kymab’s granted European patent at EPO opposition proceedings with oppositions filed by three opponents, and is representing it in an appeal against Regeneron’s patent at the EPO. Cordina is advising Acelity on oppositions at the EPO, freedom to operate clearances as well as transactional work for a number of acquisitions.

EIP’s ‘extremely responsive’ team is praised for ‘combining deep understanding of technologies with a commercial approach’. It is particularly known for its strength in electronics and digital technology; in 2016 the firm assisted Unwired Planet International with ongoing patent validity and infringement litigation against Samsung, Huawei and Google. Practice head Jerome Spaargaren attracts praise for his ‘extensive technical capability, which enables him to understand core aspects of technical matters at hand’. Other key figures include Heather McCann, who is noted for her ‘tremendous technical knowledge’; the ‘responsive and diligentLaurence Brown; and Andrew Sharples, who focuses on life sciences matters. Also recommended are Darren Smyth, who in 2016 assisted a major medical device manufacturer in 10 oppositions at the EPO; and Iain Russell, who is recommended for his ‘attention to detail and thorough understanding of telecommunications’. Imperial Innovations, Airbus, Visa Europe and British American Tobacco are also clients.

Gill Jennings & Every LLP’s clients include businesses ranging from early-stage and spin-out companies and SMEs, through to multinationals. The team has been particularly active in growing its Scandinavian client base, for which managing partner Peter Finnie is the main contact and counts Fjell Technology Group and Norwegian University of Science and Technology as clients. It has notable strength in patent oppositions, led by Arnie Clarke who has particular expertise in small molecule pharmaceutical chemistry, and Lucy Samuels, who acts for clients in both defence of their patents and in opposition to those of their competitors. Demonstrating its capability in the space, Clarke represented Mylan in the high-profile revocation of Bristol-Myer Squibb’s European patent relating to the anti-cancer drug dasatinib; Michael Lord successfully defended Joseph Vögele in the revocation action brought by Caterpillar; and Finnie assisted Focusrite Audio Engineering with the negotiation settlement in the alleged patent infringement claim brought against it before the US courts. Peter Arrowsmith is particularly experienced at advising on computer implemented inventions, assisting clients in the digital rights management, cloud computing and social networks sectors. Henry Hunt-Grubbe joined J A Kemp in May 2017.

With 11 offices in the UK and three further offices in Europe, HGF Limited is well positioned to handle Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) filings, opposition and appeal proceedings and portfolio management for a healthy mix of domestic and multinational clients. Representative clients include AstraZeneca, Smith & Nephew and Lucideon. Matthew Dixon is advising Q-bot on the management of its patent portfolio and succeeded in a European patent opposition for Bespak against Scandinavian Health resulting in the revocation of Scandinavian Health’s European patent relating to an auto injector device. In other highlights, Mike Nelson is assisting Raptor Pharmaceuticals with its European patent portfolio, and Gary Wilson is advising a global materials science company on its global portfolio management and on the prosecution of its patents globally. Chris Moore heads the opposition and appeal group and has solid track record in defending and opposing patents at the EPO. Further names to note include Harry Hutchinson, Jonathan Atkinson and Andrew Wells.

Keltie enhanced its pan-European practice with the establishment of its first overseas office in Galway, Ireland. The ‘pragmatic and proactive’ team is assisting MasterCard and its subsidiaries with its European patent filing and prosecution and oral proceedings at the EPO. Joanne Hopley has successfully defended a number of automotive-related patents in opposition and appeal proceedings at the EPO. Shakeel Ahmad leads the software practice and is a recommended fintech practitioner; he acted alongside Luigi Distefano for Certicom Corp in defending an opposition to its key standards patent by Infineon Technologies. Head of life sciences Devanand Crease and Mark Richardson are ‘very knowledgeable partners who understand how to provide business-focused advice’. Crease acted for Shell in opposing two competitor matters at the EPO, successfully securing the client’s freedom to operate. Peter Kent, who specialises in renewable technologies, was promoted to the partnership in 2016 and is also recommended.

