Firm Profile > AA Thornton > London, England

AA Thornton

PATMA: Trade mark attorneys Tier 1

AA Thornton's caseload regularly includes high-stakes headline-grabbing cases. The team combines strength in trade mark portfolio management with proven prowess in the prosecution of trade mark applications, especially in complex cases involving particular international or legal challenges. The retail sector is a particularly busy area for the group, but the client roster reveals the practice's wide-ranging sector expertise. Ian Gill directs the practice. Sarah Darby made partner. Vanessa Lawrence became a consulting attorney for the firm.


Excellent team of knowledgeable and genuinely good people.

AA Thornton have a strong, dedicated trade marks team.

Ian Gill is an excellent individual: concise, precise, personable and a good communicator.

Ian Gill is very client-friendly. He gives good, pragmatic advice on filing strategies and dealing with issues, he is transparent on cost and imaginative on solutions.

Ian Gill is a true expert and always offers sensible and commercial advice.

Sarah Darby is articulate and has a huge intellect, but cuts through the legal jargon to provide digestible advice.

Sarah Darby is fantastic, highly technical, but with a commercial focus.

Sarah Neil is always on hand to offer great advice and always finds the solutions we need!

Key clients

AB World Foods Limited

Admiral Group

Allied Bakeries Limited

CK Hutchinson

HKA Global Limited

J. Choo Limited


R. Twinings and Company Limited

STA Travel

Virgin Enterprises Limited

PATMA: Patent attorneys Tier 2

AA Thornton was especially active in the life sciences, pharmaceutical, energy, electronics and IT sectors, with other highlights coming from retail, medical device, agriculture and aerospace clients. The group increased its weight in the market with the partner promotions of Alex Bone, Nikesh PatelMarianne Privett and Nick SouthAdrian Bennett is the head of the engineering, physics and mechanical devices group, while Mike Jennings directs the electrical engineering, electronics, telecoms and IT department and Craig Turner leads the chemistry, biotechnology and pharmaceutical practice. Emily Cottrill joined Henkel.


‘AA Thornton provide an excellent level of service.  Their strengths include: very high level of professional work, particularly in patent prosecution and litigation at the European Patent Office, the ability to maintain this high level even when working under high pressure, excellent communication skills (both the attorneys and the support staff), very fast response times to our email enquiries, and reasonable prices in relation to the quality of service provided.’

‘AA Thornton consistently provide a highly professional service.’

‘AA Thornton puts together a strong team with the necessary technical expertise based around our needs, and that teams works with us consistently, allowing us to develop a strong working relationship. Their communication and strategic approaches are insightful and consistently of great assistance.’

‘The team at AAT is extremely talented with good technical knowledge and apt problem-solution approach. They are prompt in their work with proper maintenance of all deadlines. The team as a whole is comprised of attorneys that individually have superb expertise in the STEM technologies. Each team member has technical depth in their field that is intimately combined with sharp experience.’

‘As a whole, the firm embraces thoughtful modern changes in practice and diversity in the workplace. This is very respected.’

‘I believe that AA Thornton’s value proposition for IP legal services is unique in that a very high quality of service is provided at a reasonable price.’

‘Craig Turner has handled some very difficult patent cases, and has consistently succeeded in obtaining patent grant, even when the cases seemed absolutely hopeless.’

‘Lawrence King and Marianne Privett are outstanding partners to work with, and they are my go-to counsel in Europe on several key IP matters.’

‘The patent attorneys at this firm are personable, friendly and fun to work with. However, underneath the friendly positive attitude are driven, highly skilled individuals who get the job done. I value their honest and straightforward way of handling work and providing valuable input.’

‘Lawrence King is formidable in the chemical fields, and thorough and effective.’

‘Craig Turner is very capable on substantive legal issues as well as the underlying technology of various patent matters. Craig is also very responsive and importantly listens to the client’s underlying business objectives and tailors his approach accordingly.’

Key clients

Associated British Foods


Chevron Phillips Chemical Company


Halliburton Energy Services




We are a leading Intellectual Property firm based in London, Munich and Alicante. Our team of committed and passionate individuals includes patent, trade mark and design attorneys, as well as litigation solicitors, working with clients across a huge range of technologies and commercial fields. We provide the full range of IP services to clients around the world, from prosecution to litigation, in patent law, trade mark, design and copyright law.

Having an excellent understanding of our clients’ industries and the challenges they face is key to us delivering commercial, insightful legal advice. Our highly qualified industry teams are made of attorneys and solicitors who work together to share knowledge and experience. We firmly believe it’s our people that make the difference and that this sets us apart from others. Simply stated, we speak our clients’ technical language!

We offer a completely bespoke service at a competitive price. We pride ourselves on our genuine desire to understand the way clients want to work with us, and provide every client with a personalised, superior service that reflects their commercial needs. Our advice is always in-depth, commercial  and accessible. We ensure that your inventions, brands and designs are expertly protected and your risks are minimised.

