HGF Law > Manchester, England > Firm Profile

M1 5WG

TMT (technology, media and telecoms) > Intellectual property Tier 1

HGF Law, a specialist IP firm, acts for clients within the life sciences, education and retail sectors on soft and hard IP matters. The team is able to draw on teams of specialist patent and trade mark attorney colleagues for technical advice. Practice head Janet Knowles has particular expertise within the life sciences industry and in working with educational institutions and their spin-out companies. Legal director Michelle Davies is a transactional IP specialist. Antony Gold stepped down as partner in 2021 and is now a consultant for the practice.

Practice head(s):

Janet Knowles

Other key lawyers:

Anthony Gold; Michelle Davies


‘Janet Knowles is simply outstanding. She has been extremely responsive, helpful, highly knowledgeable and experienced in the sector that we operate.’

‘The team has a super blend of technical folk – scientists and engineers – all of whom have worked in industry prior to joining HGF. The legal team are worldly, commercial and savvy.’

‘Janet Knowles has years of experience.’

‘Michelle Davies has an in-depth understanding of our needs not only from a scientific perspective, but also in the context of our role. She always has a pragmatic “can do” approach.’

‘Janet Knowles is my main point of contact. I’d go nowhere else for licensing.’

‘We have worked with HGFLaw LLP for a number of years and have bench marked service, expertise and cost on a number of occasions and they come with an all-round high score.’

‘Michelle Davies is a solicitor with scientific background and in-house as well as private practice expertise. She provides excellent support to client companies across a range of IP and technology related matters.’

Key clients

Gyroscope Therapeutics Limited

Novel Technologies Holdings Limited

Lucideon Limited

Extruded Pharmaceuticals Limited

Aptus Clinical Limited

Daresbury Proteins Limited

Nanopharm Limited

FibroFind Limited

Perfusion Biotechnology Limited

Rawwater Engineering Limited

Tam Plastik

University of Manchester Innovation Factory Limited

Queens University Belfast

University of Central Lancashire

Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine

Bettys & Taylors Group

Portmeirion Group PLC


Work highlights

  • Provided an ‘In-House’ model of support for Gyroscope Therapeutics Limited and advised them on a variety of IP matters.
  • Acted on Queen University of Belfast’s behalf on the negotiation and finalisation of a global exclusive licence of QUB’s preclinical stage FLIP inhibitor program for Ipsen to research, develop, manufacture, and commercialize FLIP inhibitors.
  • Advised FibroFind in relation to its Master Services Agreement (MSA) with various pharmaceutical companies to ensure that it is not inadvertently giving away its IP.

TMT (technology, media and telecoms) > PATMA: Trade mark attorneys Tier 1

With offices in the UK, Germany, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Austria, France and Ireland, HGF Limited’s sizeable trade mark practice assists well-known multinational companies with portfolio management, oppositions and litigation proceedings. The team is noted for its capability in the filing of UK and EU trade marks, and has demonstrable experience across the pharmaceuticals, automotive, food and beverage, media and entertainment, finance and retail sectors. In Leeds, David Potter heads up the trade marks team and advises clients in the entertainment and retail arenas on protection matters. Martyn Fish was promoted to CEO in July 2021, following the retirement of Paul Sanderson, and Jason Lumber is chairman of the firm. From the firm’s office in London, Geoff Smith advises fashion and retail sector clients on international trade mark protection strategies, and Jonathan Thurgood handles registration and enforcement matters. Other key members of the team include Birmingham-based Rebecca Field, and trade mark directors Claire Jones and Manchester-based Lauren Somers.

Practice head(s):

David Potter; Martyn Fish; Jason Lumber

Other key lawyers:

Geoff Smith; Jonathan Thurgood; Rebecca Field; Claire Jones; Lauren Somers; Lee Curtis; Stephanie Loeffler-Reading; Rigel Moss McGrath; Richard Wylie


‘Claire Jones is a pleasure to work with. She has good knowledge and understanding of the client, provides practical advice and is very responsive.’

‘All of the assistance I have received from HGF is prompt, to the point, and reasonable in cost. They also strike the right note with their advisory communications on matters such as Brexit’s impact on EU trade marks. The advice is clear, concise and practical.’

‘I work primarily with Lauren Somers, who is friendly and professional. Her approach is direct and efficient, which I appreciate. I always feel I am getting not just the right answer, but the best and most practical answer with Lauren.’

‘Jonathan Thurgood is always responsive and provides practical advice, taking into consideration the client’s business and concerns.’

‘An approachable and knowledgeable team, who take care to understand our business and the market in which we operate.’