Nottingham-based Potter Clarkson LLP has undergone rapid expansion in Europe with the opening of offices in Stockholm and Lund in 2016, and in Munich in February 2017. Alongside its ‘first-class’ patent filing, prosecution and opposition practice, 2016 saw the launch of its dispute resolution and commercial department, enabling the firm to handle the full range of litigation and non-contentious commercial advice. The team is praised for providing ‘business-relevant and highly pragmatic advice in a timely manner’. Key figures include Stephanie Pilkington, who is rated for her ‘knowledge of technology, approachability, willingness to listen and to take on board suggestions’; Ray Charig and Charlotte Crowhurst, who ‘bring their extensive IP experience along with a rigorous scientific expertise’ and are ‘very adept at dealing with academic inventors and the challenges posed by commercialisation of university research’; and Ian Dee, who ‘can always be relied upon to give the quality and style of advice that allows clients to make informed decisions’. Richard Bassett, Saiful Khan, Michael Pears, Robert Pugh and Simon Curtis are also recommended. Recent highlights include assisting a global biotechnology company with 11 EPO opposition and appeal hearings, and successfully defending Galápagos NV in an appeal of the EPO opposition division’s decision to revoke The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation’s European patent which Galápagos NV had previously opposed.

Well known for its highly regarded capability in the electronics space, Reddie & Grose LLP also has solid experience advising on the patentability of computer software. It has been particularly active in handling contentious matters including oppositions and revocations, as well as handling a steady flow of PCT application filings. Phil Bates continues to act for Ferring Pharmaceuticals on filing and prosecuting patents as well as on prosecution in relation to SPCs; he also successfully defended the same client in an opposition by Merck Serono concerning a key patent. Patrick Lloyd won an opposition appeal at the EPO Board of Appeal for Vestas Wind Systems against a patent owned by Siemens. Aidan Robson and Robert Sackin are assisting Xiaomi with the management of its European patent portfolio. Simon Goodman counts Oval Medical Technologies and 8power (a University of Cambridge spin-out company) as his clients.

Venner Shipley LLP has a strong reputation of handling opposition and appeal proceedings before the registries; the contentious offering was further enhanced in May 2016 when it established a litigation practice with the recruitment of James Tumbridge and Paul Harris from Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP, followed by the arrival of IP barrister Ashley Roughton from Nabarro LLP. Its patent prosecution practice acts for a large number of high-profile clients, including British American Tobacco, Google, Nokia and Sanofi-Aventis. Recent highlights include assisting Twitter with due diligence and patent portfolio assessment following its purchase of Magic Pony Technology. The firm also continues to assist Samsung with its European patent prosecution and filing strategy. Tim Jump is highly recommended for opposition proceedings and successfully represented Kingspan in an appeal against the opposition of a patent relating to insulation foam owned by Adahi Kasei. Jan Walaski and Ian Grey head the electronics and mechanical teams, respectively.

Abel & Imray retains a strong reputation for UK and European patent prosecution work, as well as defending, enforcing and licensing the granted patents for clients including Airbus, Norgine, Honeywell and IBM. The team includes patent specialists in all areas of technology, with particular strengths in life sciences, aerospace and defence and industrial chemistry. Jim Pearson, James Ford and Emily Teesdale are the key names in its aerospace and defence team; Jim Denness has particular expertise in petrochemical and polymer chemistry; Paul Brady is recommended for handling due diligence, portfolio management and SPCs; and Tom Burt is experienced in the fields of software and mathematical applications. The team recently assisted Sun Chemical with licensing negotiations with a major competitor, including preparing draft claims for revocation proceedings before the UK courts.

