Powell Gilbert LLP > London, England > Firm Profile

Powell Gilbert LLP

TMT (technology, media and telecoms) > Intellectual property: patents (contentious and non-contentious) Tier 1

Praised by clients for its ‘deep bench’ strength, Powell Gilbert LLP’s expertise spans numerous technical sectors, from pharma and medical devices to telecoms and electronics. The team handles an array of high-profile and complex litigation, two examples being Regeneron v Kymab and Unwired Planet v Huawei. Joint practice head, Penny Gilbert specialises in the life sciences field, which means she is regularly sought out by clients from this sector, while other practice head Simon Ayrton is recommended for his experience in handling heavyweight technical dispute resolution. Tim Powell is well-versed in representing a variety of clients in multijurisdictional patent litigation, with Zoë Butler’s strength in technology-related IP disputes, further bolstering the practice. Bethan Hopewell advises clients on issues arising from international technology standards, patent pools and associated licensing issues. ‘Impressive’ Ari Laakkonen’s broad range of experience encompasses FRAND obligations, licensing disputes, as well as general strategic advice. Peter Damerell specialises routinely assists clients on complex disputes that involve various technologies, with Tim Whitfield recommended for his pharma expertise. Alex Wilson, Siddharth Kusumakar, Tom Oliver, Joel Coles and Tess Waldron are also recommended.

Practice head(s):


‘The firm has a deep bench of lawyers with substantial experience in patent and design litigation. They are very good at preparing a complex case for winning in court and at devising a winning strategy.’

‘Ari Laakkonen is very impressive in all respects and is an outstanding litigator He has very extensive experience in patent litigation and masters every detail of a case. I would classify Ari as the best of the best for UK patent litigation.’

‘Very smart and analytic team; extremely diligent thinkers.’

‘Fast and precise.’

‘Boutique, specialist, commercially focused.’

‘Simon Ayrton and Tom Oliver are standout partners. Commercial, concise, perceptive and client focused.’

‘Alex Wilson; Uniquely good with clients, business oriented and strong on the matter vis-à-vis the opponent.’

‘We have worked with Tim Powell, Bethan Hopewell and Joel Coles – they are outstanding.’

Key clients

Philip Morris International

Ocado Group plc

Biogen Inc

Edwards Lifesciences

Illumina, Inc (2 cases)



Shenzhen Carku Technology Ltd


Cook Medical

AIM Sport

Saint Gobain






Oxford University and Oxford University Innovation Ltd

Work highlights

  • Advising Philip Morris International in its global patent dispute with BAT, including representing PMI entities in four UK patent actions involving 9 patents in total.
  • Representing Ocado in patent infringement, validity and entitlement proceedings against rival robotic warehousing operator, AutoStore.
  • Representing BioNTech in patent litigation relating to its SARS-CoV2 vaccine UK litigation against (1) Moderna and (2) CureVac will go to trial in the UK in the first half of 2024, with both of these companies seeking damages and BioNTech/Pfizer challenging the validity of the asserted patents.

Industry focus > Life sciences and healthcare Tier 3

Powell Gilbert LLP is an IP boutique, which houses a ‘truly outstanding‘ team, which handles revocation proceedings, appeals, and disputes concerning patent royalties. Practice head Penny Gilbert utilises her academic background in molecular biology and biochemistry to represent clients before the CJEU and the EFTA court. Tim Powell has vast expertise in the enforcement of patents and injunctions relating to gene sequencing and pre-natal testing. Bethan Hopewell has broad knowledge spanning contractual disputes, damages claims, and infringement proceedings.

Practice head(s):

Other key lawyers:


‘Bethan Hopewell and Tim Powell’s team is truly outstanding in terms of both legal skill and acumen as well as technical capability.’

‘They bring a mix of prowess that is a dream combination for winning hard hitting European litigation in the life sciences.’

‘Extremely high quality.’

Key clients


Edwards Lifesciences



Cook Medical

Oxford University Innovation and the University of Oxford





Work highlights

  • Representing BioNTech in patent litigation relating to its SARS-CoV2 vaccine against Moderna and CureVac, which will go to trial in the first half of 2024.
  • Representing Biogen in ongoing European cases relating to its Humira biosimilar and also acting in a UK patent dispute with Sandoz/Polpharma, who are developing a biosimilar to Biogen’s innovator product Tysabri (natalizumab), an antibody drug used to treat multiple sclerosis.
  • Represented Otsuka in UK proceedings relating to its licence dispute with GW Pharma. Otsuka commenced proceedings in the UK court for determination of its entitlement to royalties based upon the relevant jointly owned patents.

TMT (technology, media and telecoms) > Intellectual property: trade marks, copyright and design Tier 4

Powell Gilbert LLP’s sizeable IP practice is capable of assisting clients in a multitude of sectors, including biotechnology, telecoms and media and entertainment. Simon Ayrton leads the team, with a particular specialism in handling IP litigation, arbitration and counselling. Another name to note is Tom Oliver, who maintains strong expertise in the field of IP litigation, routinely representing clients in the English courts. Zoë Butler is another name to note in the practice.

Practice head(s):

Other key lawyers:

Tom Oliver; Alex Borthwick; Zoë Butler


‘Clear, concise, commercially focused advice.’

‘Alex Borthwick has been swift to respond, and clear and commercial in his advice.’

‘The team works cooperatively together and gives the client all of their attention and creativity. They work hard to understand the client’s business needs and goals, and then dive deep into the facts and legal issues.’