Key clients


Halfords Limited

Quintessential Brand

Tommy Hilfiger

Rotork Plc

AGA Rangemaster Group Limited


Work highlights

  • Acting for Tommy Hilfiger in relation to UK trade mark matters, including prosecution, renewals and contentious matters.
  • Acting for AGA Rangemaster Group Limited on the enforcement of its brands, advising on designs and managing its brand portfolio.
  • Handling the full range of European brand defence for Emirates, including dealing with infringers and domain name squatters, trade mark oppositions, cancellation actions, infringement issues, trade mark applications and broad strategic advice.

TMT (technology, media and telecoms) > PATMA: Patent attorneys Tier 2

On account of its strong European presence, with offices in the UK, Germany, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Austria and Ireland, HGF Ltd is well-placed to manage the patent portfolios of multinational corporations and continues to demonstrate its capability in EPO opposition and appeal proceedings. The team, which has an impressive track record in original patent drafting for universities in the UK, is well-versed across the healthcare (including pharmaceutical, life sciences and medical devices), electronics, chemistry and engineering sectors. In Manchester, Chris Benson leads the electronics practice and Andrew Wells heads up the chemistry group, while Lucy Johnson spearheads the engineering team. Kate Taylor leads the life sciences team from the firm’s office in York, and Birmingham-based Chris Moore heads up the oppositions practice. In Leeds, Martyn Fish stepped in as the firm’s CEO, following the retirement of Paul Sanderson in July 2021, and Jason Lumber is the firm’s chairman, while London-based Rachel Fetches is head of law.

Practice head(s):

Martyn Fish; Jason Lumber; Chris Benson; Lucy Johnson; Kate Taylor; Andrew Wells; Rachel Fetches; Chris Moore

Other key lawyers:

Hsu Min Chung; Gary Wilson; Jennifer Uno; Andy Camenisch; Nienke Lubben; Susan Keston; Claire Irvine; Kerry Rees


‘HGF make the the IP processes feel personal; they are invested in what they do for our business and provide an excellent service. They have strength in depth across the organisation and use that internal network to provide a really first-class offering.’

‘Hsu Min Chang is the best patent attorney I have worked with to date. Her hands-on approach in guiding our company through the patent application process was invaluable and we are indebted to her. She drafted and prosecuted patent applications, advised us on IP strategy and portfolio management and assisted in the production of several IP agreements. Aside from her obvious talent in drafting patents, it was her genuine interest and availability that impressed the most.’

‘Long term relationship based upon mutual understanding of requirements and solid response.’

‘The knowledge and understanding demonstrated by the partners and associates is second to none. They work together extremely well and collaboratively, and have a keen eye for opportunities to make a difficult position manageable. Jennifer Uno has for many years been a key partner to us and has provided excellent advice and services, backed up by a strong team across HGF, and she has recruited and developed new associates who have also consistently delivered top quality work.’

‘The ability to fully grasp novel concepts and advise on the best route to protection whilst offering a first-class and highly efficient service.’

Key clients

Illinois Tool Works Inc.

Smith & Nephew UK Limited

Thermo Fisher Scientific

NuCana Plc

Bespak Europe Limited

Dicerna Pharmaceuticals

Baker Hughes Limited

Fluke Corporation


Royal IHC Limited

Synairgen Plc

Queen’s University Belfast

Zoan Biomed

Chr. Hansen

University of Manchester Innovation Factory

Work highlights

  • Assisting Synairgen with the growth of its patent portfolio on application of inhaled Interferon.
  • Assisting Oxford University Innovation (OUI) in protecting inventions across all areas of research from chemistry, materials, life sciences, engineering, bioengineering, medicine and AI.
  • Defended an opposition against a key European patent for UPL, resulting in the refusal of opposition and maintenance of the patent as granted.

TMT (technology, media and telecoms) > Intellectual property Tier 2

HGF Law has a standalone IP practice with expertise in contentious and transactional matters across all matters of IP including trade marks, copyright, designs and patents. The group has a particular focus on advanced manufacturing, healthcare, retail and food and drink. Marie McMorrow takes the lead, and handles disputes involving complex patent litigation, breaches of confidentiality, trademarks, anti-counterfeiting and copyright infringements. James Talbot and Christopher Robinson  are both important senior members of the team.

Practice head(s):

Marie McMorrow

Other key lawyers:

James Talbot; Chris Robinson; Rebecca Field


‘Have worked with HGF for many years so they know our business, their on line portal is also very useful.’

‘Marie McMorrow, main issue never lost a case, always there when needed.’