Our corporate vision is “To be your preferred Intellectual Property Firm”

Department Name Email Telephone
Patents: Engineering, physics and mechanical devices Adrian Bennett
Patents: Electrical, electronics, telecoms and IT Mike Jennings
Patents: Chemistry, biotechnology and pharmaceuticals Dr Craig Turner
Patents: Chemistry, biotechnology and pharmaceuticals Dr Lawrence King
Trade marks, design rights and copyright Vanessa Lawrence
Trade marks, design rights and copyright Ian Gill
Trade marks, design rights and copyright Rachel Havard
IP litigation and legal Geoff Hussey
Trade marks, design rights and copyright Sarah Darby
Patents: Electrical, electronics, telecoms and IT Nick South
Patents: Electrical, electronics, telecoms and IT Nikesh Patel
Patents: Chemistry, biotechnology and pharmaceuticals Dr Marianne Privett
Patents: Engineering, physics and mechanical devices Alex Bone
IP litigation and legal Simon Spink
IP litigation and legal Daniel Byrne
Photo Name Position Profile
 Adrian Bennett  photo Adrian Bennett
 Alex Bone  photo Alex Bone
Mr Daniel Byrne  photo Mr Daniel Byrne
 Sarah Darby  photo Sarah Darby
 Ian Gill  photo Ian Gill
 Rachel Havard  photo Rachel Havard
 Geoff Hussey  photo Geoff Hussey
 Mike Jennings  photo Mike Jennings
Dr Lawrence King photo Dr Lawrence King
 Vanessa Lawrence  photo Vanessa Lawrence
 Nikesh Patel  photo Nikesh Patel
Dr Marianne Privett  photo Dr Marianne Privett
 Nick South  photo Nick South
 Simon Spink  photo Simon Spink
Dr Craig Turner  photo Dr Craig Turner
Number of partners : 14
Number of other fee-earners : 30

CLIENT: Monte Rhodes
COMPANY/FIRM: Chevron Phillips Chemical Company LP
TESTIMONIAL: The very knowledgeable, responsible and professional IP Team at AAT, particularly the group under the direction of Dr. Lawrence King, handles a broad range of intellectual property matters in a broad range of technology areas, from patent prosecution to adeptly handling oppositions matters. We hold Drs. King and Privett in high regard as some of the best practitioners that we have worked with, each having a deep knowledge of IP law and expertise, and always being up to date on relevant changes in the laws and regulations. AAT is my first choice for all of our very difficult and challenging cases.

CLIENT: Jerry Harris, Partner
COMPANY/FIRM: Wick Phillips Gould & Martin LLP
TESTIMONIAL: “AA Thornton’s unique combination of skilled technical know-how and unquestioned legal expertise have made them my go-to European firm for over a decade.”

CLIENT: D Calab Gabriel, Managing Partner
TESTIMONIAL: “AA Thornton is my favourite and most reliable Firm in the UK. It is one of the finest IP Firms in UK”

CLIENT: General Counsel Trademarks
TESTIMONIAL: “For over a decade Ian Gill is our very reliable and trusted trademark attorney in the UK. His passion about trademark law, paired with his analytical skills, his professional excellence and his ability to step into his client’s shoes, set a new benchmark within Merck’s global network of trademark agents.”

CLIENT: Clive Menezes, Senior VP and Chief Patent Counsel
COMPANY/FIRM: Halliburton
TESTIMONIAL: “Halliburton has worked with AA Thornton & Co. for nearly 40 years, and we are delighted with the service they have provided during our many years of working together. Their expertise in the oil and gas sector has been invaluable to help us achieve our commercial objectives. Their large patents team has helped us across the broad range of different technologies we handle, and they are very approachable and commercially-minded.”

CLIENT: John Abrahams – Co founder
TESTIMONIAL: “Establishing our intellectual property rights has been key in adding value and protecting our business since our launch in 2011. AAT has provided all the necessary professional services and support we would expect and more from such a company. As a small but fast growing business they have guided us through the often complex and subjective world of IPR. We can move forward with our business and develop new products with confidence with AAT as part of our wider team.”

Raising awareness of the importance of diversity to individuals and firms, and encouraging firms to think more about diversity and inclusion is extremely important to us. We are therefore delighted to be involved with IP Inclusive, an organisation that promotes diversity and inclusion within the various IP professions. It aims to improve access to the intellectual property professions, regardless of disability, age, gender, sexual orientation or social, economic and cultural background. AA Thornton were among the first signatories to the IP Inclusive charter in 2016, which is part of our ongoing commitment to improving diversity and inclusion within the firm.

We take an active lead in IP Inclusive, which sees us taking part in projects such as “Careers in Ideas” in which we visit schools and universities across the country to promote careers in IP, welcome classes of pupils into our offices to educate them on IP topics and host work experience weeks for students who are interested in joining the profession.

We also strongly believe in the importance of providing ongoing support to charitable ventures. Each year we let our employees choose which charity we support and run fundraising events throughout the year. Charities we have recently supported include the Alzheimer’s Society (2019), (2017-18) and Bliss (2016).

The firm also has its own ‘Corporate to Classroom’ programme- the AAT outreach programme- where we donate our decommissioned computers and monitors to schools in need of computer equipment. In particular we have been working closely with Southend High School for Boys, in Essex, and its art department. The students regularly send pieces of their digital design art work, some of which is displayed around our offices. You can see examples of their striking artwork here.