‘The team works extremely well with co-counsel in other countries.’

‘Simon Ayrton provides comprehensive legal work, working with the client and co-counsel to understand all facets of the issues. Extremely clear and insightful.’

‘Zoë Butler is thoughtful and has great judgment. She works well with the client and co-counsel.’

‘Tom Oliver provides extremely diligent analysis of factual and legal issues. He synthesizes complex issues extremely well.’

Key clients

The Procter & Gamble Company



ScreenSource GmbH

Vitra, Cassina and Fritz Hansen

Work highlights

  • Advising the Procter & Gamble Company on multiple actions against various traders in counterfeit, parallel traded, and lookalike goods.
  • Advising Prada in respect of a range of IP issues including an intended claim for trade mark infringement (and design right infringement, copyright infringement and passing off) against River Island in respect of lookalike products.
  • Advising Ocado in respect of an intended claim for trade mark infringement and passing off against a supplier of fruit and vegetable products under a similar brand name.
Photo Name Position Profile
Simon Ayrton photo Mr Simon Ayrton Partner specialising in intellectual property litigation. Work covers advising on full range…
Zoë Butler photo Zoë Butler Specialises in contentious intellectual property matters; practice covers full range of IP…
Joel Coles photo Dr Joel Coles Partner specialising in intellectual property litigation. He is an experienced patent litigator…
Pete Damerell photo Pete Damerell Partner at Powell Gilbert specialising in advising clients in complex patent disputes…
Penny Gilbert photo Dr Penny Gilbert Partner specialising in advising on IP rights including patent litigation, licence disputes…
Bethan Hopewell photo Dr Bethan Hopewell Partner specialising in contentious intellectual property matters; practice covers full range of…
Rajvinder Jagdev photo Mr Rajvinder Jagdev Rajvinder advises clients on a range of IP matters, particularly in the…
Siddharth Kusumakar photo Mr Siddharth Kusumakar Partner specialising in patent litigation in the pharmaceutical, biotechnology and medical devices…
Ari Laakkonen photo Ari Laakkonen Specialises in electronics patent litigation and IT disputes, as well as advising…
Tom Oliver photo Mr Tom Oliver Specialises in intellectual property litigation.  Advising across the range of intellectual properties…
Tim Powell photo Tim Powell Senior Counsel and solicitor advocate specialising in intellectual property litigation and healthcare…
Tess Waldron photo Dr Tess Waldron Partner specialising in intellectual property litigation who has represented clients in front…
Tim Whitfield photo Tim Whitfield Partner advising on contentious IP matters, with a focus on patent litigation…
Alex Wilson photo Alex Wilson Partner specialised in intellectual property; extensive experience of developing strategies for, and…


Our people are our most significant strength and we firmly believe that fostering an inclusive work environment, with equal opportunities, is key to our ongoing success. We aim to maximise the potential of every member of the team, promoting mutual respect and ensuring that they are seen as an individual first and foremost. They are supported and empowered to achieve, regardless of gender, ethnic origin, nationality, marital or civil partner status, sexual orientation, religion or belief, age, disability or socio-economic background. The gender ratio across the firm as a whole is approximately equal.  The Partnership is also diverse, in terms of gender, sexual orientation and ethnicity. Our staff are invited to participate in a Diversity Survey on an anonymous and voluntary basis.  The data, based only on those individuals who completed the survey, can be found on our website. We are proud to support IP Inclusive in the UK, an industry network which is dedicated to improving diversity in the IP professions, as well as ChIPs, a non-profit organization that advances and connects women in technology, law and policy.


The firm takes Corporate Social Responsibility seriously, working in partnership with Queens Park Community School and Careers Academies UK to provide mentoring to students aged 16 to 19 years. The firm provides pro bono legal advice to DACs (the Design and Artists Copyright Society – a leading UK copyright and collecting society for artists and visual creators).  We work with the society by providing pro bono legal services to artists caught up in copyright and licensing disputes.


Powell Gilbert is proud to support charitable initiatives for a variety of causes. We’re always keen to get involved and raise money, whether by dressing up, baking cakes or putting our running shoes on.

“The firm has exceptional breadth of experience and technical know-how – both legally and in the TMT sector. there are very few firms in the UK which have the breadth of experience and quality of personnel” – Legal 500

“Quite simply – you cannot go wrong instructing Powell Gilbert and they will work exceptionally hard and with considerable talent and expertise to secure the best outcome for their clients” – Legal 500

“extensive advice in all IP-related matters – a wide cooperation network in Europe and worldwide – outstanding expertise – outstanding partner availability” – Legal 500

“The breadth of expertise and experience is unique…” – Legal 500

“They have a wealth of sector expertise, legal excellence at all levels and consistently go the extra mile for their clients. A real class act” – Legal 500

“The Powell Gilbert team have become our in-house IP litigation team. They are trusted advisors who accept the commercial realities of any situation and understand that risk mitigation and preparedness are of paramount importance to industry. They combine this with a wealth of legal knowledge, humour and availability! I could not do my job without them” – Legal 500

“Powell Gilbert LLP is noted for its top-class IP offering, where it handles high-value and complex litigation relating to patents” – Legal 500

“outstanding experience in the coordination and planning of complex international patent litigation” – Legal 500

“absolutely superb in every way” – Legal 500

“Powell Gilbert LLP fields a ‘high-end team’: ‘superb’, ‘outstanding’ and ‘for patent work, there is no firm better’” – Legal 500

“Powell Gilbert is ahead simply because every single person there is excellent” – Legal 500