‘Rebecca Field, the most efficient and responsive person covering our Trade Marks.’

Key clients

Leon Restaurants Limited

Edinburgh Weavers Limited

Design Reality Limited

The Lakes Distillery Company plc

Welcome Eyewear Limited

Unibrands Limited

Extras Limited

The Curious Way Limited

Rotork plc


Amtico International Limited

AGA Rangemaster Group Limited

RAC Motoring Services

Holland & Barrett International Limited

Spirit AeroSystems, Inc

Full Support Healthcare Limited

Zaun Limited

Work highlights

  • Appealed to the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) ( First Instance) against a decision of the EUIPO in favour of Zaun’s application to invalidate the EU registered design of Praesidiad BV ( formerly Betafence BV). Praesidiad is seeking to overturn the decision of the EUIPO and to reinstate its EU Registered Design.
  • Advise the client on a design right dispute against a competitor in the flooring sector and an ex-employee relating to the client’s signature merchandising displays used across over 200 independent Amtico retailers. Daniel Selmi instructed on behalf of Amtico.
  • Provide strategic brand planning advice on a global basis and advise on advertising, brand enforcement and infringement issues.

TMT (technology, media and telecoms) > Intellectual property Tier 2

Noted for its expertise in high-value patent litigation, the Leeds-based team at HGF Law is well-placed to leverage the firm’s European footprint to handle cross-border IP mandates across numerous industries, notably the healthcare and retail sectors. Practice leader Martyn Fish has considerable experience in IP litigation, while senior solicitor James Talbot advises clients across the technology, life sciences and retail sectors on transactional matters, including brand management and licensing. The team counts Sun Pharmaceuticals Industries Limited, Pearlfisher and Glenmark Pharmaceuticals Europe Limited among its key roster of clients.

Practice head(s):

Martyn Fish

Other key lawyers:


‘Great service combined with a sensible and transparent fee structure.’

Key clients

Sun Pharmaceuticals Industries Limited and its UK subsidiary Ranbaxy UK Limited

Glenmark Pharmaceuticals Europe Limited

TI Media

IHC IQIP Limited

Braiform (UK)

Rocket Games (Pie Face Game)

The Robin and Lucienne Day Foundation


Fresh Trading Limited (Innocent Drinks)

JBS Global (UK) Limited

We Buy Any Car

Spartan Race UK Operations Limited (Tough Mudder events)

Specsavers B.V.

Philip Kingsley Products

Work highlights

  • Acting for Sun Pharmaceuticals Industries Limited and its UK subsidiary Ranbaxy UK Limited on a piece of litigation thought to collectively be the largest cross undertaking in damages claim to be brought before the UK courts.
  • Acting for The Hut Group (My Protein) in a multi-jurisdictional trade mark infringement dispute against a multinational food company.
  • Providing transactional IP advice to Illinois Tool Works, drafting and negotiating across numerous jurisdictions.

TMT (technology, media and telecoms) > Intellectual property: trade marks, copyright and design Tier 6

With a strong national team and large PATMA offering, the IP practice at HGF Law regularly advises on contentious and transactional IP matters in the healthcare, advanced manufacturing, and retail sectors, representing clients in High Court, UKIPO and EUIPO proceedings. The team is co-led by litigation specialists Rachel Fetches and Martyn Fish.

Practice head(s):

Rachel Fetches; Martyn Fish

Key clients

Safely Insured (formerly Sky Insurance)


Quintessential Brands

Aviv Scientific Ltd

Work highlights

  • Acting for Quintessential Brands as external counsel for all IP related matters for the group worldwide.
  • Acted for Aviv Scientific Ltd and successfully defended a trade mark appeal to the High Court from a decision of the UKIPO.

HGF is one of Europe’s leading Intellectual Property firms, bringing together over 180 patent attorneys, trade mark attorneys, design attorneys, IP solicitors and attorneys-at-law across 22 offices in seven European countries to provide a dynamic and complete IP solution.

HGF creates and manages IP portfolios for the world’s leading companies and research institutes. We advise clients on the creation of strategic IP assets around the world and provide world-class expertise in oppositions, appeals, commercialisation, dispute resolution and litigation to defend and enforce IP rights.

HGF is unique in its approach. Our scale and geographical reach allows us to provide the right IP solution for you. Our multidisciplinary specialist teams of attorneys collaborate across Europe, working together to deliver each client’s wishes.

Our full range of services integrate to deliver success at every stage of an innovation’s lifecycle, from inception to commercialisation. By tapping into rich, in-house experience as attorneys, engineers and scientists, our attorneys truly understand the different business landscape in which we specialise in.