Appleyard Lees stands out for its ‘professionalism and work standards’. With the arrival of software expert Julia Gwilt and life sciences specialist Barbara Fleck, both from Marks & Clerk LLP, it has established its fifth office in Cambridge. Recent work includes assisting UMUIP with filing and prosecution relating to Graphene; handling more than 200 foreign filings for VMWare’s subsidiary company Nicira; advising Innospec on the management of its worldwide patent portfolio; and representing a UK-based healthcare company in high-profile opposition and appeal proceedings at the EPO. Clients are ‘deeply impressed’ with David Walsh’s capabilities – his ‘exemplary depth of preparation before patent oppositions, licence negotiations and freedom to operate discussions ensures the best possible outcomes’, and his ‘excellent thinking skills and technical knowledge guarantees the strongest possible patent portfolio is ultimately achieved’. Ean Davies is ‘very good in capturing new technologies and understanding client needs’. Senior associate Terry Instone has ‘an excellent grasp of technical matters and patent law and a good feel for patent litigation procedure in the English courts’. Jennifer Delaney, Anthony Brierley and senior associate Kate Hickinson are ‘very customer focused’. Further names to note are Richard Bray, who specialises in the physics and engineering space, and Dick Waddington, who has particular expertise in imaging and printer technology.

Beck Greener’s nine-partner team of ‘genuine problem solvers’ is adept at handling opposition and appeal proceedings at the EPO. Work highlights saw John Raynor and Anna Hatt assisting multinational chemical companies in oppositions to third party patents and successfully defending their patents against third parties at the EPO. The team also successfully acted for a medical devices company in an appeal in the US, and assisted a Fortune 500 company with filing, prosecuting and managing its European patent portfolio. In another highlight the team is providing a freedom to operate opinion in respect of pharmaceutical and biological products for a leading Indian biopharmaceutical company. Dr James Stones has ‘a deep understanding of pharmaceutical technology and patent law’, which enables him to ‘negotiate complex patent issues effectively’. Dr Stones is also singled out for his ‘brilliant presentation at oral hearings’. Avi Freeman specialises in computer hardware and software and Ben Muir focuses on the chemical engineering and life sciences sectors.

Cleveland Scott York advises on all aspects of patent protection and has a wealth of expertise drafting and prosecuting UK and European patent applications, in addition to advising on opposition and appeal proceedings as well as validity issues. Key figures include Andrew Mackenzie, who ‘combines great knowledge and experience in both European and overseas IP matters’; Sophie Maughan, who has ‘a very keen eye for detail, grasping everything very precisely and accurately translating it into the documentation’; Tom Faulkner, who is ‘both knowledgeable in IP law and an excellent physicist, enabling him to understand ideas and concepts quickly whilst also being able to best structure patent specifications for maximum protection and likelihood of grant’; and Adrian Bradley, who is ‘a creative problem solver and a star in patent prosecution and with SPCs’.

Elkington + Fife LLP is singled out for its ‘timely response and exceptional knowledge of the pharmaceuticals business’. Practice head Richard Gillard is ‘undoubtedly a leader for opposition and pharmaceutical clearance work’; his ‘high attention to detail, outstanding advocacy skills and calm under pressure’ are all singled out for praise by clients. Oliver Kingsbury has ‘very good business acumen and understands pharmaceutical sector clients’ business needs’; his ‘calm and pragmatic approach’ makes Kingsbury ‘a strong partner for opposition work and SPC filings’, according to clients. The team was strengthened when Glyn Truscott and associate Henrietta Rooney joined from Carpmaels & Ransford LLP in June 2016. Truscott has ‘a sophisticated understanding of the biotech industry and provides canny insight into options and strategies in Europe’; he is ‘able to achieve results that often go beyond expectations’. In the electrical and mechanical group, James Andersongives sound advice in freedom to operate matters and understands complex business and legal issues in the medical devices area’; Nick Ertl, Rob O’callaghan and Rob Zijlstra are also key names to note. Representative clients include Actavis, IBM, Fujifilm, Teva and Samsung.

