Claire Smith > Bristows LLP > London, England > Lawyer Profile

Bristows LLP

Living Wage

Work Department

Commercial IP


Claire specialises in commercial and intellectual property transactions, most notably in the life sciences, technology, media and consumer product sectors.

Claire advises on a wide variety of commercial and IP transactions (the large majority of which are cross-border) and on corporate and investment deals where IP is an important asset.
Before becoming a lawyer, Claire spent a number of years working for Abbott Laboratories’ medical device business. Since being at Bristows, Claire has also spent time seconded to the in-house legal team of a leading global pharmaceutical company. She is also a member of the UK Bio Industry Association’s Intellectual Property Advisory Committee.

Examples of her recent experience include advising:

  • pharmaceutical, biotech, medical device and digital health companies on joint ventures, R&D collaborations, strategic partnerships and licensing deals (with commercial and academic partners) to bring novel treatments and devices to market
  • leading pharmaceutical companies on acquisitions and disposals of rights in medicinal products and the sale of manufacturing and packaging facilities
  • multinational companies on key COVID-19 projects, including collaborations relating to a multijurisdictional clinical trial for a COVID-19 vaccine, and setting up and operating a COVID-19 testing facility
  • SMEs and international organisations on development, services, manufacturing, supply and distribution agreements for a wide range of pharmaceutical, industrial and consumer products
  • a fast-growing start-up on the IP and commercial arrangements relating to the creation, protection and exploitation of a new children’s character.


Qualified 2003
Partner 2019




Claire is currently serving as a member of the BioIndustry Association’s Intellectual Property Advisory Committee (IPAC) and it’s Artificial Intelligence (AI) sub-committee.


University of Oxford (MA, Law)
Diploma in Intellectual Property Law and Practice, University of Bristol.


Adventure travel, movies, live music and flying helicopters

Lawyer Rankings

London > Industry focus > Life sciences and healthcare

(Next Generation Partners)

Claire SmithBristows LLP

Bristows LLP is ‘widely respected throughout Europe for coordinating multi-jurisdictional disputes’ and has ‘a justified reputation as one of the leading firms for IP life sciences work’. Jointly led by ‘commercially savvy’ patent litigator Liz Cohen and transactional specialist Richard Dickinson, the practice covers all facets of IP, transactional, regulatory and contentious work, regularly acting for high-profile clients including GlaxoSmithKline, Novartis, Teva and the University of Oxford. On the patent litigation front, other key names include Brian Cordery, the ‘technically brilliantRobert Burrows and Dominic Adair, while key contacts for transactional work include Marek Petecki and Claire Smith. Matthew Warren excels at commercial mandates and Alex Denoon leads the regulatory practice.

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

(Next Generation Partners)

Claire SmithBristows LLP

Maintaining one of the broadest patent benches, Bristows LLP is praised as ‘one of the top UK-based patent litigation firms‘ with a full-service capacity. Consistently at the forefront of the market, dealing with precedent setting cases or managing multi-jurisdictional matters, the team advises high-profile global clients in the technology and life sciences sectors on commercial, regulatory, competition, and contentious matters. Andrew Bowler and Myles Jelf co-lead the patent litigation team, which has recently seen a number of high-profile cases, including contested issues related to FRAND licensing in the telecoms sector, and patent portfolio defence and enforcement mandates relating to the blockbuster drug Gilenya. Also key within the team are life sciences patent litigator Brian Cordery, Richard Pinckney, who is a key contact for technology sector clients, Gemma Barrett, Robert Burrows, and Rachel Mumby. On the transactional side, Matthew Warren leads the practice, which also includes Claire Smith.

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

The intellectual property practice at Bristows LLP has one of the broadest trade mark, copyright, and designs practices, which is praised for its ‘perfect combination of legal knowledge, commercial savvy, and litigation strategy’. The practice is led by a triumvirate comprised of Matthew Warren, Simon Clark, and Ian Gruselle. Clark spearheads the brand design and copyright arms of the practice, leading on high-profile passing off disputes in the entertainment and retail sectors alongside Jeremy Blum, who is praised for is ‘deep knowledge’. Gruselle maintains an enviable trade mark portfolio practice, advising big-name European and global clients alongside Paul Jordan, who also specialises in brand protection issues, specifically for print media and creative companies. The portfolio team also saw the addition of new partner Nellie Jackson, bolstering the team’s brand protection and exploitation capabilities. On the commercial side, Warren, Claire Smith and Richard Dickinson are key contacts, advising on many large-scale licensing and collaboration agreements across a variety of sectors, including the technology, luxury and branded goods industries.