Our reputation for exceptional client service and finding winning solutions means that we have built long-lasting relationships with some of the most exciting innovators in the world who also ask us to advise on their most important disputes and commercial IP needs.

Chief Executive & Partner Martyn Fishmfish@hgf.com+44(0) 113 233 0100
Partner & Patent Attorney, Electronics Harry Hutchinsonhhutchinson@hgf.com+44(0) 114 274 3700
Partner & Head of Electronics Chris Bensoncbenson@hgf.com+44(0) 161 247 4900
Partner & Head of Engineering Lucy Johnsonljohnson@hgf.com+44(0) 191 205 8360
Partner & Head of Chemistry Andrew Wellsawells@hgf.com+44(0) 161 247 4900
Partner & Head of Life Sciences Kate Taylorktaylor@hgf.com+44(0) 1904 732 120
Partner & Head of Trade Marks David Potterdpotter@hgf.com+44(0) 113 233 0100
Partner & Head of Law Rachel Fetchesrfetches@hgf-law.com+44(0) 207 776 5111
Michelle Davies photoMs Michelle DaviesLegal Director  
Antony Gold photoMr Antony GoldConsultant
Janet Knowles photoMiss Janet KnowlesPartnerIP Solicitor
Total number of staff : 411
Chinese (Mandarin)
A well-established international network of foreign associates
ABA (American Bar Association)
American Intellectual Property Law Association (AIPLA)
AIPPI (The International Association for the Protection of Intellectual Property)
Asian Patent Attorney Association (APPA)
European Communities Trade Mark Association (ECTA)
International Federation of Industrial Property Attorneys (FICPI)
Deutsche Vereinigung für gewerblichen Rechtsschutz und Urheberrecht (GRUR)
International Trade Mark Association (INTA)
England & Wales Law Society
Association of European Trade Mark Owners (MARQUES)
Pharmaceutical Trade Marks Group (PTMG)
Chartered Institute of Patent Attorneys (CIPA)
Chartered Institute of Trade Mark Attorneys (CITMA)

HGF is one of Europe’s leading Intellectual Property firms, bringing together over 200 patent attorneys, trade mark attorneys, design attorneys, IP solicitors and attorneys-at-law across 22 offices in seven European countries to provide a dynamic and complete IP solution.

We have an experienced team of Solicitors and attorneys-at-law in the UK and Germany. The team specialises in IP litigation, transactional IP, commercial law, data protection and privacy, due diligence and IP advisory work, and work seamlessly with HGF’s patent, trade mark and design attorneys.

Our team have worked in major full-service law firms before moving to HGF focussing solely on intellectual property and related areas of work. Additionally, key members of the team have significant in-house experience. Our key lawyers are very well-known in their field and are highly ranked in the independent guides to law firms.

The full and aligned service model provides a range of benefits to our clients, and our solicitors, with an integral in-depth knowledge and oversight across a client’s business and IP portfolio. This minimises the level of knowledge transfer required directly from our clients enabling a more tailored, efficient and top level legal service. Our key services include:

IP litigation

Our litigation lawyers provide clients with comprehensive, pragmatic advice and support in all aspects of enforcement and defence of intellectual property rights. We cover the full spread of IP-related litigation and dispute management matters including patents, trade marks, database rights, copyright, design rights and breach of confidence claims.

Transactional IP & Commercial Support

HGF’s expertise in transactions involving IP and data spans all stages of the IP lifecycle, including concept discovery, development, assignments, licensing, collaborations and deal-related due diligence. Furthermore, the transactional and commercial team have specialist capabilities in specific sectors such as pharmaceutical development, clinical trials, contract research, merchandising, franchising, selective distribution and software development agreements.


Our solicitors have extensive expertise in the structuring, drafting, review and negotiation of licensing, development and all other forms of commercial agreement working with clients from early R&D phases through development and commercial manufacturing – advising on the regulatory, competition and IP implications for any chosen structure  at each step.

In-house legal support

With extensive industry experience, data protection and privacy specialists, transactional experts, leading litigators and considerable experience in drafting SOP policies and training packages, the legal support team at HGF can provide clients with a full range of in-house legal support, quickly and efficiently.


The commercially savvy team at HGF understands the nuances of the advertising standards agency (ASA), along with other industry regulatory bodies, and works closely  with brands and advertising agencies to overcome challenges associated with developing memorable, eye-catching and sometimes controversial campaigns, providing objective, confident advice in a swift and responsive manner.