Forresters’s 12-partner team has been particularly active in handling opposition and appeal proceedings at the EPO. Recent highlights include successfully defending Nevro Group in oppositions against Medtronic and Boston Scientific Neuromodulation Corporation, and representing Intertape Polymer Group in defending an opposition against a German competitor. Its impressive client roster also feature Huawei, Vax, Waters Technologies and Tarmac. Jenny Donald, Matt Barton and Jon Gowshall are names to note in the firm’s life sciences and chemistry group. Within its technology and engineering team, the ‘highly skilledAndy Harding is ‘always willing to go beyond the original scope of the project’, while Tim Ashton is ‘very knowledgeable and straight-talking’.

With overseas offices in Germany, The Netherlands and China, IP boutique Haseltine Lake LLP is well placed to advise a diverse range of clients on multi-jurisdictional filing and prosecution, and opposition proceedings. The firm acts for a sizeable international client base, including Cisco Systems, Chevron, King's College Hospital NHS Trust and Fuji Xerox. Frances Wilding, a former patent examiner at the EPO, is recommended for opposition and portfolio management, while David Brown is particularly experienced at handling oral proceedings at the EPO including parallel opposition and litigation proceedings. Of counsel Tim Stebbing’s clients include multinational electronics and computer companies. Ashley Giles heads the engineering and energy team, and Andrew Dowling is recommended for patent box matters.

With offices in London, Munich and Freiburg, Maucher Jenkins is uniquely placed to advise pan-European patent filing and prosecution and opposition and appeal proceedings at the EPO. It acts for a global client base and a number of FTSE 250 companies, including British Airways and Sky UK, as well as US Fortune 500 companies including Qualcomm. In 2016, life sciences and medical technology specialist Reuben Jacob advised a medical devices company on the worldwide protection strategy for its new products; Hugh Dunlop assisted a software innovation company with filing and prosecution of its patents; and Felix Rummler (who splits his time between London and Munich) is advising a semiconductor manufacturing company on its global filing strategies. Practice head James Cross specialises in managing hi-tech patent portfolios.

Murgitroyd is singled out for its ‘highly responsive support, pragmatic advice and effective communication’. The group’s presence in Munich is ‘very helpful with resolving issues at the EPO’. Oil and gas is a particular strength in their Aberdeen office; attorneys James Brown and Wendy Crosby have ‘good in-depth experience of the sector’. Demonstrating this, it is assisting Corex with patentability assessment for an invention including searching, drafting, filing and prosecution of patent applications before the UKIPO. Graham Murnane is ‘an outstanding European patent attorney, with particular expertise in representing clients in European opposition and appeal proceedings’. In 2016, Murnane successfully defended a US technology company’s European patents against third party oppositions at the EPO. Material science and mechanical engineering specialist Peter Wilson and chemistry and life sciences group head Russell Thom are also names to note.

Clients of Slingsby Partners LLP appreciate its ‘appropriate and commercial advice’. It advises a mixture of UK and European technology companies in the fields of engineering, electronics and physical sciences, and is particularly experienced at assisting European technology companies with patent disputes in the US. The firm also has a successful track record in opposing and defending patents at the EPO. Founding partner Philip Slingsby has a wealth of knowledge and experience in both patent procurement, licensing and litigation. Other standout attorneys are Rosalind Fenwick, Sarah Binham, Paul Roberts and senior associate Nikki Davy, the last of which joined from Olswang LLP in April 2017. Representative clients include Huawei, Imagination Technologies, UltraSoc Technologies and Sirius Minerals.

Urquhart-Dykes & Lord LLP’s team is praised for its ‘ability and willingness to dedicate resource when required to support urgent issues’ and for its ‘extremely high’ level of service. It acts for a mixture of universities and multinationals in the biotechnology, hi-tech and chemistry and engineering spaces, and has particular expertise in blockchain technology. In 2016, Andrew Alton successfully defended a medical devices company in oppositions against two European patents for surgical planning software, while Simon Raynor acted for Kverneland Group Kerteminde on the filing of patent for a machine used to harvest and process crops. Other key figures include Martin Neilson, who has ‘good technical understanding’; senior patent attorney Simon Mitchell, who is singled out for his ‘in-depth scientific knowledge, pragmatic advice and flexibility’; and Cerian Jones, who ‘excels in communicating complex patent topics in a manner that business executives and scientists can understand’. Garry Stuttard, Alan Jones and Nick Burton are also recommended.