Data Protection & Privacy

HGF’s data protection team has extensive experience working with high-profile public and private sector clients advising on data protection issues, assessing and recommending steps for GDPR compliance and reviewing and drafting data protection policies and contracts.

Chief Executive & Partner Martyn Fishmfish@hgf.com+44(0) 113 233 0100
Partner & Head of Law Rachel Fetchesrfetches@hgf-law.com+44(0) 207 776 5111
Partner & IP Solicitor Janet Knowlesjknowles@hgf-law.com+44(0) 161 247 4900
Partner & IP Solicitor Marie McMorrowmmcmorrow@hgf-law.com+44(0) 121 265 7930
Legal Director Michelle Daviesmdavies@hgf-law.com+44(0) 161 247 4900
Senior IP Solicitor James Talbotjtalbot@hgf-law.com+44(0) 113 233 0100
Consultant Antony Goldagold@hgf-law.com+44(0) 161 247 4900
Senior IP Solicitor Yael Shalem Givonyshalem@hgf.com+44(0) 207 776 5100
Senior IP Solicitor Christopher Robinsoncrobinson@hgf-law.com+44(0) 113 233 0100
Partner : 4
Legal Director : 1
Senior IP Solicitor : 3
Consultant : 1
Chinese (Cantonese and Mandarin)
Chartered Institute of Patent Attorneys (CIPA)
Chartered Institute of Trade Mark Attorneys (CITMA)
International Trade Mark Association (INTA)
American Intellectual Property Law Association (AIPLA)
AIPPI (Association for the Protection of Intellectual Property)
Asian Patent Attorney Association (APPA)
England & Wales Law Society

HGF’s DEI vision is ‘Creating an environment where people can be themselves, achieve their potential and are recognised for their contribution’.

HGF’s DEI Action Plan comprises continual, objective assessment of where improvements are required. This includes gathering diversity data annually to review progress against targets, create and implement internal education and development programmes that align with the DEI strategy and firm’s Values.

Vanessa Stainthorpe, DEI Board sponsor, along with CEO, Martyn Fish and other Board members, ensure DEI is a key priority on the Board agenda and within the wider leadership group.

Vanessa leads the DEI Focus Group – a diverse group of colleagues from around the firm who are passionate about DEI and act as an agent for change.

DEI focus group

Supporting HGF’s Board in its commitment to delivering an effective DEI strategy, HGF’s DEI Focus Group, comprises a diverse group of colleagues from a wide range of areas, job levels and locations of the business. The purpose of the group is to identify opportunities for HGF to engage with its broader communities to promote equity, diversity and inclusion and support the development of HGF’s DEI Action Plan.

Meeting quarterly, facilitated by HR, BD and L&D, the group provides input on issues relating to culture, equity, diversity and inclusion. Ultimately it is the responsibility of HGF’s Board for HGF to meet its DEI targets.


Education is a key component of HGF’s DEI Action Plan with the aim of upskilling colleagues on inclusive behaviour with a focus on race inclusion, aligning with our Values in particular, People.

As a business we educate our leaders and managers on wellbeing with the aim of reducing the stigma around mental health. We have dedicated people to talk to (in our managers, mental health first aiders and in our HR team) as we know this can help to prevent our people from suffering, and instead feel safe to approach the topic and resolve the issue before it builds up and potentially becomes more serious.

We know that learning is good for us and so HGF has a newly created specialist learning and development team providing our people with opportunities to develop and ultimately thrive at work.

Network groups

Collaborating as an overall team to identify and tackle the issues that affect our people is central to HGF’s values. We involve our people through a range of internal groups and reach out to external specialist organisations with whom we can successfully partner.

Harnessing external expertise

We know the diversity profile of the IP profession lacks representation, of black people in particular. Because of this we are investing in education, delivered by a global leader on how to be a more inclusive organisation. We are also working with a world leader in racial equity to help us understand and identify steps we can take to be a more inclusive employer.

IP Inclusive

Created in 2015 by leading organisations and individuals in the UK intellectual property sector, IP Inclusive was established to drive equality, diversity and inclusion across the industry – from employment processes, recruitment and retention, to career development and company ethos. HGF was an early member of IP Inclusive and is proud to play an active role in this supporter-funded charter, which promotes best practice through training, events and resources, equipping IP industry insiders with the tools to operate with authentically diverse and inclusive values.

HGF is also proud to have members of our senior team signed up to the 2021 IP Inclusive Senior Leaders’ Pledge demonstrating their personal commitment to improving equity, diversity and inclusivity in our firm and across the IP profession.