IP prosecution and litigation firm WP Thompson regularly handles global patent portfolio issues, from clearance through to registrations and renewals. David Gill successfully represented AMO Development in a hearing at the EPO resulting in the grant of a European patent relating to a refractive eye surgery invention; and Julian Potter assisted M-I with its opposition to a granted European Patent for a triple deck shale shaker. Other highlights saw the team advising Nerudia on its global IP strategy, which included drafting patent applications. Nicholas Manley is also recommended.

Wilson Gunn acts for a mixture of technology companies, academic institutions and global brand owners, for which it provides ‘commercially astute advice’. It is particularly strong in the automotive space, advising a number of leading automotive and supply chain companies. The team continues to advise Bentley Motors on a range of patent and design matters. Biochemist Michael Douglas heads the five-partner team, which includes engineering specialist James Robey, who is praised for his ‘depth of knowledge and experience and excellent communication skills’. Mark Goodwin counts Mondelez International and Clear Edge Group as his clients, while David Slattery is recommended for advising on high-tech physics and electronics patents. Newly promoted partner Ben Appleton and senior associate Simon Church are further names to note.

Withers & Rogers is praised for its ‘excellent service’ – ‘great with clients, very practical yet technical, and always quick to respond’. Recent highlights include successfully representing a US technology company in a high-stakes opposition appeal, and assisting Mirriad with the successful grant of its first European patent. Key figures include Dave Croston, who heads the advanced engineering group; Karl Barnfather, whose group has experience in electronics, computing and physics; and David Elsy, who is a name to note for life sciences and chemistry matters. Sheffield-based John-Paul Rooney and Paul Foot are ‘very personable, practical and commercial’, and are particularly recommended for software and engineering matters, respectively.

Ablett & Stebbing’s team is praised for its ‘deep knowledge of pharmaceutical formulation technology’ and its ability to ‘obtain the broadest possible patent protection, both during prosecution and opposition’. The group has presence in London and Dundee and the majority of the team splits its time between the two offices. Among them, Paul Williams is recommended for EPO oppositions and appeals; and Tom Gaunt is ‘a highly intelligent patent lawyer, who takes time to understand clients’ needs and always delivers a practical, effective and good value service’. In 2016, it handled a number of EPO oppositions and appeals for Johnson & Jonson, and successfully represented Biosensor International in opposition proceedings against multiple opponents.

Adamson Jones IP Ltd is traditionally strong in the life sciences space, but is increasingly active in the fields of chemistry, mechanical engineering and advanced physics. The group was reshaped in 2017 when Steve Jones retired from partnership; he remains as a consultant, and the team is now led by Simon Cooper. Highlights included assisting a university spin-out with its patent filing, and advising Intersurgical on a freedom to operate opinion in respect of a number of new products including an innovation which is being developed in collaboration with a US doctor. Nicholas Ferrar is also recommended.

Chapman+Co is ‘responsive and adaptive to clients’ needs’. The team has particular expertise in material science and is experienced in managing IP rights for UK and international companies. Key clients include Saint-Gobain Gyproc, which it advises on the management of its global patent portfolio. Helga Chapman and Vicky Pugsley are singled out for their ‘complete competence, reliability and diligence’. Catherine Bonner was promoted to director in 2016. The ‘very knowledgeable’ Huw Evans is also recomended.

According to one client, Swindell & Pearson Ltd is ‘ideal for any university wanting to capitalise on its in house IP and knowhow in the field of medical engineering’. The group is particularly active in the automotive, electronics and mechanics industries, which it assists with patent filing and prosecution, management and EPO oppositions. Practice head Paul Higginbrings sanity and a path forward to a sometimes chaotic and constantly changing landscape’; he is assisted by Martin Terry, who provides ‘excellent, professional, and timely service’; and Scott Harrison and Robert Sales, who are ‘very knowledgeable of the patent system’.

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